We’ve long been hearing stories about how folks in Europe and Asia are using their smartphones to pay for goods and services, yet we still haven’t seen the same adoption of mobile payments here in North America. Are we relegated to phone payment envy, or do we have mobile payment options in our future too?
What’s Holding Us Back
Unfortunately, the reason mobile payments haven’t taken off faster here is simply a matter of bad PR. People fear their financial data will be exposed to hackers who can access credit card numbers, either by stealing the phone or hacking into the payment processing database.
It’s simply not something to worry about.
Mobile payment service providers, like ACH Payments, understand that fear of data breach is a huge barrier to adoption, and we’ve worked to ensure there are security features to prevent it from happening.
- First of all, payment transactions require authorization, such as a PIN being input. These are controlled by the payee, and can be changed, just as an online password can. Our mobile credit card payment application does not actually house the financial data in the mobile app, making it that much more secure.
- Second, mobile payments are protected in the same way your debit or credit card transactions are. Banks have security measures that, should your account be hacked and someone make a purchase with your account, do not require that you pay for those transactions.
- Third, mobile payments are as safe (or as volatile) as cash or cards. If your wallet is stolen, you have to undergo the same process (actually one that’s more painful) of cancelling your cards and subsequent transactions. You’re probably more likely to notice your phone missing than your wallet!
What the Future Looks Like for Small Businesses
In the early days of mobile payments, only big box retailers participated. Apps like Google Wallet and Paypal Mobile were accepted at so few retailers, it didn’t make sense for a consumer to download the app and input financial data.
But with an influx of mobile payment applications hitting app stores this year, that will change. There will be more incentive for small businesses to get involved, as it opens up the options of payment from customers.
Take this scenario. You own a coffee shop. People regularly jog by your shop, but since they don’t carry cash or cards, they don’t buy. They do, however, carry their cell phones, and if they were able, they could pay for a coffee and pastry using their phones (so much for that exercise).