Analysts and business owners alike seem to agree that the mobile payment market is up and coming. Each day more and more retailers and service providers are looking for new and different ways to get customers in the door, onto their website, or interested in their services. While there are several ways to accomplish all of these, many analysts agree that offering consumers new and fresh ways to pay is one way to draw them in.
Debit cards and credit cards, simply put, have changed the way people pay for things, and now the advent of mobile technology is further altering the business landscape. Cash is becoming an old commodity. Credit, debit, and mobile payments are the wave of the future. With that being said, many people still don’t truly understand what mobile payments are, and what benefits they offer consumers and business owners alike. To take advantage of the wonders of remote payments, one needs a crash course: consider it Remote Payments 101, a quick and simple way to understand the process and benefits of remote payments.
Understanding Remote Payments
A remote payment is defined as any payment made from a distance, whether via the Internet or by a telephone service provider. There are several different remote payment setups and schemes. A remote payment can be utilized via the web, much like a traditional e-commerce site. In this setup the consumer utilizes a website to pay for goods and services they would like to purchase. This, much like online shopping, is often a convenient and easy way for busy consumers to get the goods and services they need quickly. While this setup is the most popular and the most familiar for many consumers, it is also the least innovative.
Another option is the mobile payment. Mobile payments rely on the use of a phone to authorize payments. Any smartphone is now equipped with the ability to store multiple credit cards. When a consumer enters a store or service provider they can pay by tapping their phone against a terminal. The payment is completed much like a traditional payment, except the consumer uses the one thing they’ll never leave home without: their cell phone, instead of a plastic card.
Mobile card readers are also gaining in popularity and becoming a “must-have” for small business owners and freelancers alike. A mobile card reader is a simple device that plugs into the business owner’s cell phone. Cards can then be slid through and payments can be made quickly and securely over the Wi-Fi or telephone service connection.
Benefits of Remote Payments
The largest benefit of all remote payment options is the ability for clients to pay for their goods and services in a way that is most convenient for them. The ability to accept multiple payment options has been shown to increase sales and extend a loyal customer base. Simply put, if you give people multiple ways to pay, they are more likely to frequent a business.
There are greater benefits, however, than simply increasing a customer base. For freelance workers, construction and contractors, and those whose services are mobile, the biggest benefit is likely the ability to accept payments anywhere, by a means other than cash or check. Freelancers needn’t be tied down to an office or waiting on a payment any longer. Mobile card readers come in handy most for these types of businesses. Service providers can utilize remote payment options to better streamline their business and to gain important insight into their customers and the services they request.
Small business owners, more specifically, can garner important information about their customers and the inventory being sold with remote payment options. When goods are purchased via remote payment, the business owner is instantly given access to data about their customers, including what they buy and when they are most likely to shop, and, more importantly, what they consider to be necessary items.
Finally, businesses that offer remote payment options can also streamline incentive programs and gain a better understanding of how their incentive programs are measuring up in real time. In the world of constant communication and constant access to information, understanding consumer trends in real time is a true advantage to the business owner.
With over 25 years of experience in the payments industry, Greg Constantine provides expert business leadership and marketing strategy development to SecureNet and its clientele as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. From Fortune 500 companies to successful startups, Constantine has an extensive background in entrepreneurial guidance, marketing, sales, product planning, client services and operations management.