As businesses look for smarter and safer ways to receive payments, consumers are slowly warming up to the idea of paying with their smartphones instead of pulling out the plastic. According to Forrester Research, consumers made $4 billion of in-store purchases with mobile devices, but they expect that figure to swell to $34 billion by 2019.

Big names like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts have their own apps and while other apps like Google Wallet and Apple Pay let you pay at all types of participating retailers. Retail leaders have invested in these innovative mobile payment systems because smartphone user conversion rates are much higher when retailers offer digital wallet payment options.

56_percent_use_mobile_payHOW MOBILE PAYMENT SYSTEMS WORK

Most mobile payment systems work the same way on the buyer side. The consumer enters their credit card, debit card or bank account information when they download the payment application of their choice to their smart phone. When they are in the store (or kiosk, or clinic, or farmers market) they launch the app and the cashier scans it, they tap their smart phone on the pay pad, or they select your business from their preferred app and send the money with just a few taps. You receive your payment the same way you would if they swiped their credit card or processed an online order.

For the merchant, many mobile payment systems work with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. You’ll need to have a POS system that supports the NFC chip, so if your current provider doesn’t offer NFC equipment you will need to find one that does to accept these smartphone payments.

55_percent_prefer_unified_appMOBILE PAYMENTS ARE SAFE… MAYBE SAFER

Mobile payment is growing because it’s easier and safer for both your business and your customers. Tech savvy consumers are looking for ways to save time and minimize the need for paper or plastic. Plus paying with the mobile app can be safer than pulling out a debit or credit card. Most apps create a unique bar code for each transaction and sends out a one-use security code hackers can’t reuse. That means that your credit or debit card information isn’t being sent out to be intercepted or used by any nefarious transmission stealers. And all the same fraud protections provided with debit cards and credit cards apply to these mobile transactions.



Click on each mobile payment system’s logo to go to their home page and click on the name to link to specific merchant and business information on taking payments.


LoopPay is accepted by over 10 million merchants and you’ll love it because it requires nothing new from you, the merchant. LoopPay is a mobile wallet where users store their credit cards, debit cards, loyalty cards and gift certificates. Your customers use an Android key fob or special iPhone charge case that they fit into the grove of a traditional card reader. They push a button on their fob or iPhone and they will see they payment confirmed. That means you don’t have to transition to new equipment or processes because LoopPay works with 90% of existing credit card terminals.

applepayApple Pay

Customers use their iPhone or Apple Watch to make purchases with your contactless reader. They hold their iPhone over the reader and activate Touch ID (Apple’s iOS device fingerprint scanner) or hold their Apple Watch to the reader and double tap the side button to authorize the purchase. There are no additional fees and you simply contact your payment provider and tell them you want to start accepting Apple Pay. You’ll need a contactless reader, but if you already have one you will just need to enable Apple Pay. Payments are charged as card present and the same credit and debit fraud protections apply.

apple_watch_iphone2paypal_herePayPal Here

If you use a tablet as your POS system, then PayPal Here’s mobile credit card processing system not only scans credit and debit cards but it also allows your customer to pay directly from their mobile PayPal account. They select your business on their mobile PayPal app and transfer the funds right there in the store. There is the usual cost per transaction but no extra setup or monthly fees. Plus, for over a year there has been talk of PayPal Beacon which uses Bluetooth technology to integrate with your POS system and connect to customer’s PayPal apps when they walk in your door for hands free payment.



Dwolla doesn’t require any additional hardware, which makes it easy for merchants to use. Customers log in on their smartphone, select your business from the approved vendor list and payment is automatically sent to your Dwolla account. You can monitor the transaction in real time and with a low 25 cents per transaction charge (free under $10) it comes in as the least expensive option for taking mobile in-store payments. And use the Dwolla API to build custom payment solutions for your business.


google_walletGoogle Wallet

Google Wallet has had a big year and looks to be a real contender for Apple Pay in the mobile pay market! It acquired Softcard’s technology, one of the first mobile payment solutions which was formerly unfortunately known as ISIS, and shut that down in March. And they’ve recently made a deal with three of the four major phone carriers to preload all future Android phones with Google Wallet. You will need an NFC reader in store and if you don’t already have one you can rent one from one of Google’s partners, First Data. Now Android users with Google can hold their smartphones over the NFC reader to make their payment. There are cost per transaction fees for Google Wallet but nothing extra for in-store NFC use.


paypass_paywavePayPass and payWave

PayPass is MasterCard’s POS mobile payment solution which allows customers to use their NFC-enable credit card or smartphone with your plug-in or POS integrated NFC reader. What’s great about PayPass is that it not only accepts MasterCard, it will accept Google Wallet payments. Visa’s similar POS mobile payment solution, payWave, let’s users with payWave enable smartphones use the NFC technology to make payments.



With the PayToo app and card reader you can accept credit cards, debit cards, mobile wallets, and other contactless payments. If you deal with international purchases or different currencies PayToo handles that well. In-store payments have a per transaction and a per authorization fee. But if you need a simple solution that can handle cash, credit card, check or mobile wallets you want to look at here.


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Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.