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Q&A: The future of mobile payments, 2018 and beyond

January 16, 2018

Q: Why sell mobile solutions?

A: The future is mobile, especially for SMB retailers. According to “Global Mobile Payment Market 2017–2021” research conducted by ReportsandReports, the global mobile payment industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 35.55% between 2017 and 2021. There are few opportunities for solution providers as big as mobile payments over the next few years.

Q: What are some cutting-edge applications for mobile payments?

A: Anything handheld, whether a tablet-based payment dongle add-on or a wireless mobile payment terminal, that can be used for line busting applications. We see Verizon using tablets to interact with customers the moment they walk into the store. The tablets can be used to queue customers, look up account information, check inventory and accept payments.

[During the recent holiday season] we also saw retailers like Old Navy and Bath & Body Works use mobile devices to perform mobile checkout for line-busting. Items can be scanned, payment made and a receipt is printed on receipt printers placed strategically in the store. Chick-fil-A also uses tablets and mobile payment terminals during busy times to shorten the wait both in-restaurant and in the drive-thru lane.

Q: You cited large retailers and restaurants in your examples. Can this functionality be brought to smaller customers?

A: Absolutely. We’ve seen the increased adoption of tablet-based POS systems among mom and pop stores. In some cases, the tablets are fixed to the counter, but in others the devices are mobile, allowing the retailer to take payments anywhere in the store.

Q: What are some common mistakes to avoid when selling mobile payment devices?

A: If you give employees the ability to interact with the customers anywhere in the store, it’s critical that the mobile device has stable and secure access to Wi-Fi. All too often, solution providers fail to properly survey the network and floor plan to determine if the Wi-Fi is adequate to support mobile devices. With customer engagement and experience being critical today among retailers and restauranteurs, not being able to complete a transaction or access information on the device is embarrassing and can actually be a step backward in service.