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Widespread mobile payment adoption nearing

Oct 16, 2013 Dave King

Widespread mobile payment adoption nearing

Smartphones and tablets are increasing in popularity among consumers nearly ever year, and this could lead to mass adoption of mobile payment systems. According to the 2014 Mobile Payments State of the Industry Report from Mobile Payments Today, widespread use of this technology is about two to five years away.

However, conditions are improving for electronic payments to take off. For instance, around 30 percent more people own smartphones now than in 2012, with 93 percent of consumers using their devices to access the Internet - up from 65 percent a year ago.

Despite the fact that mobile payment adoption is moving slowly, businesses would be wise to implement this technology sooner rather than later. It would be beneficial for companies to have a system in place when this form of completing transactions takes off, so businesses don't fall behind the competition.

The following are some of the benefits companies can experience from a mobile payment system:

- Improved incentive programs: One of the things that keeps customers coming back to a store is incentive programs. Through the use of an electronic payment system, businesses can improve these offerings, according to Open Forum. It can be annoying carrying around multiple little plastic cards, so if consumers are able to keep their rewards information directly on their mobile phone, they may be more inclined to use it and purchase products at a store. In fact, mobile payment systems can make it possible for loyalty programs to be used automatically, as payment and rewards information are all kept in the same place.

"If businesses use technology to link a payment to their points or other loyalty programs then it adds value to the customer," Gene Signorini, vice president of mobile insights at Mobiquity, told the news source. "This makes the customer want to return, which then increases revenue."

- The ability to track customer trends: Customer behavior is important data for all businesses, and with mobile payment systems, this information is much easier to track. With transactions being completed through this technology, companies are able to track the products and services sold to better improve their stores. For example, this data could make it possible for a pizza restaurant to discover the day they sell the most pepperoni pies. Using this information, the business is able to make sure they have the necessary ingredients to make enough pizzas without running out. Essentially, this data can help a company maximize their revenue using customer trends.

- Faster checkout speed: For retailers, long lines can make customers unhappy, as no one wants to wait an extended period of time to purchase an item. Through the use of a mobile payment systems, the speed of checking out customers can increase. The ability to use a smartphone to pay can be much quicker than handing over cash or swiping a credit card, and the more customers that go through the line, the higher revenues will be. Additionally, Open Forum says customers are more likely to return to a store if they don't have to wait a long time in line.

"By using mobile payments, we can move customers through the hot dog shop quicker," Keith Garabedia, owner of Hot Diggity, told the source. "During a busy lunch we can serve 250 customers if we keep people moving."

With the apparent benefits of implementing a mobile payment system, businesses would be wise to make this transition now. By doing so, companies are giving themselves plenty of times to work out the kinks before this method of completing transactions takes off.