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Are You Accepting Mobile Payments Yet?

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The advance of mobile payment, banking and credit card software applications for wireless smartphones creates a new and powerful tool for retailers and business-to-business companies.

Dallas Fort Worth, TX - Gartner predicts the number of mobile payment users worldwide will hit 73.4 million by 2009 and 190 million by 2012. This represents a tremendous percentage of total cell phone users (Gartner estimates upwards of 3% of the total user base) and companies must consider this technology as a potential payment channel comparable with checks, cash and electronic funds transfers.


Retailers First Adopters of Mobile Payments


The benefits of mobile payment solutions for retailers are obvious. The ability to accept credit card payments or mobile payments on a wireless device such as a smartphone enables retailers to create a host of new, innovative and engaging retail platforms. “Pop-Up Retail,” a term coined by Trendwatching.com, is a temporary retail space designed to quickly draw in crowds in high traffic areas then disappear once buzz wanes. Think fairs, concerts and other outdoor venues with massive crowd attendance. Because these events have limited time durations the expense of creating a permanent retail space (and the infrastructure to support it like phone and internet lines) is prohibitive. But don’t write-off those sales just yet – mobile payment systems bridge the gap. With the swipe of a credit card down the side of a payment-enabled iPhone or Blackberry gives you instant access to the same payment processors you already use – returning an instant payment authorization and integrating with accounting systems afterwards to keep track of it all.

Future uses of mobile payments will extend beyond point of sale activity at events to providing useful payment tools for in-field staff such as carpet cleaners, repairmen, plumbers, etc. hoping to decrease the time between invoice and receipt of funds. Companies making house calls to discuss a customer’s outstanding invoices will be able to capture a payment instantly – offering the customer an option to avoid immediate disconnection of services.


Business-to-Business Companies Early to Late Majority


It’s true that many industries have adopted mobile data solutions for business-to-business customers, but most have focused on account and inventory information retrieval, logistics and routing solutions, and signature capture for goods delivered. In the future, businesses will move away from invoicing customers then waiting 30+ days for payment and will instead opt for mobile payment systems the customer uses at time of service or delivery to make payment. B2B companies will represent the Early to Late Majority adopters of this technology but its impact will be significant. The cost of managing receivables can be dramatically lowered leveraging mobile payment solutions.


In Summary – Brainstorm on how Mobile Payments can Impact Your Company


The multitude of killer applications available today on our web-enabled cell phones, smartphones and other similar devices would have been unheard of just four years ago – therefore, brainstorm for the future. You and your executive leadership should engage subject matter experts, both inside and outside the company, to determine how mobile payments are likely to affect your business model in the short and long term. Map out the impacts and begin developing a strategy to ensure you are proactively capturing the value mobile payment systems provide instead of reactively trying to catch up with your competition.

Dataquest Insight: Mobile Payment, 2007-2012

“Pop-Up Retail”

Copyright 2009

Kelly Short is an expert in the technology, business process automation and marketing disciplines. He shares over 15 years worth of experience everyday at http://www.kellyrshort.com helping small and medium companies with actionable advice on increasing sales with powerful marketing, lowering operating costs using business process management, and leveraging unified technology to crush competition.


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