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Smartphone Payments Are Growing Slowly, But SteadilyAround five years ago, back when smartphones were really starting to explode in popularity and people were still feeling out all the new things you could do with them, tech experts predicted that by now smartphones would have become a major payment method. By using a short-range, secure communication line, all you’d have to do is wave your phone at a card reader and you could be heading out the door seconds later.

Of course, that’s not exactly what happened, at least not in the United States. While smartphones now have the software needed to make these transactions, the number of payments made with a smartphone is still just a drop in the bucket compared to those made with cards, account transfers, cash, and checks.

There are a few different reasons that can explain why this happened. In the first place, tech experts tend to be enthusiastic first adopters, which means they tend to overestimate how great a new technology is and how quickly it’ll catch on. Beyond that, there’s the fact that credit and debit cards are already a fast payment option and swiping a smartphone isn’t much faster. You also have to fill your smartphone “wallet” beforehand, since it doesn’t connect to your bank or credit account directly for security reasons, and that adds an extra step a card doesn’t demand.

Still, slow adoption isn’t the same as no adoption, and the number of contactless transactions is steadily increasing. So while your business can probably get away with a basic card reader today, and it might work just fine for the next five years, you may start losing potential customers soon if you don’t get a payment reader that can handle these transactions. If your reader is a part of the contract with your payment processor, you should find out if you can get an upgrade or else get a better contract with a different company.

Smartphone payments aren’t too popular today, but people are slowly getting used to the idea and it is a growing option for in-person payments. So while you can afford to procrastinate on updating your technology for right now, you should seriously consider doing so before your delay makes you start losing business.

Posted in Payment Processing on Mar 28, 2017