Market research firm Econsultancy recently named “Mobile Commerce” as a top small business trend in 2012. As smartphones continue to change the way consumers intersect with businesses on multiple platforms, it’s not surprising that this shift is being felt within the payment and finances sector as customers seek greater convenience and easier ways to conduct business. In fact, nearly $200 billion was processed in mobile payments on a global scale for 2012 (up from $160 million in 2011), with some analysts predicting this number to reach $1 trillion annually by 2015. These trends indicate that even greater opportunities are on the horizon for small businesses to use mobile payment systems to their advantage in 2013.
With mobile payment systems, retailers allow customers to pay directly with their phone, much as they would with a credit card. Payments can also be received virtually, and you can immediately send back a receipt. Even better, some mobile payment systems instantly sync with your computer software, allowing you to better document and track repeat customers.
As smartphones are becoming more and more ingrained in our culture, it’s not surprising that there is a looming shift in consumer demand for this type of technology. Indicators that mobile is quickly entering the money transaction space of retail business have been building in recent years.
In fact, in April of 2011, Google surveyed a wide range of consumers to pinpoint the ways in which the consumers were currently using smartphones and mobile devices in the retail world. Of those surveyed, 79 percent said they actively used their smartphones when shopping, with 70 percent of the phone use occurring within the actual brick and mortar store. In addition, 54 percent of those surveyed used their phone to locate retailers.
Almost half of shoppers (44 percent) used their mobile device to read product reviews on site before actually making their purchase. And perhaps most compelling, 74 percent of consumers indicated that they made their purchases due to reviews, social media forums, and comments sections they were able to access on their phone.
Vogels, Mat. “Mobile Payments to Take Spotlight in 2013.” Pay Simple Blog. 1/4/13.
“Mobile Payments Are Ready for World Domination.” Pay Simple Blog. 12/7/12.