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Why businesses should consider adopting mobile payments

January 16, 2017

Mobile payment technology isn’t quite mainstream yet, but there are reasons businesses should consider incorporating the option into their payment mix.

Businesses, particularly small businesses, have been slow to adopt mobile payment technologies like Apple Pay. Apple doesn’t charge any additional fees to merchants for Apple Pay, but there are some disincentives that may be holding business owners back, like the perceived hassle of training staff on a new system, or the need for some merchants to upgrade older point-of-sale terminals.

The incentives to change may be harder for business owners to see. But a closer look will show plenty of reasons to add mobile payments to the options you offer customers.

Adopting mobile payments is a down payment on the future

First of all, consumers expect mobile payments to become more common in the future. According to a recent survey by Accenture, consumers expect a 60% increase in mobile wallet adoption by 2020. Right now, cash and cards are still by far the most common ways to pay, but the use of cash fell 7% from 2015 to 2016, while consumer awareness of mobile payment options grew.

Mobile payments customers are an attractive target market

Right now, only about 1 in 5 consumers makes mobile payments on a regular basis, according to Accenture. But the early-adopter consumers who do use mobile payment options are attractive customers. Consumers who have made mobile payments are more likely to be millennials or Gen-Xers; they’re more likely to be highly educated; and they’re more likely to have bank accounts, according to research by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

These early adopters like using their phones or watches to make payments for a number of reasons, according to Pew Research. Young consumers like getting electronic receipts emailed to them, getting rewards, and the convenience of mobile payments that can be easily linked to budgeting apps to help them avoid overdrawing their accounts. Young consumers have their smartphones with them all the time. It’s increasingly natural for them to want to do everything—order lunch, shop for clothing, hunt for a new apartment, pay a friend back for drinks last night—on their devices. Mobile payments are just part of this larger trend.

Businesses might want to avoid being seen as standing in the way of new tech

Given all these benefits for consumers, it seems likely that more people would be using mobile payments if more businesses offered the option. Consumers are expecting to use mobile payment methods more in the future–will merchants hold them back?

If your small business uses modern point-of-sale terminals like the Clover system, you already have the capacity to accept Apple Pay. Most already have the capacity to accept contactless payments, and the back-end processing software to make adoption of mobile payments virtually seamless. And if you’re a Clover partner, we’ve got staff ready to advise you on how to train your staff through the transition.

Why not position your business as an early adopter of mobile payment technology? It’s a way to offer added convenience to some of your most desirable customers, and demonstrate that your business is ahead of the curve. And if you’re with Clover, adoption will be easier than you think.

[image: Apple Watch – Apple Pay by Shinya Suzuki on flickr]