Electronic NFC Payments Continually Increase in Popularity

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Who is using it?

Millennials are embracing the use of their phones and mobile near field communication (NFC) technology at the checkout lane. Now is the time for small business owners to accept that reality and harvest the benefits by adapting their point of sale system.

Picture this. A consumer is in a hurry to grab a quick bite to eat on their way to a meeting. While driving through town, the consumer sees a local restaurant and decides it would be a good place to pick up lunch. Getting back on the road with as little time disruption as possible is important. After a quick meal prepared by the merchant, the consumer soon realizes he left his wallet in the car, but notices that the restaurant accepts mobile payments. Without hesitating, the consumer pulls out his phone at the point of sale and uses it to pay for his meal. After a speedy meal and transaction, both the merchant and consumer are happy with the exchange.

Consumers and shoppers are always looking for the smallest queue. NFC technology effectively cuts back the wait time since people with smaller purchases can complete their purchase faster. There’s no more waiting a half an hour just to buy a single item. Thankfully, there’s also no more searching through purses (or man purses because… it’s 2016) for oversized wallets filled with tons of credit cards or cash. With the advent of technologies like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, and Android Pay, wallets are succumbing to the Internet of Thing (IoT), a past time that consumers are likely not to miss.

Where are they being used?

contactless-lead-1355413251According to a Business Insider article, there are approximately 2.5 million point of sale systems equipped with NFC readers that are being used in the United States alone and Apple Pay is looking at a lot of growth. Mobile payment systems are being used in local retail stores, restaurants, for public transportation, and inside convenience stores when consumers are making a quick or small purchase. As long as the point of sale hardware or credit card reader displays an NFC logo, that means Apple Pay and other mobile payments are compatible at that retail location.

 

Barclays is now leading the finance industry with newly announced ATMs. The new machines offer cardholders contactless access to their accounts via mobile key points at the ATM, according to multiple news sources. These new machines utilize the same kind of near field communication technology, and prompts user authorization to allow the debit card stored on their device to be used for banking.

Why are they using it?

In 2014, PayPal disrupted the payments industry where users could pay across platforms with a single touch, without the hassle of entering usernames and passwords. A year earlier, companies like Venmo began the downplay of entering credit card numbers on small screens. Innovative technology continually changes our world, and millennials are adapting by using these services to help create a smooth initial transaction at checkout. PayPal and Venmo revolutionized the way younger consumers interact with their finances, and larger tech companies notice the switch in consumer behavior and react by scaling use of mobile payments.

In addition to the mobile payment phenomenon, millennials are now using more coupons than previous generations and they are accessing these on their mobile device. Imagine allowing customers to not only use their phone for coupons at the point of sale, but for payment as well. The two go hand-and-hand because with every mobile payment, there is an opportunity for the merchant to access the customer digital world by offering digital receipts and coupons, ultimately driving more return customers.

Small businesses can believe in the post-cash payment era because it all comes down to speed, ease, and simplicity.¬†Using a phone to pay for goods provides a better solution for consumers who don’t like to carry cash or consistently forget their wallet, and it provides a faster and easier workflow for the retailer who wants to keep their lines moving.

Learn more about Star’s digital receipts and coupon solutions at www.starcloudservices.com.

Rob Hom

Marketing Intern

Cash, Card, or Phone?

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Our phones have already replaced our cameras, our iPods (or MP3s), and our computers. Now, they are beginning to replace our wallets. We are seeing more and more consumers reaching for their mobile phone at the point of sale instead of their wallet. It’s no surprise that this recent adoption of mobile payments is going to majorly change the way people shop.

The number one thing driving consumers toward mobile pay options and mobile wallets is simply the convenience of the payment. 45% of millennials said that they would be willing to connect their payment info to a wearable device in order to make fast, hassle-free payments, according to Adweek. If there is one thing that consumers today love, it’s for their shopping experience to be as quick and painless as possible. We know this because consumers, especially the millennial generation, prefers their shopping experience to be online. Seriously, what’s better than doing all your shopping from the comfort of your own living room? But, we are finding that brick and mortar stores are making a comeback.

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According to TimeTrade research, 85% of consumers say they prefer to shop in physical stores. However, there is still a convenience in the shopping experience that consumers are looking for. This comes at the point of sale.

Giving customers the option of their preferred payment method is important, because it can make or break the entire shopping experience. How many times have you had your credit card out and ready to pay only to hear “sorry, cash only”? According to Business Insider, about 45% of millennials (ages 18-34) have made an NFC payment, and 35% of adults 35 or older have done so. When a retailer cannot accept the customer’s preferred payment method, the entire shopping experience becomes frustrating and inconvenient for the shopper. We must accept that we are now moving toward an age where shoppers will be standing at the point of sale with their mobile device out and ready to pay.

It’s now the responsibility of the point of sale industry to make these mobile payments possible and easy to implement for SMB retailers.

From a point of sale standpoint, we already see ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) working to make their POS applications compatible with mobile payments. Some, such as Square, have even developed their own customized payment terminals to accept any type of mobile payment along with chip-enabled credit cards. By moving toward mobile payments as the norm, we are left wondering what that means for the future of point of sale.

This could easily lead to a greater move toward digital receipts. When retailers are implementing mobile payment options, it is important for them to keep in mind the idea of the mobile wallet not just for payment, but for the digital receipt as well. While many mobile payment platforms offer digital receipt options, if retailers want to use those digital receipts as an opportunity to engage with their customers, going with an outside digital receipt provider might be the best option.

The bottom line is that cash and card payments will never fully disappear. As the adoption of mobile payments continues to grow, we will find a growing demand for more brick and mortar retailers to accept these type of payments.

Learn more about Star Cloud Services digital receipt solutions at www.starcloudservices.com.