In 2012, the volume of mobile payments made globally was $163.1 billion. By 2017, this number is forecasted to grow to $21.4 billion. Consumers are starting to use the “bank in their pocket” more often. As these numbers show, mobile payments are really coming into their own at the present – and will only get stronger in 2016 and 2017. Capture as many sales as possible, and compete in your niche, by using our 6 steps to optimize mobile payments.

1. Know your options – There are many ways that people can pay with a mobile device. To implement mobile payments in an effective manner, you must know what options your customers want. It may help to see what other retailers near your business are offering for mobile payments as they have identified what their customers want (or use), then look for a mobile payment facilitator that supports preferred payment methods.

2. Understand how mobile payments work – Whether you want to make a mobile payment yourself or educate your staff on “how it all works,” it’s important to know the details. There is a misconception that a customer’s credit card number is transferred each time he or she makes a mobile payment. As a result, people may be afraid to make mobile payments for fear of being hacked. This is not true. Payment systems use a tokenized payment process and never transmit a credit card number as a result. Our ProtectPay® service also encrypts customer data, adding another layer of protection.

3. Invest in the portable technology – Mobile payments are ideal for “anytime, anywhere” purchases where consumers might not have their wallets or cash on hand. If you plan to attend craft fairs, festivals, or markets, then you need a mobile payment processor that can travel with you. ProPay’s portable technology helps you do this easily.

4. Advertise it – Once you are up to speed on mobile payments, have all the tools you need to get started, train staff on how to use the mobile payment system and advertise it in the store. Print out signs for all cash registers that say you take mobile payments and state what types of payments you accept. When customers know you accept mobile payments, they will be more likely to pay this way.

5. Incorporate loyalty and gift cards – If you have a business loyalty card, you can incorporate it into the mobile payment system so customers do not have to bring their physical card. You can also add gift cards so that customers can pay with their mobile device. By embracing mobile payments, you cut the cord between needing your wallet and making a payment. Adding loyalty cards ensures that your customers can complete the transaction without needing to get their wallet.

6. Don’t forget about reporting – Your mobile payment facilitator should have a variety of reporting functions that help you incorporate mobile payment sales data into your reporting. Make sure you get regular reports on mobile payments and integrate this data with your other reporting. Not only is it necessary to report this income at tax time, but it can help you analyze mobile payment sales, see what works, and increase your return on investment.

Mobile payments are here, and they’re only going to get more prevalent as customers enjoy the convenience of a faster checkout. ProPay can help you get started with mobile payments right now, so you stay ahead of the game.

It’s no surprise that customers are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to buy goods and services. They crave the speed and convenience of making these secure, digital transactions, which means that prudent merchants will want to adopt new payment systems to accommodate these on-the-go smartphone shoppers.

The volume of in-store mobile payments is predicted to rise from $1.8 billion in 2013 to $189 billion in 2018, according to a report from the Financial Brand. Consumers are already growing accustomed to using their mobile devices to make payments, just as they are used to using smartphones to exchange emails and visit websites.

In fact, about 83% of 1,000 executives surveyed by KMPG said they believe mobile payments will go mainstream this year, according to report from NFC World. As the mobile payment industry booms, small businesses will have to boom with it. Read on to learn how your small business can save time and money with mobile payments.

What Kinds of Merchants Benefit from Allowing Mobile Payments?

Sometimes small business owners think that mobile payments are not for them, and that this kind of service is more suitable for companies involved in technology and computers. Actually, a wide variety of companies will benefit from mobile payments, including:

* Home-based Small Businesses

* Entrepreneurs

* eBay Sellers

* Restaurants

* Boutique Stores

* Outside Event Vendors

Set up and Go!

Merchants with limited knowledge and experience with computer systems, software and portable devices may avoid adopting mobile payments out of fear that it will be a burden to set up and learn how to use.

Nothing could be further from the truth, however in most cases, a merchant can set up an online account and begin accepting mobile credit card transactions the same day. In a pinch, customer service is just a quick email or phone call away.

Dealing with International Currencies

Merchants that conduct a significant number of transactions with people from other countries, such as tourists or business executives, would be right to wonder what role mobile payments could play in selling items and services to them.

With a system like ProPay, merchants can easily accept payments from major branded credit cards from around the world. Credit card associations take care of all currency exchanges for you, and the customer will be charged in the currency of his or her originating country.

Protecting Customer Data

Business owners are accustomed to using POS terminals to ring up credit card transactions, knowing that the data is encrypted to protect it and keep unauthorized people from accessing the card information.

Switching to a mobile payment scheme seems like it might open the door to more computer hackers. However, the team at ProPay developed the system to include point-to-point encryption and it uses ProtectPay, the company’s solution for tokenization. Merchants never store the customers’ sensitive information, let alone process or transmit it. These tasks are taken care of by ProPay, ensuring all payments are safeguarded.

Transaction Fees

You may be concerned that in exchange for offering your customers the ease and convenience of making mobile payments that you will have to pay through the nose for the privilege.

In fact, ProPay charges only a modest fee to cover costs, such as 3.25% on a $10 purchase along with a $0.35 transaction fee. Keep in mind that payment-processing fees depend on the type of ProPay account you choose. Once you’ve signed up for the service, you click the “Learn More” link to access details on processing fees.

It’s easy!

Small business owners are often wary about adopting new technologies, since any change in how your organization functions could disrupt operations and inconvenience customers. It’s easy to set up a secure, robust mobile payment system and implement it. You’ll soon realize that the transaction fees are designed to protect you and your customers by keeping the network running 24/7 and maintaining the security of each purchase. Sign up for a merchant account with ProPay today, and start accepting cards anytime, anywhere.

A war is brewing between old-fashioned wallets and modern mobile payments, and small businesses need to choose a side in this war. The losers of this war will be those who think it’s best to stick with antiquated methods of making transactions and who can’t be bothered by adopting newer, more convenient payment systems.

If you think there is still plenty of time to wait before you adopt mobile payments at your business, you better think again. Experts predict that by 2016, the mobile payment market (worldwide) will include 448 million users making $617 billion in transactions, according to Gartner, an information technology research firm.

By 2017, the way U.S. customers behave while engaged with mobile phone technology is expected to boost revenue from mobile commerce to 50% of all digital commerce, up from the current 22%, according to another study by Gartner. If you want to get your fair share of this revenue, the simple, secure and eminently affordable payment solution made possible by ProPay may be just what you are looking for.

Why Small Business Owners Need to be on the Mobile Side of the Payments War:

* Customers can make their purchase right from the sales floor instead of waiting for a register

* People in a hurry show loyalty to establishments that cater to their needs for mobile purchases

* Entrepreneurs make more money and are more competitive when they accept mobile payments

* Letting customers make payments with the same mobile device they used to find the store or call for directions provides a seamless shopping experience

Mobile Payments Are on the Rise

It’s so easy to use a mobile device to make a payment, customers often prefer to use their phone for purchases and leave their wallet back at home.

Indeed, researchers at Deloitte predict that by the close of 2015, some 5% of the 600 million to 650 million NFC (near-field communication) smartphones will be used by consumers once a month or more to make payments at retail stores.

Small business owners must recognize the special interests and needs of millennials and adjust the way they accept their payments accordingly. For example, Adweek noted that 63% of people aged 18-34 responding to a study by JWT indicated that they have used a credit card during the last 12 months, and 85% of millennials used cash (compared to 95% of older people). About 70% of members of Gen Y said that they think the way people pay for things will be radically different five years from now.

In fact, 44% of millennials responded that they would prefer to whip out their mobile phone to purchase small items rather than handing over cash. Many people want to use mobile payments because they make for faster purchases (50% of millennials, 31% of Gen X and 26% of baby boomer feel this way).

You don’t want to be left in the dust, as nearby stores continue to roll out mobile payment capability and shoppers flock to them in droves. Whether you run a coffee shop or restaurant, work out of a home office or are an entrepreneur spending much of your time on the road, offering mobile payments is your best option for staying relevant and keeping your customers happy.

If you’ve come to realize that the best way to ensure the long-term success of your company is to let customers make payments the way they want to, using their portable devices, it’s time to get on the right side of the mobile payment war. The winners of this battle can expect to gain more market share from rivals as well as develop more loyal customers when they make mobile payments a routine part of their business.

It pays to know what method your customers prefer to use when paying you for goods or services. While plenty of people still rely on cash, checks or credit cards for routine purchases or impulse buys, consumers are increasingly interested in making mobile payments.

This is especially the case when it comes to Millennials and members of Generation X. Busy executives and young people alike grow frustrated at having to wait any longer than is necessary to make a simple purchase. Because they are so mobile oriented, they expect their favorite businesses to be mobile oriented and compatible.

What’s more, they’re accustomed to doing research with their mobile device before making purchases and they routinely exchange buying recommendations with their online friends. They post on Facebook asking questions about products and they religiously read Amazon reviews. They welcome the chance to make a payment with the same device they used to make their purchase decision. Merchants that make it easier and more convenient for customers to pay for items with a secure and robust system like ProPay can expect to see an increase in revenue over their competitors.

Giving your customers the option to use their smartphone to buy something is becoming increasingly appealing to busy shoppers who are on the go. As a micro merchant, you undoubtedly have been in many situations where you wished you could offer an easier way for people to spend their money.

On a Busy Shopping Day

When a customer is ready to buy a dress in your store, let her make the payment right there with the salesperson who was assisting her. Instead of making her march to the front of the store and wait in line for an open register, she can use her mobile phone to conclude the transaction.

The next time she’s in the mood to shop, she’ll be more inclined to go to your store again instead of a place that makes her wait for the privilege of paying.

At a Product Party

If you run a business selling beauty products, home goods or clothing, accepting mobile payments is key to your success. Many micro merchants hold “parties” where they sell their product and entertain guests.

Many of the people attending would prefer to leave their bulky wallets and purses at home, since all they want to do is chat and have fun without being weighed down. They already know merchants that allow for mobile payments in their day-to-day lives, so why not give them the same speed and convenience when buying from you?

When Delivering Products

Do you run a business that does a great deal of work with deliveries? Whether you are sending out bulk orders in less than 30 minutes or provide skin care on demand, your delivery people won’t have to fuss around to make change for cash purchases when you allow customers to make fast mobile payments.

ProPay’s Merchant Account service allows any merchant or business owners to access and spend their funds anytime, anywhere. The prepaid MasterCard allows you to see your funds immediately and spend directly from your merchant account. Get paid with mobile payments and spend with mobile payments. Your customers will recognize your innovative endeavors to make their life simpler.

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