I’ll be the first to admit – being able to pay for things with my cell phone still boggles my mind a little bit. Just a little. But mobile payment is becoming a huge trend, and rightfully so. It’s easy, convenient, and relatively low cost. Small businesses in particular have benefited hugely from the advent of mobile payment capability.
In the past, the ability to take credit cards has been a pretty big cost to businesses. Some businesses are cash only, due to the cost of taking cards. This has affected small businesses in particular, because credit cards fees would put the business in the red. Taking cash only may drive down sales as well (because fewer and fewer people are willing to deal in cash when other options are more convenient).
Another obstacle to traditional credit card machines – mobility. Many newer small businesses are mobile – think food trucks or art galleries. Having the ability to take payment via mobile device is beyond convenient.
There are tons of services that now offer the ability to pay with a mobile device – be it making a payment or taking one. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, here are some popular apps and services that offer this capability:
– Square is one of the original services to begin offering the ability to take mobile payments. Square is one of the simplest mobile payment services to use. They do not charge a monthly fee, but rather a transaction fee of 2.75 percent per sale. While this might be a little steep, Square is perfect for occasional users. Square also sends the actual card reader (a little square – get it? – that fits into the headphone jack of your device) for free.
– Pay Pal is one of the most popular online payment services. Some websites actually relegate their customers to only paying via PayPal, or use the company as their preferred way to pay (think Ebay or Etsy). PayPal has jumped on the mobile payment bandwagon. You can order their payment taking device, or you can simply transfer money to another PayPal account via the mobile app.
And a shoutout to my favorite business that takes payment via mobile device –
– The Starbucks app offers a much easier way to pay. Using their app, the barista scans your phone and your drink is paid for. You must register a Starbucks gift card in order to use the app, but once you have done that, the app offers several ways to reload your card on the go. I’m guilty of ordering in the drive-thru and then reloading my card while I wait in line. It’s so easy!
Mobile payment can be an awesome option for all kinds of small businesses. The impact of accepting mobile payments can be a revenue booster for your business. Paying via mobile is also something that you can look into as a consumer, as well!
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.