Retail Trends

The Mobile Payments Revolution will benefit customers and retailers  

2 min read

Mobile technology has changed the way customers interact with the world, given them new ways to buy goods and services – and new ways to pay for them.

By the end of this year, 3.4 billion smartphones will have NFC technology which means they can easily use any of the global mobile payments systems, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay. That number is expected to increase to 5.3 billion by 2021.

Don’t Get Left Behind

It’s clear to Openbravo that retail businesses that do not accept mobile payments may get left behind.

In China, the cashless society is already a reality and cash transactions have almost disappeared. The value of mobile payments in China more than doubled to $5 trillion in 2016.

Where China leads, the rest of the world seems destined to follow. Openbravo sees China as a key strategic market for mobile payments. Indeed, the Openbravo POS solution already accepts mobile payments with AliPay and WeChat, two of the most popular Chinese mobile payment solutions.

The payment systems in China do not require NFC-equipped phones, which explains why they have been able to grow so rapidly. Instead, the consumer can use any smartphone to scan a QR code that is generated on POS screen when they make a purchase in a store.

In the rest of the world, the phone manufacturers are hoping to establish NFC-based mobile payment solutions as the preferred way to pay using a mobile phone.

Irrespective of the technology used, brick-and-mortar retailers have much to gain from embracing mobile payments because they are popular with consumers, modernize the in-store experience, and can encourage shoppers to spend more.

The Benefits of Mobile Payments

Here are three reasons why you should consider accepting mobile payments:

Convenience:  Mobile payment solutions let customers make payments quickly and easily, even when you don’t carry cash or cards. You may forget your wallet or purse, or forget to visit the ATM, but no-one forgets their mobile phone.  That is a big benefit, particularly for impulse purchases.

Speed: The consumer simply holds their smartphone close to the POS terminal and pays instantly. Unlike a plastic card transaction, there’s no need to verify the expiration date or security code on the card – it’s all stored on the customer’s mobile device. So that makes the transaction quicker.

Security: Mobile payment solutions are more secure than using a plastic card, because they use tokenization to process payment details, so the details are never exposed.

The downside of accepting mobile payments is that you may need to make changes to your point-of-sale systems. You will also need to teach your staff how the technology works so they’re able to assist customers pay using their mobile for the first time.

While mobile payments may seem a niche payment option for most consumers, there is no doubt that they will become more widespread in the next few years.

Openbravo has helped several customers implement contactless payments, including a leading Chinese retailer.

To find out more, contact us or watch our  on-demand webinar, “Choosing the Right Mobile Payments Strategy for your Retail Business.

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