Payments made with a mobile phone topped $1 billion dollars in 2013, but, according to eMarketer, that nearly six-fold growth is nothing compared to the future of mobile payments. By 2017, mobile payments could top $58 billion. If these predictions come true, cash will no longer be king and businesses will need to revamp their payment strategies. Many businesses have already embraced mobile payments, a move that undoubtedly increases their revenue.
Boosted Consumer Satisfaction
The change to mobile payments may leave many cash-loving consumers feeling cold and leery, but the upsides of mobile payments easily convince even the most stalwart holdouts they are a good idea. Less time spent counting cash or verifying checking account information gives clerks more time to focus on customer service. And, with mobile payments, there’s never a need to worry about miscounted change or miswritten checks. Mobile transactions are processed accurately and efficiently.
Starbucks has led the mobile payment movement, integrating mobile payments into its stores around the world. Customers love the Starbucks mobile payment feature so much they even lobbied the company to add a tipping feature to the app, indicating customers are happy enough to want to leave extra change for their latte’s.
Even in the face of great success, the company is constantly looking for new ways to improve its customer experience, and has recently updated the app so that it appears front and center on a person’s phone if they shake the phone. This means that no one has to wade through his or her apps menu to find the one they need to pay.
Businesses Increase Sales Potential
By accepting more payment sources and making purchasing easier for their clients, businesses are increasing their revenue streams. With a mobile credit card reading software from companies like Intuit, outside sales reps are sealing deals on the spot. Whether that means closing a big client at a trade show or being able to accept credit cards at a hot dog stand, the shift is ultimately putting more money into the pockets of business owners.
Payments on the Horizon
NFC (Near Field Communication) chips have been largely responsible for the boost in mobile payments. Although these chips are currently in phones, Forbes speculates manufacturers will soon start creating other devices with these chips. The technology could be built into rings, watches, or other tiny devices, making it easier than ever for consumers to ditch the heavy wallet and pay by knocking a piece of jewelry on the checkout stand.
Eventually, consumers may only need their bodies to post payment. Advances in voice recognition software and retina scanning equipment could make it possible to pay with a few words or a quick glance. Eventually, even DNA could make the cut. Just spit here for payment could be the new sign at self-service kiosks.