How Credit Cards and Mobile Payments Build Your Business

Still debating whether accepting mobile credit-card payments will pay off in the long run? Consider these trends, facts, and statistics, which can help you make a well-informed — and potentially game-changing — decision.

1. Consumers are comfortable making mobile payments. When it first became an option, paying by credit card using a vendor’s smartphone or tablet device was a novel idea. As with any practice that requires handing over personal information, customers needed time to adapt. According to Portio Research, people’s hesitation about mobile payments is now a thing of the past. In fact, the total value of purchases and transactions made through mobile handsets exceeded $159 billion in 2011. By 2016, mobile payments are projected to top $1 trillion. A mobile vendor’s ability to accept credit cards is becoming a customer expectation, not just a mere convenience.

2. The smartphone boom will continue. It may seem like everyone has a smartphone, but the trend isn’t even close to its peak. By 2016, the population of smartphone owners will be more than double what it is today, according to eMarketer. With that shift, expect more and more users to utilize the options that smartphones allow, including mobile payments.

3. Your customers will buy more. You own a mobile business to make money, and various experiments over the years have demonstrated that people spend more and think less when purchasing with a credit card (compared with cash). In Psychology Today, cognitive scientist Art Markman explains that people tend to forget prices more quickly and value them less when they’re paying with a credit card — versus parting with cold, hard cash. Likewise, impulse buying and average order sizes increase when customers can pay with credit. As a mobile-business owner, accepting credit cards can not only help you to command better profit margins, but also face fewer hurdles when selling add-ons and higher-priced items.

4. You can boost your credibility. As the owner of a mobile business, you may need to overcome challenges such as the lack of a fixed storefront and low brand awareness and credibility in new markets. Winning customer trust is paramount to your success, and accepting credit cards can be a valuable tool in establishing that you run a legitimate operation. A recent study by Javelin Strategy & Research found that when it comes to the perception of trust and privacy, customers are most influenced when a vendor shows a Visa logo compared with other payment methods, such as PayPal. Your acceptance of mobile credit-card payments may also comfort customers who are wary of how to handle a return or product malfunction, because they’ll have access to credit card dispute-resolution services. The presence of credit card icons on your website can boost your online credibility, too.

About Stephanie Taylor Christensen

Stephanie Taylor Christensen holds a master’s degree in marketing and has 13 years of marketing management experience for Fortune 500 companies and small businesses. She is a regular contributor to sites like ForbesWoman, Real Simple, Mint, Minyanville, and SheKnows, and writes for several private business clients. Her work is frequently syndicated and sourced by Yahoo! Finance, SFGate, TodayShow.com, and The New York Times. She is also a small business owner, having founded WellnessOnLess.com, and Om for Mom Prenatal Yoga in Columbus, Ohio. Connect with her on Twitter @WellnessOnLess.
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