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Chasing the New: Frontiers in Mobile Payments

Way back in 2012, almost 65% of respondents to a Pew Research study felt that by 2020, mobile payments would have replaced cash and cards as the dominant source of payments. As we quickly approach 2020, it’s certainly not looking to have been that far-fetched of a guess. It would be interesting to see what the numbers to the same poll would yield as we enter 2018.

Progress isn’t letting up. Square, which broke just under a decade ago, is beginning to feel a little dated, and has even begun to diversify with the service mash-up with SnapChat – Snapcash – for which it does the payment processing. Still other companies move into the point of sale game, hoping to offer the best mobile POS system, and many retailers find themselves just trying to get the basics, and make sure they aren’t buying a POS terminal that will be outdated soon.

Beyond NFC

The big guns behind NFC payments, Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay, have been doing their best to up adoption rates for the convenient contactless technology. There are still other technologies out there that are doing their part to push innovation beyond the card.

QR Codes

You’ve seen these everywhere, from movie posters to potato chips, but these information-packed black and white squares are useful for more than just driving traffic to a website. Though they’ve been around since the 90s, QR for payments is still a relatively new concept, but one that is gaining traction fast. It makes it easy for a customer to simply pull up a QR code on their phone, which is then scanned by the merchant. The process can, however, go the other way. As consumer sentiment continues to grow for the codes, we’ll see if a clear leader emerges.

iBeacon

The novel technology developed by Apple is still in the early stages of being implemented in the real world, even though it came on the scene a few years ago. Comparable to NFC, but with a much wider reach, stores become able to communicate with your mobile device when you get in proximity to a store’s transmitter. Time will tell whether the technology really takes off, though; if done wrong, it has the potential to be nothing more than a major annoyance that alienates customers. This slightly comical IKEA ad explains it all: “eat cake now!” Still, it’s worth taking note of. More than payments, iBeacon tech really seems to shine for coupons and in-store promotions, although payments may have a place in there, too.

All this gives retailers plenty to think about. If you’re just making sure your bases are covered, and if you’re looking for the best mobile POS system available, reach out to Moolah. Our partnership with Poynt makes it possible for us to keep you up-to-date with a Smart Terminal for free. How’s that for path breaking?