If you are a business owner, you may remember when taking payments meant handling cash, accepting checks or carrying around manual machines that made carbon-copy images of customers’ cards.
These days, however, most customers expect to be able to pay within seconds. Very few people carry cash or checkbooks. In short, we live in a culture of instant gratification.
Whether customers are trying to book rooms online or buy items at a convention, they want to do so quickly. Delays or issues with your payment processing can prompt a would-be customer to simply move on to a competitor.
Offering a range of mobile payment solutions is likely your best bet, in terms of providing the optimal shopping experience for your potential customers.
How Widespread Are Mobile Payment Systems?
It’s hard to know exactly how many people are using mobile payment systems and how many accounts may be held by one user. However, at the end of 2016, at least a million new users were signing up for mobile payment accounts every week. If that trend continues, which it likely will, mobile payments will soon become one of the most popular options for customers.
If you own a business but don’t offer mobile payments, you’ll likely find yourself missing out on sales or seeing a lot of abandoned digital carts.
However, widespread mobile payment adoption is still facing some consumer resistance.
One obstacle is data caps on mobile plans. However, as mobile service carriers lower prices for unlimited data usage plans, more customers will probably consider using mobile payment systems.
The biggest deterrent for many consumers continues to be fraud issues. As digital and mobile security efforts improve, more consumers will likely feel comfortable with using digital payment systems.
Who’s Using Mobile Payments?
It should come as little surprise that the people who are using mobile payments the most are people who have grown up with computers and mobile technology.
This includes members of Generation X, Millennials and the newly recognized Xennials, who fall between the two. These age groups make up roughly three-quarters of mobile payment users.
Most members of Generation Z are not yet old enough to have their own credit cards and similar services. Still, it’s reasonable to expect that as Generation Z comes of age, they will also expect to pay with mobile payment services for a broad range of purchases.
What Mobile Payment Options Are Most Popular?
Most customers perform mobile payments in one of two ways. They either pay using a web browser-based payment service, or they use a proprietary mobile payment app on their mobile device.
Because there are so many mobile payment platforms, you may not be sure which ones are the best for your company. Experts believe that the number of mobile payment platforms will decrease in upcoming years, meaning it makes more sense to invest with the mobile payment solution brands that already have a customer base and real staying power.
Here are four that deserve serious consideration:
- Apple Pay. Apple Pay has been leading the mobile payment revolution in the United States. As many as 12 million people were using this convenient payment platform in any given month in 2016. Accepting Apple Pay means you can easily court the millions of consumers who swear by the iPhone.
- Google Pay. Also called Google Wallet, this mobile wallet system is linked to a person’s Google login, making it simple to pay for online purchases. Google is the third most popular mobile payment platform in the United States, right after Apple Pay and PayPal. Roughly 15 percent of mobile payment users are using Google Pay.
- AliPay. AliPay is the mobile payment processing branch of the China’s online retailing monolith Alibaba. It is the most popular mobile payment method in China with 450 million active users. The company has grown substantially in recent years, going from a reported $70 billion in payments in 2012 to over $1.7 trillion in mobile payments last year.
- WeChat Pay. Owned by Tencent, WeChat Pay has grown from $11.6 billion in payments processed in 2012 to more than $1.2 trillion in 2016. Its growing popularity is no doubt linked to the WeChat app, the leading messaging platform in China with more than 800 million active users around the globe.
Both Alipay and WeChat are frequently used in other countries by Chinese people who are traveling for business or pleasure. If your business wants to be accessible for Chinese shoppers and travelers, working with AliPay and/or WeChat Pay is a wise choice.
Given that China is home to more than 2 billion people, it’s a market that savvy businesses, from hotels to retailers, can’t afford to ignore.
The Mobile Payment Trend is Going One Way…UP!
Sales on mobile payment systems have tripled in the last three years, making this the fastest growing niche in the payment processing industry.
Whether you run an e-commerce shop online, accept mail/phone order purchases or have a physical business like a hotel, restaurant or retail shop, you need to offer a range of mobile payment options for customer convenience. In short, the time to learn and adopt this new payment method is now.