As a savvy and highly motivated business operator who wants to stay ahead of your competitors in this cutthroat market, you have designed a compelling app that your customers can use to view your products and services. Not only does it act as a technology-based ambassador for your business, but it can also be set up to provide shoppers with a safe and secure way to pay for your products. But just how do you go about choosing a mobile payment system that complies with security standards, meets your buyers’ needs, and doesn’t break the bank?
The main types of mobile payment systems.
One size definitely does not fit all when it comes to mobile payments. The following are some of the most popular.
Mobile point of sale (mPOS) solutions.
Also known as mobile wallets, these systems use the payment information that customers pre-load into their smartphones or wearable devices. These details may also be embedded into a “smart” credit card. Using tap-and-go technology such as near-field communication (NFC), this system allows customers to pay without making physical contact with a credit card reader. Data is thoroughly encrypted and tokenized with a single-use code to prevent fraud in the event of a data breach.
Mobile payment platforms.
This option connects your customer to a secure, online payment system where the transaction can be completed. PayPal is a frequently used example of this model.
Starbucks made this model famous, allowing its customers to pay on the company’s customized platform in tandem with a proprietary app downloaded onto their smartphones. Funds can be loaded directly into the app, which also tracks loyalty points and allows you to offer other promotions.
How do mobile payments work with your app?
Incorporating mobile payments into your app involves more than just adding a few lines of code. The first step is to understand how they work.
- Your customer selects an item for purchase.
- They enter their payment information into your payment form, which is sent to your payment gateway.
- The gateway acts as an intermediary between you and the payment processor that securely facilitates all aspects of the transaction.
- If your app is used to accept direct payments from customers, you will need a payment solution that integrates well with ecommerce.
- On the other hand, if your app is downloaded by businesses to take payments from their customers, you will need to focus on online bill pay, invoice-based billing, subscriptions, and virtual payments.
Which mobile payment solution is right for your business?
Keeping all of these elements straight can be quite a challenge, particularly if the intricacies of programming code and web page development are not your strong suits. Fortunately, determining which solution is best for your company does not need to be overwhelming. Keep the following considerations in mind:
- You don’t need to figure everything out on your own. Although it is easy to feel isolated as a business owner, you have a large community of kindred spirits who are probably asking the same questions that are going through your mind. Take advantage of networking opportunities, both in-person and online, to connect to your peers. You don’t always need to reinvent the wheel.
- Think about the current and future scope of your company. If you are tiny now but have every reason to believe, based on analytics and other tangible evidence, that you’ll be getting much bigger, you might want to go with a mobile payments provider that offers more bells and whistles. Just be careful not to overspend, and don’t trap yourself in contracts that you may have to break at great cost to you.
- Think about your customers. Are they early adopters who love technology and are eager to embrace new ways to purchase items? Or are they conservative and cautious, unwilling to risk potential security lapses just to pay using a shiny new payment option? The partner and solutions you ultimately choose may hinge on your customers’ comfort level.
- Focus on ease-of-use. If buyers become frustrated with the complexity of your payments system, they will almost certainly abandon their potential purchases. In fact, you may never see them again. Just as your website needs to be as clutter-free and easy-to-navigate as possible, so too should the vehicle that you use to transact buyers’ payments. When in doubt, conduct some real-life tests. Ask people you trust to attempt to make purchases on your site using the solution you have chosen. Their honest feedback can help you to gauge if your current payments partner and its offerings are your best choice.
- Don’t neglect security considerations. Any payments technology company you choose should be able to demonstrate that its systems and platforms comply with the data security standards set forth by the payment card industry (PCI DSS). If a vendor is not PCI-compliant, you could be held liable for any identity theft or otherwise fraudulent behavior that compromises your customers’ credit card data.
These days, incorporating an app into your business model is highly advisable. Putting this decision into practice will enable you to attract, cultivate, and retain a whole new segment of tech-savvy buyers. Just be sure that the secure payments strategy you adopt is a good fit with their needs and buying behaviors.