Industry estimates reveal that nearly 62 million people in the US use their mobile phones to make payments. Though the US has been relatively slower than countries such as China in adopting this method of payment, things are changing fast. Retailers, the hospitality, travel and food industries, and others have embraced this technology in a big way and the flood-gates are opening.
Your small business needs to be in sync with this payment method. Otherwise you could lose customers rapidly, damage your brand, and be left out in the cold. Charge.com is a leading service provider that offers cutting-edge mobile card processing solutions compatible with smartphones on a variety of devices and OS.
How Do Phone Payments Work?
If you’re planning to accept payments over the phone for your small business, you need to keep yourself well informed about the entire process. These are secure, fast and convenient payment methods that are also becoming increasingly popular because they’re in-person and give customers more control and satisfaction.
There are different systems available. Some of them need you to have your phone close to the payment-receiving device, using a technology called NFC (near field communication). Other systems use the Internet. Payment systems fall under several categories:
- Regular transactions: You can make payments across any location, based on an app. Your bank account may be directly debited or you can load funds in a “mobile wallet” that is replenished regularly.
- POS: Point of sale payments are made at the payment location where you can tap your phone on the card-reader or use an app to make payments.
- Closed-Loop: are company-specific processes that are tied to the services offered.
- Carrier-enabled payments: Some cellphone service providers may offer payment capabilities on the phone that are charged to the customer only when the next phone bill comes up for payment.
- Mobile card-reader: This method uses the merchant’s mobile phone and still requires the customer’s card to be present. You can offer your customers your phone or tablet to use along with a small hand-held device which plugs into the phone or tablet to enable payments.
There are several apps available across different app store platforms and many new smartphones come with the payment feature built-in on the device.
Pros and Cons
Some of the big benefits of phone payments include:
- Security and reduced risk of fraud
- Speed and Ease
- Single-device convenience
- Risk-free travel and physical security
- Allows businesses to offer customer-loyalty programs/discounts
- Improved inventory tracking for small businesses
For more information on whether your small business can accept payments over the phone, to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.