Retailers Elbowing Into Mobile Pay Industry

You’re probably used to mobile payments. At the local mom and pop bakery, at the nail salon, and even your favorite food delivery driver has Square or another form of mobile payment available so you can swipe your plastic on the go. It’s an incredibly competitive industry that’s designed to lower overall transaction costs while optimizing customer loyalty. However, big retailers are beginning to elbow into the mobile pay industry, too, so it’s no longer just freelancers and small businesses helping to drive this movement.

The UK’s go-to supermarket Tesco as well as Auchan in France are all about digital wallets, which are apps that let customers pay via smartphones. That means no more carrying cash or cards. For the retailers, not only will they potentially increase profits since spending is easier, but they can also collect invaluable big data to track shopping habits. In the end, this means better target marketing so it’s a win-win for everyone.

Room for one more?

The mobile payment industry is already stuffed full of competitors with tech giants like Apple in the lead, banks and credit card companies vying for the best mobile payment method. Everyone wants their product and services to become the industry standard. Even PayPal is trying out new technology, even though it’s already one of the leading sources of e-commerce payments. However, more retailers are looking to gain an edge and are doing so with rewards programs, discounts, and special features like automatically saved shopping lists for customers.

You want to make sure your payments are safe, fast and secure. Retailers might be making it easier than ever to shop online, but are you willing to risk (another) new payment method? Trusting retailers who rely on tried and true methods like PayPal are still most shoppers” preferred method. According to UK-based betting site, “With our new betting app launched in Australia, payment processing has become a major aspect of our programming and development efforts.”

Since the global market of mobile payments is, according to Gartner, slated to triple by 2017 to an impressive $721 billion in transactions (compliments of over 450 million users) it’s time for retailers to get onboard with cutting-edge payment processing technology.

Growing pangs

In the next three years, such growth could give retailers the boost they need, and payment providers can help keep fees low to save on transaction processes. At the moment, this domain is overseen by massive firms and banks such as MasterCard and Visa. A spokesman for Morgan Stanley recently noted, “We view merchants as overall beneficiaries of the trend toward mobile payments. Expected returns should justify any incremental investments required in enabling mobile payments technology.”

Morgan Stanley points out that in developing countries, about $150 billion was spent in 2012 just to accept credit or debit card payments. While there’s plenty of promise worldwide, it’s still too early to tell just how the mobile payment market will grow and develop in the retail realm. If actual cards become a thing of the past, how will banks and credit card companies keep firm grip on their position? There seems to be some room at the top for the moment, and now the only question is who will fill it.

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Osho Garg

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Osho is Tech blogger. He contributes to the Blogging, Gadgets, Social Media and Tech News section on TecheHow.