Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives. Now, they may even replace our credit cards, debit cards, and cash.
Google Wallet and Apple Pay (and the technology they rely on to work) are two new high tech applications that customers can use to pay for goods and services at brick and mortar businesses. But, are your customers using them, and is investing in the new technology a smart business move?
New high tech ways to pay are emerging with Apple Pay and Google Wallet. Are your customers using them? Do they make sense for you to be using?
How do Google Wallet and Apple Pay work?
Before you upgrade your payment processing terminals, it’s important to understand how these mobile payment methods work.
Mobile payments rely on something called near field communication, or NFC. The technology has actually been around for quite some time, but it’s usage has recently expanded into mobile payments. With NFC, two devices that are placed close to each other can exchange data, as long as both devices have an NFC chip.
Are customers using Apple Pay and Google Wallet?
More than 20% of U.S. consumers are estimated to have access to Apple Pay, and that number keeps growing as iPhone sales increase. Apple has also stated that 700,000 store locations accept Apple Pay, and the number continues to grow. Google hasn’t released figures on how many people actively use Google Wallet, but some experts estimate that approximately 16.4 to 17.1 million people are using the app.
The numbers aren’t staggering, yet, but there’s clear interest amongst shoppers.
Show customers that your business is current with new technology
As a business owner, it’s important to adapt to new technology. We don’t yet know if Google Wallet, Apple Pay, and other mobile payment platforms will skyrocket in popularity, but there’s always a chance.
Offering your customers several different ways to pay is a smart business move. If you don’t already use NFC readers, there will be an upfront cost to upgrade, but you’ll be getting faster, more powerful technology, enhanced security, and other benefits.
Create a smoother in-store experience with NFC payments
Accepting payments via NFC is a quick and easy process, and could help increase sales, especially in busier retail locations with long lines.
If you don’t want to be held responsible for fraudulent transaction, buy an NFC reader
The NFC/mobile payments debate isn’t just about Google and Apple. Soon, the U.S. will be making moves to increase the usage of chip-and-pin cards, which are already the norm in Europe. This system is called EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa… the companies that first developed the chip technology) and in many ways, it’s much more secure than the magnetic strip cards the U.S. uses today. In October 2015 merchants will have to deal with a shift in liability, too. Currently, card issuers accept liability for fraudulent transactions, but after October any merchants still using magnetic-strip card processing technology won’t be protected from card fraud.
So, most small businesses won’t have much of a choice in the matter. Upgrading to NFC readers will be (more or less) mandatory, making the adaptation of Google Wallet and Apple Pay a moot point. Your business will need to purchase an EMV-compatible NFC reader.
For even more information, talk to your payment processing company
Business owners don’t need to learn all about the intricacies of the technology behind mobile payments. Your payment processing company is already well-equipped to answer any questions, and to help you upgrade your equipment if you’d like to offer payment options like Google Wallet and Apple Pay.