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.

The world is changing. If your business is going to remain relevant and continue to thrive, you need to change with it. Are you ever more than a few feet away from your phone? Most of us carry them constantly, check them many times an hour and even sleep with them. So why shouldn’t we use them to pay for things, too? Mobile payments are no longer some fantasy about the future; they are highly relevant right now, especially among early tech adopters and busy individuals. There are three groups in particular who want the convenience of paying for things with their phones. If you want the business of these three market segments, you need to make mobile part of your business model.

Today’s Teens

The current batch of teenagers has never known a world that wasn’t digitally connected. They’ve always had the Internet, and they are comfortable with mobile technology. A recent Pew Research Study shows that 78 percent of teens own cell phones, and 47 percent of those cell-phone-using teens own a smartphone. Just as members of this group are completely comfortable sharing their lives on platforms such as SnapChat and Instagram, they are also completely at ease with the idea of pulling out their phones instead of their wallets when they are standing at the register, whether they are buying coffee, new jeans or tickets to a movie. Give them the option that they prefer the most, and they are more likely to choose your business over your competitors.

Tech-Friendly Millennials

This is a cohort that is eager to adopt new technology. Millennials find cash cumbersome and would rather pay for goods by swiping their phones than by pulling out cards. More than half of all mobile payments are made by people in the 18-to-34 age bracket. Millennials make up more than one-quarter of the United States population. Experts say that mobile commerce will account for three quarters of the world’s spending by the year 2020. Win over this group, and you have a hold on a powerful consumer segment.

Busy Moms

This group is super busy. Moms balance kids, careers and homes. They want things to be quick, easy, convenient and painless. If you make it easy for them to pay for your business’s goods or services by simply pulling out their phones, they will come back to work with you again and again. And they hold the purse strings of America. Seventy percent of consumer spending is done by moms.

Mobile payments are safe, convenient and a growing preference for many segments of consumers. Give your customers this option, and they will repay you with their loyalty.

Many businesses today are facing challenges when storing customers’ credit cards on file. We recently held a webinar to discuss these challenges. If you are a merchant storing credit card data in your system for repeat billing, periodic billing, automatic shipping, or subscription services, you are likely running into obstacles with cardholder:

  • Expiration dates
  • Brand conversions
  • Card upgrades
  • Reissued cards (due to data breach or fraud)
  • Lost/stolen cards
  • Closed accounts

If any of these obstacles go unaddressed, as a merchant you risk credit card declines when using stored cardholder data. According to Visa, 30% of accounts annually incur changes in account number or expiration data.

Credit card declines come with some costs. When transactions fail, cardholders feel inconvenienced and may terminate your relationship, resulting in lost sales. If cardholders must be contacted to update their information, they may choose to switch to another service or cancel service altogether. Additionally, merchants who continue billing with out-of-date information must pay extra authorization costs.

Luckily, ProPay has a solution that keeps your credit card data on file up to date. ProPay’ EnsureBill is an account updater service that increases your revenue by reducing card declines on your monthly billing. EnsureBill allows clients with recurring billing accounts to seamlessly maintain valid data. With EnsureBill, card-on-file data is verified and updated prior to the monthly billing cycle resulting in fewer declines, increased customer satisfaction, retained business, and overall reduced costs.

There are Three Pillars of EnsureBill that keep you and your customers satisfied when storing card information. The three pillars of Ensure Bill are:

  1. Reduced Credit Card Declines
  2. Increased Revenue
  3. Reduced Operational Costs

Reduced Credit Card Declines

With EMV mandates to be implement in the near future, millions of customers will have their cards replaced by issuers. If you’re a merchant with cards on file, those cards will need to be updated within the next three to four months when issuers send new cards. If your systems are not updated automatically, you likely face a high rate of card declines.

With ProPay EnsureBill you can reduce declined transactions and authorization fees by getting updated account numbers, expiration dates, and account status’ on your Visa, MasterCard, and Discover cardholders.

Increased Revenue

By delivering uninterrupted service, you’re likely to increase revenues and improve customer retention. EnsureBill enables you to:

  • Increase revenue with fewer card declines
  • Pay fewer authorization fees
  • Reduce customer service costs from manual updates
  • Increase customer retention and loyalty with uninterrupted service
  • Improve efficiency

Recently a ProPay customer using EnsureBill reduced auto-ship declines by 9% and increased revenues by $300,000 in one auto-shipment by updating over 91,000 credit cards.

Reduced Operational Costs

EnsureBill allows you to send a file to ProPay with cards that need to be automatically updated. ProPay will then send these cards to the issuer to be updated. EnsureBill receives updates from ProPay after issuers identify any needed card updates. This automatic process saves major costs on personnel and time that would otherwise be spent contacting customers and manually updating card information.

For more information on how you can reduce credit card declines, increase revenues, and reduce operational costs with ProPay EnsureBill, call 888-227-9856 or email sales@propay.com

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