In an era marked by economic hardship and waning consumer confidence, small business merchants need to ensure they are covering all of the bases when formulating a corporate plan. Luckily, many new advancements in technology have yielded affordable options to help small business owners compete with greater efficiency. Mobile Commerce Press recently reported that mobile payments are an excellent way for small business owners to gain a higher consumer base, more efficiently manage expenditures and improve bottom lines. According to the source, mobile payments are beginning to be an unavoidable aspect of retail and other merchant services. Several studies have shown that mobile payments, ACH card transactions and other processing options have become more preferred among consumers. This is evidenced by the exponential increases in demand the alternative payment processing industry has experienced throughout recent years. The news provider explained that new systems will likely save merchants money and could improve profits through a more cost-effective process and increased visibility among far-reaching markets. In the same way mobile banking has proven to reach new demographics - like the underbanked - mobile payments have shown to boost consumer loyalty to merchants.