Some might argue that mobile wallets have struggled to gain traction with consumers, but the latest numbers suggest the technology is starting to catch hold. More and more consumers are purchasing smartphones equipped with mobile wallet capabilities, which make the service accessible to the mainstream instead of a niche of tech-savvy consumers.
Recent figures show that mainstream consumers are adopting the mobile technology quickly. A report at Fierce Wireless noted that the mobile payment venture Isis experienced a 30-day period in which they activated more than 20,000 new accounts every day.
Not only are mobile wallet applications now available across a broader base of devices, but those apps are more commonly coming pre-installed. The growing acceptance among consumers is just one of several benefits merchants can experience when opening their checkout lines to mobile wallets. This technology presents several additional key opportunities for small businesses.
Lower Transaction Processing Fees
Credit card processing fees represent additional charges that can cripple small businesses. Some businesses have to refuse plastic to protect against the high upcharge on credit card transactions. While the occasional business can get away with these practices depending on their consumer base and their popularity, most risk losing customers by enforcing such stringent rules.
Mobile wallets can change that system. When merchants are equipped with point-of-sale systems that accommodate consumers' mobile wallets, they can utilize credit card transaction systems that cost only a fraction of what traditional card-processing systems charge, according to the Wall Street Journal. They report that the processing fees depend on the wallet app that the consumer is using. As a result, profit margins can widen as small businesses maintain competitive prices.
A Seamless, Enjoyable Checkout Process
With so much trial-and-error going into the evolution of mobile wallets, today's solutions aren't just functional, they're optimized to serve customers in the best way possible. Business News Daily reports that purchasing processes are streamlined to cut down on the length of a transaction. This improves the customer experience while helping merchants serve those customers faster. Customers often have more payment methods available to them, which helps them walk away satisfied with their experience and eager to come back.
Appealing to a Broader Consumer Base
Small businesses can distinguish themselves among their competitors by staying ahead of the curve in customer solutions. If a small business does accommodate tech-savvy consumers that prefer utilizing mobile payment technology, that business could end up building a reputation for being a forward-thinking enterprise. That reputation could ultimately expand the brand's visibility among a broader consumer base that includes tech-friendly shoppers.
The business wouldn't miss out on any other customers because traditional payments would still be accepted, but the mobile payment technology could open doors among certain pockets of the consumer base. Given the incentives, businesses have a great opportunity if they choose to become early adopters of mobile payments.