Can You Accept Payments From Your Customers Phone? Here Are Some Good Reasons You Should.

April 28th, 2015

My Initial Observations, Musings and Opinions on Smartphone Payment Use.

We have been setting our clients up with equipment that enables them to accept NFC, (near field communications), transactions for over a year.  Over the course of time, I have gleaned some interesting information, through talking to our clients, about the acceptance of NFC by both the business owner and the customers.

In late 2013, when we first started deploying credit card terminals that were EMV and NFC enabled the typical clients’ reaction was “what do I need that for”?  We would take the time to explain to them the EMV rule that would go into effect in October 2015 and the potential for smartphone based payments in the future.  Ultimately, we were “futureproofing” their equipment needs.  We were making sure they were ready for the changes we could see that were coming in the industry.

Many of our clients were a pleasantly surprised when customers would occasionally use their Android™ phones to make a payment using Google Wallet™, but initially the use was minimal.    Although they understood a new rule was coming regarding the use of chipped cards, most failed to grasp the potential of the smartphone based payment platforms.

Enter Apple Pay™.

In the fall of 2014 rumors began circulating about Apple™ getting involved in the smartphone payments arena when they released the iPhone 6™.  The buzz among Android™ users seemed to escalate.  After all, each of these platforms has their following and their critics.  You are either an Apple™ fan or an Android™ fan and that is just how it is.  According to our clients, Android™ users seemed to increase their use of the smartphone payment technology a bit, though still minimal in the overall scheme of things.  It was still not a big deal in the eyes of many clients.

When Apple™ finally launched their new platform in October 2015 the entire payments industry was pontification about the effect Apple Pay™ will have on payments.  Some point of Sale Systems and stand-alone terminals that could accept Apple Pay™ were already in place at businesses in America.  Many of our clients who had not yet made the switch began calling to ask if their terminals could take the new technology.  Those already in place saw another rise in interest on the part of customers.

One client, a Veterinarian who had upgraded their equipment a year ago, raved about the ease of use when taking smartphone payments.  He thanked us for upgrading him a year ago and told us that simply offering the smartphone payment option had increased his client base.

Three Good Reasons to Upgrade to New Equipment.

First, and undoubtedly the most important reason to a business owner to upgrade to new equipment is increased profits.  More money is always good.  In our technical society, users of the new technology seem to be seeking out businesses where they can use it.  If you are one of the locations they can use their gadget, guess what, you have a new customer. Thus, the sooner you upgrade the more new customers you can get from this equipment transition.

Make no mistake, acceptance and use of this technology will grow exponentially in the next few months, as more businesses become NFC capable. In addition, as more smartphone users upgrade to the new technology, (usually about an every two year occurrence), there are more potential customers in the market to use the new technology.

Second, it is a good idea to get your equipment upgraded to be able to accept chipped cards anyway.  On October 1, 2015, liability will shift to you, the business owner, from the banks on fraudulent card transactions.  That is only if you have not upgraded to EMV enabled equipment.  If you do it wisely, the new equipment will handle both EMV and NFC/Smartphone transactions.  If you choose the right processing representative this upgrade is free.

Third is security.  I will not go into detail how the transactions take place but security when using the new smartphone technology is phenomenal.  Each transaction has its own code, and with Apple Pay™, it would be extremely difficult to counterfeit the phone owners’ thumbprint!

There you have it.  My thoughts a a professional.  Now you can decide.  Live in the past or become part of the future. Give us a call at 800-878-5346 and we will set you up with the equipment for free.

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