Enhancing the customer experience using mobile payment options

Current mobile consumer usage trends include a growing demand for mobile payment options. Small businesses can capitalize on a number of payment apps that enhance the user experience and, ultimately, increase sales.

Today’s shoppers are looking for a more comprehensive mobile payment platform. According to a recent study by Latitude Research, 80% of participants say they’d be interested in a “mobile wallet”—particularly if it enabled them to skip on carrying cash or credit cards entirely.

This is a growing market. A report by Gartner, predicts that global mobile transaction volume and value will average 42 percent annual growth between 2011 and 2016, forecasting a market worth $617 billion with 448 million users by 2016.

Starbucks has been a leader in enhancing customer relations through mobile apps, first offering the mobile Starbucks card then partnering with Square to allow customers to charge all credit and debit transactions through their smartphones at over 7,000 U.S. stores.

In addition to Square, a number of companies are offering mobile payment solutions, including PayPal and PayAnywhere (one of the latest players rolling out a huge advertising campaign this past November). And if you are looking for a credit card reader and app that is compatible with Quickbooks and offers an option for online processing, then check out Intuit’s GoPayment. (It also advertises a lower 1.75% transaction fee, compared to Square’s and PayPal’s 2.75% fee per swipe.)

Cash registers and wallets, of course, are not yet obsolete, but the low cost of offering mobile payment options makes it easy for small businesses to compete on a level playing field with even the largest companies by enhancing the customer experience with an easy way to pay.