Late last month, Google announced that it will embrace mobile payments and will be launching its own e-wallet later this year. According to a March 2010 report by Generator Research, the worldwide market for mobile payments will grow to $633.4 billion by 2014, up from $68.7 billion in 2009. This is a trend that small and medium size businesses will need to embrace in the near future.
To help SMBs make this step, Sage Payment Solutions offers standalone and integrated payment solutions to address your particular sales channels. Greg Hammermaster, President of Sage, said that the company has services for both sides of the transaction.
“There’s the e-wallet, or the phone itself, that’s used to make a payment and substitute for a credit card,” Hammermaster said. “But, the phone is also used as a remote commerce tool.”
Hammermaster emphasized that the latter side of the transaction is important to those businesses that make sales out in the field, attend trade shows, or send technicians or customer service agents to the customer site.
“It opens up another sales channel and enhances the customer experience,” he said. “This retrofits e-commerce to maximize it for the phone.”
Although mobile payment users are expected to grow 600 percent by 2014, Hammermaster said that it will take some time before mobile payments really hits mass market. This is because changes with both businesses and consumers need to work together to ensure that these payments work on a mass market scale, such as accommodating the numerous different mobile devices and apps that are out there.
Another hurdle in this industry is the needs for merchant accounts. Hammermaster described the problem as blank checks without a bank account. They simply don’t work without one. If considering a mobile payment solution provider, make sure to have a merchant account set up already, or see if the provider will have merchant account options.
“There’s lots of smoke and mirrors,” he said. “The merchant account is like a bank account. So, find a trusted provider and do the info gathering.”
As for security concerns, Sage has been able to set the standard in this new industry. Sage Payment Solutions is part of global business software company The Sage Group, so it has a reliable foundation to provide the encrypted hardware necessary to protect the private information of your business and your customers. To make things easier, those businesses who already have a merchant account with Sage can integrate these mobile payment solutions easily.
As business are search for ways to reduce costs, increase visibility, or improve revenues, taking part in this trend of mobile payments could prove to be one incredible value. They can expand your sales channels and meet your customers where they are. Since the industry is still new, take the time to do the research on possible providers.