Payment processes have adjusted to an economy greatly influenced by technologies. We are increasingly processing payments with new technologies that are replacing traditional methods, like paying in cash. Technologies, such as prepaid cards, e-wallets, and mobile phones are changing the way we handle our transactions.
This being said, most mobile vendors are still not equipped with these types of technologies. This is notably the case of vendors in public markets and fairs, delivery carriers and food trucks. Customers appreciate having different payment options because they don’t want to have to carry cash or have to look for automatic teller machines (ATM). They want their experience to be easy, quick and enjoyable. For this reason, customers have been putting pressure on businesses to offer more payment options.
So, why aren’t mobile vendors making the jump? The reason is simple: many worry that making the switch involves an important investment in new equipment. But did you know that several payment technologies are low-cost and don’t require new POS terminals or equipment?
This blog post will list the different payment solutions available for mobile vendors and explain the benefits of each.
Mobile vendors can choose from many solutions available to offer payment solutions adapted to their customers’ needs. One of these solutions is mobile payments. To learn more about the different types of mobile payments, read our blog post Mobile Payment Terms and Concepts Explained.
During a mobile transaction, the payment system needs to communicate with the mobile devices that are processing the transaction. They can communicate wirelessly through a Bluetooth connection. Mobile devices can also be connected by a cable to a cell phone to use the cell phone’s wireless network.
There are many magnetic card readers available that can connect to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. These small readers can read magnetic bank cards just like traditional card readers do. Vendors that use this type of payment don't need a POS terminal to accept bank card payments.
Some readers can process both contact and contactless payments. These readers communicate with mobile devices through Bluetooth and can be paired with a smartphone to create wireless communication. Bluetooth ranges from 10 to 100 meters and varies depending on the device. You don’t need to connect the payment terminal with a cable to your smartphone, but you can still use a smartphone’s data.
Near-field communication (NFC) and radio-frequency identification (RFID) are types of wireless payment technologies. The range of these readers is limited to just a few centimeters so they don't accidentally connect with other nearby cards or devices. This type of technology works when customers place their bank cards or their smartphones over a reader.
Some readers feature NIP keypads that are connected by Bluetooth to a mobile device.
Mobile vendors use short-range wireless readers when they need to bring their POS terminals to clients. Vendors that use this technology often include merchants in exhibition centers or markets. The payment system communicates via Bluetooth with a mobile device that is connected to a cell phone for data connection. Customers can pay with bank cards or their smartphones because the payment terminal is equipped with NFC.
To understand how NFC equipped terminals and bluetooth works, read our blog post Mobile Payments: How Do They Work?
The customer experience is greatly improved since customers can choose the type of payment that is best suited for their needs. Sales operations for vendors are more simple and manageable since there is no need to exchange cash.
Long-range terminals include terminals that use a mobile network. These terminals are equipped with integrated SIM cards. Unlike terminals that need to connect to a mobile device, these terminals connect directly to a mobile 3G network making them easier to maneuver.
The majority of these terminals are compatible with different types of magnetic cards, chip cards and contactless payments.
Long-range terminals are used by mobile vendors that need to bring POS terminals to their clients. This type of technology is convenient for delivery businesses, such as taxis and food delivery services. It is also great for mobile vendors that participate in various fairs and markets.
Long-range payment terminals enhance the customer experience by allowing customers to pay remotely with the payment method of their choice. Whether the payment is processed at the customer's door, in a taxi, at a festival, or a sporting event, the customer has different payment options. The transaction is also quicker, especially with the contactless method.
By accepting different types of payments, the vendor modernizes and simplifies payment operations at the point-of-sale. There is less cash to manage and transactions more quickly processed.
A QR code is a 2D barcode made-up of black and white squares.
QR code payments can be processed by scanning a QR code generated by a vendor by taking a picture of the code with the integrated camera in a smartphone.
Vendors need to download a QR code generator app. Customers must download a QR code payment app and refill their accounts by linking them to personal bank cards.
This type of payment is easy to use and cost-effective for the vendors, yet it is not widely popular in North America. You can find this type of payment in stores that are pairing it with a loyalty account, such as Starbucks.
To learn more on QR code apps, read our blog post Mobile Payments: How Do They Work?
Mobile SMS payments are processed when a good or service is purchased through text message. These text messages can be sent from a mobile phone, tablet or computer. This payment method can be processed remotely and is available for all smartphones.
The vendor sends a text message (SMS) to his customer with the invoice. The customer then receives a clickable link that leads to an online payment form. The customer can then remotely process the payment by simply filling the form. One the payment has been processed, the customer will receive a notification confirming the transaction went through. The confirmation may also include the transaction receipt.
Managing a mobile SMS payment does not require any investment in equipment. Vendors will likely, however, need to pay a fixed or variable fee for the text messaging platform. Customers need to enter their payment information, whether it be with a credit card, an e-wallet, or another type of payment.
This payment method is simple, easy to use and efficient for both parties. For one, SMS payments are easily available for all smartphones. These payments are usually sent through a text messaging platform that provides businesses with the ability to have one-on-one conversations with their customers and send personalized offers based on preferences and past events.
Are mobile payment solutions adapted to your business needs? Try our calculator to find out: which mobile payment solution is right for you.
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