• article
28/03/2024

Integrating Mobile Payment Solutions into Your Retail Business

The rising importance of mobile payments in today’s retail landscape is increasing because of the benefits they offer to customers and businesses.

Dorota Jasińska

Content Specialist

Szymon Hanzel

Head of Mobile

The evolution of payments has changed over the years as they adjusted to the needs of commerce and customers. The rise of e-commerce in the 90s was linked to the necessity of developing online payments and digital payment systems. In time, customers could use mobile wallets, contactless payments, etc. Moreover, the pandemic contributed to the popularity of touchless payment options.

In 2023 over 25% of customers used mobile payments, and 43.2% of US smartphone owners embraced this method, including 43.9 million Apple Pay users. According to experts, the trend is growing, and soon over ⅓ of the population will use mobile payments.

The rising importance of mobile payments in today’s retail landscape is rising due to the benefits they offer. These include convenience, security, and speed. Mobile payments greatly simplify the shopping experience with fast and safe transactions. Moreover, they utilize advanced security measures such as encryption and tokenization to protect customer data. The efficiency of mobile payments, along with the security and speed of transactions, is proof that the market will keep growing.

Benefits of integrating mobile payment solutions

The retail sector can benefit on many levels from integrating mobile payments. Both merchants and customers may take advantage of the efficiency and safety of this payment solution.

Convenience and efficiency

Mobile payments streamline the checkout process for customers by making it faster, easier, and more convenient. They no longer need to carry physical credit cards or cash. In the case of businesses, a more convenient checkout process translates into potentially higher revenue as more customers would complete the payment.
Enhanced security

Thanks to advanced security technologies, such as tokenization that secures payment information and data encryption, the risk of data breaches and fraud decreases. This way, customers and merchants can safely and securely use these payment methods.

Improved cash flow

As mobile payments make it possible to process payments faster than traditional methods, it results in improved cash flow. Businesses can excess funds quicker and manage their expenses more efficiently.

Increased revenue

As mobile payments increase the efficiency of the checkout process and are much faster compared to traditional payment methods, it can result in increased transaction rate. Customers, who have access to convenient payment methods, such as mobile payments, are more likely to finalize their purchase thanks to the simplicity of the payment process.

Valuable data and insights

Businesses that decide to integrate mobile payments can take advantage of the data they collect. They can analyze transactions which could provide valuable insights into customer behavior, spending patterns, and preferences. This allows for adjusting the offer and marketing strategies to influence the buyers.

Competitive advantage

Adding new, innovative payment methods gives the business the advantage over its competitors who haven’t implemented such an option. This may bring more buyers to the business that offers a more convenient payment option with proper security. Moreover, it signals the business is modern and customer-focused.

Global reach

Mobile payments, unlike traditional banking, are not limited by geographic boundaries. That’s why selling internationally is much easier and helps reach new markets and buyers. This may significantly expand the business reach and impact the sales numbers.

Mobile payment technologies and types

There are a few mobile payment methods that allow quick account-to-account transfers. They use different technologies, such as NFC or RFID. There are also third-party providers who help process mobile payments, e.g., Apple Pay.

NFC (Near Field Communication)

NFC enables short-range wireless connectivity. With NFC, a device, like a smartwatch or mobile phone, can carry out a fast and secure transaction within a few centimeters. Near Field Communication operates based on two-way interactions between devices to transfer money and exchange data. Such transactions are safeguarded with various security protocols.

RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification)

RFID uses electromagnetic fields to find and track object tags, and it doesn’t need a direct line of sight. This technology is used in credit cards with contactless payment options, such as MasterCard’s PayPass and Visa’s payWave. The RFID chip in the card relies on radio frequency energy transferred from a payment terminal to the card.

Mobile payment apps and mobile wallets

Mobile payment apps, like Google Pay, PayPal, Venmo, etc., make it possible to complete transfers between a buyer and a business or seller directly from a mobile device. Customers can link their bank account or credit card to the app to easily access the payment method or funds. These apps also include an additional layer of security, such as biometric authentication.

QR codes

QR (quick response) codes are another mobile payment method that allows customers to scan a QR code which is decoded by a software application. After processing the data from the code, the phone can open a browser link to confirm the payment information. They can also be used for peer-to-peer payments. The implementation of QR codes in payments requires an extra layer of security. This is because the QR code is an image anyone can scan and the info it includes should be encrypted.

Integrating mobile payments

Integrating mobile payments into a retail business requires a few steps and proper preparation. These include an in-depth assessment of the business needs and possibilities in terms of potential integration. It’s pivotal to understand the expectations of customers and check if they can be met.

Evaluation of needs and options

First, the business owner has to know the needs of the business itself and the customers. Researching different mobile payment systems and providers is the first step on the list. What needs to be checked? The compatibility with the business’s point-of-sale (POS) systems is one element. The next are security features and supported payment methods by the system or provider.

There are many mobile payment solutions available, like mobile wallets and third-party payment gateways. It’s crucial to determine factors like security, compatibility with the retail platform, and cost of the service.

Choosing the best solution

Once the needs and possibilities are known, it’s best to find a single-source provider that offers complex services that can cover the whole payment process. This includes the steps from POS to payment processing. This way, the business can easily contact one provider and save time when solving any potential problems.

It’s also important to make sure that the chosen provider offers end-to-end security for transactions. The payment information must be protected at every step of the payment process. This includes encryption and tokenization of transmitted data, two-factor authentication, etc.

Another aspect to consider is the needs of the business in terms of online transactions. The business needs to identify the types of transactions, necessary frameworks for integration, specific features, setup and transaction fees, and multi-currency support.

Platform integration

Once the possibilities of the retail platform are known, the business should be able to easily integrate the payment gateway with the POS system or any other application used. After selecting the provider, the retailer needs to set up a merchant account. This is necessary for processing online payments.

Then, when formalities are completed, it’s crucial to obtain API credentials that enable secure communication with the payment gateway during transactions. The API key makes it possible to connect to the payment gateway. This may require some coding skills.

Before launching the new payment methods, the gateway needs to be tested. Payment providers include an option of the sandbox setup for test payments that can be carried out before the launch.

Details about payment gateways and their integration have been discussed here.

Possible challenges

Even though payment providers offer fast and easy setup of their payment gateways, retail businesses can still encounter some problems before or after the integration.

Technical difficulties

Some retailers may struggle with the integration of mobile payment solutions with their systems. This may include compatibility issues between payment platforms or other problems. In some cases, the integration may be too complex to complete without the help of an agent, or even impossible due to the retailer’s infrastructure.

Security concerns

Although payment providers should include end-to-end security for all transactions, the risk of potential fraud or security breaches is still present. It’s important to ensure the systems are secure and are able to detect and prevent fraud.

Customer service

One of the issues the retailers may encounter is non-responsive customer support. It’s very important to find a reliable provider who can deal with any problems and reports as soon as possible to fix issues in transaction processing. If such problems are not handled in a timely manner, it may lead to lost sales or customer dissatisfaction.

Complex costs

The use of a payment gateway includes not only the integration cost but also other expenses. These include setup fees, transaction fees, monthly charges, and any other fees connected to maintenance or currency conversion. The retailer must be aware of all of them. That’s why it’s essential to find a provider that fits the business budget.

Future of mobile payments in retail

Taking into account the growing tendency of customers to use mobile payments, the trend will keep growing. The popularity of digital wallets is expected to grow in the number of users all over the world to reach 4.8 billion by 2025. This trend is especially visible in developing nations, as more and more people use mobile wallets as their preferred payment method. The popularity may be due to the fact that the app is easy to download and use for both online and in-person purchases.

The convenience and safety of contactless payment methods also influenced the increase in the trend. The use of tap-to-pay, QR codes, and similar payment methods is increasing. This payment method is present almost everywhere and it will likely keep being used by more and more people and businesses.

Another developing trend is the buy now, pay later payment option. Its value is expected to grow by nearly $450 billion by 2026. This payment option offers flexible interest-free purchases without straining one’s budget. BNPL is especially popular among young people.

Conclusion

Integrating mobile payment solutions into retail businesses may bring a lot of benefits. Starting with improved customer experience, safe transactions, and increased sales, it is no wonder that more and more businesses implement such payment options. Faster payments and a streamlined purchase process are also great arguments for integrating mobile payments.

It may be a strategic decision for the company that would bring a lot of profit and increase customer loyalty. It’s important to take into consideration the challenges of such implementation, including technical difficulties and costs. It’s also pivotal to find a proper provider who can deliver the best quality of services.

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