The Challenge of Mobile Payments at Small Merchants

by Chuck Martin on July 2, 2013

Chuck Martin, Mobile Keynote SpeakerBy Chuck Martin

For anyone looking to small businesses to be a key driver of mobile payments there’s good news and bad news.

The good news is that the number of small merchants using a smartphone or tablet to accept credit card payments has almost doubled from 10% last year to 17% now.

The key reasons cited for going mobile was the ability to accept payments from any location, though 63% say they have not replaced their traditional point of sale equipment with their smartphone or tablet system.

The small merchant and mobile payments survey, the 2013 Survey on Technology Awareness and Adoption, was conducted by ControlScan and TransFirst

The survey of 1,650 merchants included those in retail and consumer goods, healthcare and human services, personal and professional services and restaurant and hospitality.

The not-so-good news for mobile payments is that small merchants show little interest or readiness for mobile wallet payments to close transactions.

In the mobile wallet department, only a small number (3%) accept them and  of those who don’t,  almost half (47%) have no plans to do so in the foreseeable future.

Of those who have implemented payment acceptance solutions, Square tops the list:

  • 60% — Square
  • 19%– PayPal Here
  • 17% — Intuit GoPayment
  • 2% — First Data POGO
  • 1% — Group Now

Back to the good news department, of those who have implemented mobile payment solutions, most (64%) are satisfied.

The study shows the key drivers of mobile payments adoption to be customer demand and customer convenience and merchants don’t’ see those factors as present.

More than half (60%) see no compelling reason to make the investment in mobile payments. And there is the challenge with mobile payments.

Chuck Martin is Editor of the mCommerce Daily at MediaPost and writes the daily MobileShopTalk column. He is the author of “Mobile Influence,” “The Third Screen,” and “The Smartphone Handbook.” He is CEO of Mobile Future Institute. Chuck Martin is a frequent Mobile Keynote Speaker and Mobile Marketing Speaker internationally.

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