Credit cards are likely to go down in financial history as the biggest payment evolution of the 20th century. But when history starts talking about the 21st century, it is going to be the combination of computers, portability and online network access that form the foundation of one of the biggest changes in commerce. Thanks to the smartphone being a miniature, portable computer with complete Internet access, the age of mobile commerce has arrived, and any company interested in maintaining modern payment process capabilities needs stay on top of this method of payment.
The smartphone has, for some people, become the single most important device of their lives. It contains complete access to their favorite pictures, music, videos, communications with other people, and even acts as a bank account, a wallet, and a credit card.
This means that people with a smartphone can do a number of things, such as instant comparison shopping, where, if they find a product they are interested in, rather than buying it at the physical shop they are in, they can first go online, compare prices with other stores versus the one they are in now. If they find a lower price, they can immediately use their phone to buy that item online, meaning that the store they are now in just acted as a “window display” that led the shopper to make the purchase elsewhere.
In other cases, if a shopper is interested in the item at the store, but has no wallet, and thus no cash or credit cards, a phone with the right software can act as a substitute wallet. This means that the person can still conduct a transaction, even without the traditional means of access to other forms of payment.
This type of flexible shopping and payment means that vendors have more challenges, but also more options, as they decide how to conduct their business. For tech savvy shoppers, it’s important to take into account their payment processing habits. You should consider whether you want to have the capability to use their phones as a payment system, since it’s likely that this form of device-based payment will continue in the future.
More importantly, however, it’s also important to make sure you have an online portal that is ready to handle mobile commerce. With the whole planet as one giant, digitally connected shopping mall, any business can potentially service the entire world market. But that’s only if you have a website in place to handle not just online shopping, but the peculiar interface demands of mobile commerce on a phone. There’s a big difference between shopping with a mouse and keyboard on a laptop or desktop computer, and serving a customer using the very different touch-based interface of today’s phones. Make sure you take those design differences into account. The last thing you want to do is make the experience of giving you money difficult for a shopper that wants to do so.
Posted in Payment Processing on Dec 06, 2016