It is clear that mobile payments are important to customers, but something is happening in the industry that is worth noting. For some time, this form of payment was on the rise, but the growth rate has slowed down a bit.
Now, no one is saying this method of payment is going away. At the moment, US consumers are spending billions using virtual or mobile wallets, so the question is whether or not this form of payment has reached its limit, or is it going to pick up again?
The Love and Hate Retailer Relationship
The reality is a number of small businesses have adopted technologies they can connect to their cash registers to process not only mobile payments but also other forms of payments, such as chip payments.
The Poster iPad POS is one such technology that is it making it easier for small businesses to accommodate clients who want to use mobile wallets to pay.
The problem for mobile wallets is that some retailers also present a few challenges. One is there is a large number of retailers that are not making the switch and are sticking to a cash-only model. This level of uncertainty could make people who only want to use mobile wallets a bit leery about doing so because their money won’t be accepted everywhere.
Another challenge facing mobile payment software is that retailers are stepping up their game. Some have created retailer-based apps that customers can use to load up cash and use like they would a regular mobile wallet. Many customers have taken this bait and have definitely created competition against a new form of payment that is still in its infancy.
Huge mobile wallet companies like Apple are paying attention to how the industry is reacting to some of these challenges. The company has estimated that their customers have spent $88 billion this year, and while that number is big, it still represents a drop in growth rate.
Willingness Could Also be a Problem
There was a time when Apple and Android thought that mobile payments were going to replace plastic cards. All the signs were pointing in the right direction, and the incredible growth these companies and many more saw when they first launched some of these cards made them believe there was a revolution coming.
There are some who believe this revolution is still coming and that the industry has just slowed down for a moment, but there is still something important to point out: the willingness to change.
The truth is there are a lot of smartphone owners out there. The number of owners is just incredible, yet only a fraction of them use their smartphones as a mobile wallet. Sometimes, these individuals do not even install the app that would allow them to make mobile payments easily.
Companies betting on this industry have noticed that even though most phones can accommodate their business, most people are simply not making the switch. This is on top of retailers who have the technology but are not making the switch either.
Another issue that may be holding back growth is underdeveloped countries. These regions are a little complex to understand. Many of the people here do not have access to banks, so much of the population is switching to mobile wallets in order to get paid or to make payments online. This is helping the industry, but the problem is that several businesses within these regions have not made the switch towards accepting these more modern forms of payment.
This means people who travel are still quite scared to depend solely on mobile wallets. Some individuals still have to make an effort to have debit cards, credit cards, and cash while traveling.
Smart or mobile wallet-based companies need to take all of this into consideration, and find ways to motivate people. One of the most effective ways to do this is to ensure that more retailers adopt these forms of payment.
Perhaps some of these companies can invest in ensuring that more regions around the world are connected to the internet, which is vital for this revolution to continue to grow. Some countries are adopting the idea of providing wi-fi to all citizens as radio waves are provided. This is just one idea though there are many more to consider.