Mobile payments—those you make without cash, check or a credit/debit card—are expected to total more than $720 billion worldwide by 2017, more than doubling the volume achieved in 2014. [1] Mobile purchases in the U.S. are forecast to nearly triple from $50 billion to $142 billion by 2019, according to Forrester Research. [2] The increasing penetration of smartphones into the consumer market drive this phenomenal growth. One in three people say they pay with their phone simply because they purchased a smartphone, while another 20 percent choose to pay via mobile device simply for its convenience. [3] Yet in the short history of mobile payments, essentially since 1997 when Coca Cola installed a Coke machine that accepted text messages as well as cash, people have made mobile payments using an array of interesting technologies. [4]

SMS Payments were among the earliest methods for purchasing with a mobile device. SMS (Short Message Service) is better known today as texting. Using SMS payments, your text message travels to a mobile payment service provider, which processes the transaction between you and the merchant. The cost of the purchase appears on your monthly phone bill.

You can pay via Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) using your smartphone to buy from a website if the site has installed the necessary WAP software. This methods lets you buy with a single click and is most often used to pay for digital content, subscriptions and related services. [5]

Mobile Card Readers, such as our ProPay JAK, plugs into your smartphone audio jack. It encrypts the customer’s card data when you swipe the card, ensuring security compliant with PCI regulations. A smartphone app allows the customer to sign for the transaction and, optionally, to receive a receipt by email.

In the past few years, NFC (near-field communication) has come to the forefront. It allows your mobile device to exchange data with an NFC-equipped point of sale system when the two devices are within a few centimeters of one another. Your mobile device acts as a credit or debit card and is perhaps the most secure method for making mobile payments in use today. Devices that use NFC use a special “secure element” designed to be tamper proof. That “secure element” may be a chip (as in iPhone 6) or may exist in the cloud. [6]

Mobile wallets use NFC hardware technology along with software on your mobile device. Wallets are available for both Android and IOS devices. You enter a PIN, choose the payment account (VISA, Mastercard, or your checking account, for example). Then, simply hold your mobile device near the NFC reader to transmit payment information to the merchant.

Quick Response (QR) codes, invented to automate manufacturing processes by Denso-Wave, a subsidiary of Toyota, [7] are now being used to make mobile payments. Paying by QR code requires the merchant to place a machine at checkout that displays a unique code for each transaction. Likewise, you need to download an app provided by the QR mobile payment company. You make a purchase by scanning the code the merchant displays with your mobile device. The app then debits your bank account or the credit/debit card you previously registered. This method of mobile payment is popular in Europe and Asia. In the U.S., QR codes are used widely for advertising, but are only at the starting gate as a method for mobile payment. [8]

Mobile payments are poised to flood the banking systems like a tsunami. When you consider Android and IOS smartphones alone, ignoring tablets and other mobile devices, they have been the fastest-selling technology products in human history. In the U.S. about half of all adults carry a smartphone. [9] Worldwide, two billion people will carry one by 2016, increasing to one-third of the world’s population by 2018, according to eMarketer. [10] ProPay is positioned to help you sort through the options that work for your businesses—whether yours is a small business or a multi-national—with an array of products and services that deliver convenience, security and reliability…and that can help you ride the mobile payment wave.

Sources

  1. http://www.statista.com/statistics/226530/mobile-payment-transaction-volume-forecast/
  2. http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/11/17/u-s-mobile-payments-market-to-boom-by-2019-research-firm-says/?_r=0
  3. http://www.statista.com/statistics/291069/reason-began-using-mobile-payments/
  4. http://payments.intuit.com/history-of-money-and-payments/
  5. http://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/companies/showcases/txtnation/products/wap-billing-and-payforit/
  6. http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-nfc-works-and-mobile-payments/
  7. http://www.qrpay.com/qr-codes
  8. http://www.logicsolutions.com/what-is-mobile-payment-systems-ecommerce/
  9. http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21645180-smartphone-ubiquitous-addictive-and-transformative-planet-phones
  10. http://www.emarketer.com/Article/2-Billion-Consumers-Worldwide-Smartphones-by-2016/1011694

Identity theft: Just the thought of those two words is enough to make any one of us break out in a cold sweat. Keep in mind, sometimes the first step towards assuming your identity and ruining your credit is to get your credit card number and it may be easier than you think for unscrupulous people to obtain your credit card data. Stop and think about these five methods thieves use to steal your credit card information.

1. Malware – the last time you opened an email from someone you did not know and it had an attachment did you open it? This could be software designed specifically for infiltrating your computer and stealing information. Malware is also found on websites that offer products for sale with lower levels of security than would be ideal for those making online purchases. Make sure you know who you are doing business with online and make sure they have the right security in place to protect your credit card numbers.

2. Restaurant thieves – chances are the last time you went out to eat your waitress brought the check and you willingly turned over your credit card for processing. Today, there are countless numbers of inexpensive gadgets that can fit in apron pockets or pants pockets that can read your credit card data. Wait staff can duplicate your credit card when you turn it over and use that card later to wreak havoc.

3. Eavesdroppers – shopping by phone or providing a trusted creditor a credit card number for payment can cause you an endless amount of grief. You can never tell who is listening to your conversation, they could be writing down your credit card number complete with security code. If you must give your credit card information by telephone, make sure you are in an area where you cannot be overheard.

4. Drive through surprises – you innocently go through a drive through at your favorite coffee shop or fast food restaurant and hand your credit card over to the cashier. The cashier duplicates your information by using a hand-held device or they simply write down the credit card number with the security code from the back. Before you know it, there are purchases you did not make on your card.

5. Card skimmers – most of us think that gas pumps and ATM machines are safe places to use our credit or debit cards. They may not be as safe as you think thanks to the availability of card skimmers. These devices are swapped into card swipe devices on gas pumps and ATM machines and the information is pulled through to a thief’s computer exposing you to credit card theft.

In today’s technological marketplace, it is becoming more important than ever before to protect both your identity and your credit card information. One way to ensure that your credit card information stays private and does not fall into the wrong hands is to use a payment facilitator who can store your information on a secure server and make sure it never falls into the wrong hands.

Does your company experience problems with credit card declines associated with auto-ship payments?

Regardless of the type or size of business you operate, credit card declines can become a major problem, and profit losses can affect your bottom line in a big way.

Studies show that nearly 30% of all credit cards go through changes with account numbers, changes in expiration dates, and closed accounts. Unfortunately, each of these changes can wreak havoc with your payment processing department.

Not only that, but clients become frustrated due to declined payments and incorrect credit card information. More often than not, many people decide to take their business elsewhere due to incorrect credit card processing. No one likes to receive a phone call from a merchant saying that a credit card was declined and cannot be processed.

These types of problems not only affect your company’s profitability, but you may also experience a sharp decline in your customer base as well. ProPay’s EnsureBill allows you to eliminate many of these problems by streamlining the process of storing and maintaining accurate credit card information. Eliminate those annoying credit card declines and bogus transactions altogether.

If your business relies heavily on stored credit cards for business transactions, such as recurring billing and auto-shipments, EnsureBill helps you maintain accurate credit card credit card information and customer payment data with ease. EnsureBill also helps you reduce declined transactions and credit card authorization fees by maintaining accurate credit card information, including credit card numbers, expiration dates, and cardholder information. With EnsureBill you can simplify your payment process, lower your operating costs, increase your efficiencies, and reduce your payment card industry data security (PCI DSS) obligations.

Mobile payments are one of the newest options that allow consumers to fulfill their constant need for instant gratification. Small businesses who are not taking advantage of mobile payments are potentially losing clients and they are certainly losing out on important cash flow needs.

Options for mobile payments – today, there are several options for consumers to pay from their phones or from the telephone or terminal owned by a small business owner. The biggest issue with terminals is that the consumer must be in your store in order to use them. Today, more mobile payments are being accepted with phone applications meaning small businesses can literally get paid anywhere at any time.

Making small business a mobile business – Google defines the importance of mobile payment options in an interesting way although this was not their original intention. The consumers “buy it now” mood can be captured more readily if you have mobile capabilities; the consumer wants your products/services and you can instantly get them to commit with mobile payments.

Trend toward mobile payments – Forrester Research predicts that mobile payments will be the next major disruption in the finance industry, and that US mobile users will shell out almost $100B through mobile payments by the end of 2017.  Is your business ready?

Understanding the benefits

While there are definitely benefits to consumers to having access to immediate payment options, without carrying more than their telephones, there are benefits to business owners as well, particularly a small business owner. As a small business owner chances are that one of your primary concerns is cash flow….the blood that keeps your business alive.  If you are like most small business owners, your invoices are issued and you wait 10, 20, 30 days or more for payment. This can stop nearly immediately if you make mobile payments the accepted form of payment.

Time savings as well

Chances are that one of the things that you have to deal with is not only issuing invoices but you are also spending time chasing down past-due invoices.  With mobile payments, you have instant payment and you are not only improving your bottom line, you are also saving an incredible amount of time chasing payments from customers.

Are mobile payments necessary today?

Consumers are depending more and more on electronic devices to make buying decisions and to pay for their purchases.  Having a mobile payment option is not only desirable, but as we market to younger consumers who depend even more heavily on their phones than prior generations did, chances are that unless your small business is prepared, you stand to lose an entire generation of consumers.

Are mobile payments complicated?The simply answer is NO.  Today’s mobile payment options are easier than ever and more secure than ever.  In fact, most mobile payment options can handle a variety of credit cards, they charge lower fees than ever and they are backed up by responsive and professional staff members.

Whether you are running a landscaping business or a daycare center, the time to think about offering mobile payments is here. Your cash flow will improve and you will be able to generate more business in the long run from the millennial generation who depend on their mobile devices for more than making telephone calls.

Does your company have problems with declined credit cards due to incorrect customer information, expired cards, or wrong credit card numbers? Much like many other businesses that accept credit cards for payments, chances are you’ve experienced these types of problems within your organization. What most business entrepreneurs don’t realize is that the majority of these types of problems can be eliminated altogether.

ProPay’s EnsureBill can help you get rid of these problems by making sure that your customers’ credit card information is accurate and up-to-date. Our goal at ProPay is to help you simplify the payment processing system within your organization, resulting in increased revenue, fewer authorization fees, reduced customer service costs, increased customer retention, and overall improved efficiency.

As you know, a myriad of problems can occur with credit cards. For example, they get lost, stolen, or expired. As a business executive, you also know that lost, stolen and expired cards are also directly tied to a loss in revenue.

That’s where the benefits of EnsureBill come in. By keeping this vital information up-to-date, you no longer have to worry about losing money and sacrificing due to any type of credit card issues you experience.

How does it work?

Start by sending a file containing credit card information that needs updating to ProPay. In turn, ProPay will then send the cards that need updating to the issuer. From there, ProPay works hand-in-hand with the card issuer in order to update the appropriate card information. After receiving a batch of updated cards, ProPay then delivers those updated cards to your company. It’s as simple as that.

You can see the valuable service that ProPay delivers to your company. Gone are the days when your credit card processors have to worry about credit card declines. Your customers can also rest assured that their credit cards are in good hands. Eliminate the hassles of outdated credit cards with EnsureBill, and start enjoying the profitability of a well-organized and efficient business.

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