These days, you need only go to a pharmacy, gas station or retail establishment to see signs that encourage customers to use Samsung Pay, Android Pay or Apple Pay when making their purchases. While there are several of these products on the market, they all fall into the category of mobile wallets.
As a business owner, it is becoming ever more necessary to understand how these payment solutions work and to decide if you should incorporate them into your own customer experience.
How Do Mobile Wallets Work?
As a consumer, the beauty of mobile wallets is that they securely store all of your sensitive credit card data in one place: on the smartphone that you carry with you constantly. Setting up the system only requires manually inputting card information or scanning it in using the phone’s camera feature. The information is then encrypted and stored securely in the mobile wallet application. Since your phone requires your fingerprint or a password known only to you in order to be unlocked, you automatically have a solution that is much more difficult to breach than your physical wallet.
Although credit cards have become more secure since the change-over to EMV chips, many businesses, particularly smaller ones, have not made the EMV transition and continue to use the card’s magnetic strip. When someone steals your actual card from your physical wallet, they can still do a great deal of costly mischief that causes frustration, inconvenience and financial loss.
The Growing Popularity of Mobile Wallets
With each passing day, more retailers are accepting mobile wallet or Near Field Communication (NFC) payments. More than 10 million stores in the U.S. take Samsung Pay; Apple Pay is accepted at over 3 million; and Android Pay has topped the 1 million store mark. More and more businesses will accept mobile wallets as merchants upgrade their payment systems to allow patrons to pay using their smartphones.
Why Accepting Mobile Payments Can Benefit Your Business
The trend is clear: Mobile wallets are here to stay. Security-conscious buyers no longer carry large amounts of cash; checks are becoming an anachronism; and virtual payments give customers the ability to leave their credit cards at home. Using only one device – the smartphone they carry with them at all times – customers are increasingly depending on virtual wallets to securely streamline their purchases of products and services.
Buyers are recognizing the pluses of this cutting-edge technology, and so can you as a business owner. That’s because mobile wallet and NFC payment technology can help you expand the scope of your enterprise.
For example, most mobile wallet processing software contains features that help you set up and maintain a customer loyalty program. The system will store the email addresses or phone numbers that the customers voluntarily provide, thereby furnishing you with a dynamic database of customers that you can use to promote sales, reward loyalty and entice referrals.
Considering the ease of payment and marketing qualities that mobile wallets provide, there is no longer a reason to delay accepting mobile wallet or NFC payments.
Spreading the Word to Your Customers
Once you decide to take the plunge and accept payments via customers’ mobile wallets, acquiring a system to do so is an easy task. Most credit card processing providers have reasonably priced (or free) NFC-enabled payment options from which you can choose. Once you and your staff are trained by your processing provider, you will be ready to let your customers know about the cutting-edge payment system you have adopted.
Help the Security-Conscious
When you roll out your new terminal or system, you are sure to have customers who jump at the chance to use it right off the bat. By the same token, there will be many who are nervous. Now that you have been thoroughly versed in the ins and outs, you can readily explain to the cautious how much more secure a mobile wallet is as opposed to using cash or a physical credit card.
Talk to your customers about the concept of tokens, the multi-digit encrypted numbers used during their transactions. Be sure they understand that these tokens are used only once, making stealing them pointless.
Further explain that in the event that their phone is lost or stolen, locking down and closing the mobile wallet is simply a matter of de-registering their credit and debit cards from their mobile account with Apple, Samsung or Google.
Talk About Efficiency
Surely you have experienced the longer EMV chip payment process. Although “dipping” the chip card into the reader only takes 15 seconds or less; in reality, it seems much longer.
By contrast, conducting a payment with a mobile wallet can be completed in half the time – six seconds, on average. Explain that the customer’s phone never leaves their hands, and the transaction is both fast and secure.
Appeal to Your Customers’ Frugality
Let them know that mobile wallets can actually save them money. Many offer reward points and sales incentives, particularly during high-volume selling times such as the holiday season.
Furthermore, inform customers that they can store all of their coupons in their mobile wallet, eliminating the need to organize and carry tiny slips of paper with them. With tickets, boarding passes, coupons and reward cards all in one place, customers are much more likely to take advantage of the money-saving strategies they offer.
Show Them the Mobile Wallet Sign
Your customers may be surprised that you accept mobile wallet payments. Direct them to the mobile wallet/NFC payment sign that you have prominently displayed in your place of business – the one that looks like a hand holding a card next to wavy lines.
Mobile wallets are reinventing the ways merchants do business and customers purchase goods and services. While most customers haven’t yet ditched their physical wallets, the trends are beginning to point to increased reliance on this secure, easy-to-use technology. Be one of the first to thoroughly educate your customers on the advantages, and you will find yourself reaping the profits.