June 24, 2013

U.S. consumers spent over $500 million through mobile wallets on their smartphones last year. While this is miniscule as compared to the overall merchant services industry, where trillions of dollars that are spent annually through plastic credit and debit cards, it does signal a growing trend in the industry. Mobile wallet apps have experienced slow adoption rates in the U.S. but are projected to grow. According to Berg Insight, the industry could reach $35 billion annually by 2017.

While this figure still is just a fraction of the overall payment processing industry, it is a technology that as consumers adopt they will start to expect the infrastructure in any store they wish to spend money in. This presents a problem for small-businesses. For one, the physical machines can be expensive and require complicated installation. Some systems might not integrate into existing POS terminals at all. In addition to the implementation hurdles, policies must be formed to train staff on the procedures of actually taking a payment.

A short time ago, HMS announced a partnership with Barclays US to get the word out about the bPay mobile wallet initiative. bPay is a mobile wallet that has been initially rolled out in the Wilmington and Newark areas of Delaware. In the initial rollout, Host and bPay are looking for small and medium-sized businesses that are interested in being setup to take payments via the customer’s smartphone and a QR code that is presented on the POS system. In addition to the time savings offered, the platform also supports mobile marketing features such as SMS text and in app advertising.

Some merchants wonder why they should implement a solution like this if taking plastic cards isn’t broken. The answer is that in reality, the consumer is king. And because of stores like Starbucks, which has a mobile wallet integrated into their mobile app, paying with your smartphone is creeping into mainstream culture. As the industry continues to grow consumers will want to buy more than just coffee on their iPhone. Forward thinking merchants that want to stay ahead of the curve should look to implement a solution now as to not fall behind.

Businesses that are interested in learning more about getting setup to accept bPay transactions should give our payment experts a call at 877-517-4678 today!

Categories: Industry News

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