How To Accept Mobile Payments for Your Business in 5 Easy Steps
There are now more mobile devices in the world than there are people, according to GSMA, and consumers are more comfortable with payment systems likeApple Pay and Android Pay every day. In an age where large data breaches are announced weekly, customers may become less trustful of companies who store personal information like credit card numbers, and are quickly moving to mobile payment options.
Also increasing are the number of businesses using mobile devices in place of more complex, often more expensive point-of-sale (POS) systems. Whether your company is interested in accepting payments from mobile devices, or processing payments through one, here are some easy steps to ensure a successful implementation.
1. Consider Mobile Card Readers
If you are just opening your business, or considering a point-of-sale system overhaul, mobile card readers are an easy way to get up in running with little cost and training. These are small credit card reading devices that connect to a mobile phone with the necessary apps to allow businesses to accept credit cards. You may have seen these devices at farmers’ markets, mall kiosks and other businesses, but even more established businesses are getting into the game.
One of the more popular systems, Square, offers a POS dock for iPads to create a register-like experience, in addition to their mobile phone device. Both PayPal and Intuit both offer card readers that tie into their other business services. Consider what business services you may already use that offer mobile card readers, and what needs you may have for one.
Mobile Card Readers often have simplified fee schedules compared to merchant account providers, but may charge higher percentages. Businesses should compare costs across multiple credit card readers and merchant account providers to find the lowest fees for their businesses.
2. Understand the Technology for Mobile Payment
The standard that allows for services like Apple Pay is called NFC, or Near Field Communication. It is a system that allows for devices to establish radio communication when touching. You may have seen mobile phones and watches that allow users to touch a credit card reader instead of swiping it. This is to establish the connection to transmit the information from the mobile device to the reader.
Apple Pay and Android Pay actually transmit a “token” of data, instead of the credit card number. This creates an added layer of security for users and prevents possible fraudulent activity as your credit card is never even seen by the retailer.
Furthermore, credit card numbers and transaction histories are not held on Apple or Android servers, preventing data breaches or other malicious activity from reveling your sensitive data. Basically, consumers and retailers both can benefit from the high level of security from mobile payments.
3. Upgrade Your Credit Card Terminal or PIN pad.
If you have dated credit card processing hardware—the terminal and PIN pad—it may be time to upgrade. Not only should machines be upgraded to be compatible with NFC mobile payment standards, but also with more traditional payment systems like EMV chip credit cards. Many payment systems now offer both mobile payment through NFC, and EMV chip credit card reading, in addition to the more traditional magnetic strip reader.
New PIN pads will give purchasers added payment options and can help improve the perception of your business as one with multiple options for payment, as well as one that can accept modern payment forms. But make sure that the new technologies are compatible with your POS systems and registers. Speak with your merchant account rep about acquiring new hardware and the costs.
4. Train Your Staff.
With new technology, any sales force needs added training. Some retailers offer NFC and EMV hardware, but do not yet support it from the back end. Well-trained employees will be on the lookout for customers attempting to use technology not yet activated for use.
Furthermore, your staff needs to be familiar with not only the new PIN pads and payment systems, but also have a working understanding of the customer’s technology. For customers new to using mobile payment, they may be unsure about which apps need to be running, or which screen they need to have it on to activate payment. A helpful employee not only makes the process smoother, reducing potential embarrassment for the customer, but also provides for a better customer experience.
Restaurants with drive-through windows may need to be extra careful with how phones are handled. If phones are dropped, and damage occurs, that can be an extremely unsettling customer experience. Perhaps consider mounting payment hardware on the exterior of the building or mobile PIN pads that can be attached to long cables to be handed to the customer.
5. Let the World Know!
Once you have decided which types of payment you’ll accept, acquired the necessary hardware and trained employees, it’s time to let your customers know about the new payment options. Many merchants will offer credit card logo decals for your entry door or around the establishment. Some offer Apple Pay, Android Pay, Square and other payment forms on the decal as well.
This helps to let current customers know that new payment options are accepted, and also may attract new customers who might consider your business an easier alternative to others who do not yet accept additional payment options.