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Pros and cons of mobile, electronic payments

Oct 28, 2012 Dave King

Pros and cons of mobile, electronic payments
Mobile payments have been among the hottest topics among merchants in recent years, as smartphone and tablet adoption among consumers has largely shifted the way in which retailers do business. From marketing to payment processing, mobile devices have afforded businesses of all sizes an opportunity to capitalize on new markets.
 However, security has been the prevailing issue related to mobile and online payment processing, as new devices have led to new challenges regarding data security. Merchants considering accepting mobile and other electronic payment methods, or those who use ACH cards and wire transfers for payroll, should keep an eye on security. Benefits of mobile for web-based retailers
TopTenWholesale recently explained some of the challenges and advantages mobile payments offer to merchants that do not have brick-and-mortar locations. According to the news provider, the pool of new consumers that can be reached through mobile payments initiatives is massive and continues to expand. The source cited a 2012 study from Javelin Research that found smartphone ownership to account for 51 percent of all mobile phone use currently, while the firm believes it will increase to nearly three-quarters by 2016. TopTenWholeSale explained that many small mobile solutions providers are doing a good job of competing with their larger counterparts, thus keeping merchant costs down. Many of the new systems available to retailers offer more convenience than traditional options, as some require only one piece of software. The news provider recommended adopting these technologies, as they can allow more integrated processes, such as launching affordable mobile marketing initiatives along with accepting payments through the devices. Finally, the source stressed the importance of doing adequate research when choosing a provider of payment platform solutions, as many of the companies currently offering these products are young and untested. Importance of data security
As the world continues to move more toward an entirely digital market landscape, merchants are increasingly responsible for the protection of consumer and employee information. Identity theft and data breaches lead to the loss of billions of dollars every year, and these numbers seem to be increasing as time goes on. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, businesses in the United States have experienced 129 data breaches so far this year, which have led to the exposure of nearly 3.5 million sensitive records. Following PCI compliance and being mindful of any automated ACH payments can help businesses better deter these types of losses.