With the help of advancements in mobile technology, small businesses can take advantage of mobile wallet capabilities to offer highly targeted customer service and value incentives. Last year’s rollout of Google Wallet shows that mobile payments are becoming a reality, creating a new way to pay and redeem offers, drastically decreasing consumer dependence on physical cards and coupons.
Adoption of mobile commerce among consumers is expected to grow substantially as mobile devices and applications capable of supporting NFC (near field communication) and non-NFC (cloud and barcode) payments become more widely distributed. In fact, the pay-by-phone market will make up $22 billion in transactions by 2015, according to a forecast by research firm Aite Group. As a small business, will you be left behind or will you plan for this change and find success in mobile commerce?
Smart, connected devices are advancing rapidly giving consumers more ability and control to monitor finances, make purchasing decisions and pay for transactions. Part of this revolution is the idea of Universal Commerce—a new reality where consumers expect a more integrated buying experience that’s quick and consistent everywhere, anytime; and leverage technology in ways that change how commerce works.
Businesses whose point of sale and operations are ready for Universal Commerce will allow customers to simply present their mobile device to make purchases and a whole lot more. Small businesses are nimble-enough to adapt quickly and stay relevant to fast-changing and connected customers. The age of Universal Commerce is here and retailers that proactively invest in smart point-of-sale (POS) solutions that work today and tomorrow can ensure that they are preparing for the inevitable industry changes that will be our future.
The good news is that updating POS equipment that supports Universal Commerce is easier than most small business owners and operators think. It can be as easy as adding a peripheral device to an existing POS system. Now is the time for small businesses to transition toward contactless-enabled POS devices and be prepared to support connected consumers who are expecting quick and easy shopping experiences that are rich and meaningful… all part of Universal Commerce.
Dom Morea is senior vice president and division manager for advanced solutions and innovation at First Data.