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How to Get Started with Mobile Payments (And How They Can Help Your Small Business)

By Square on June 20, 2019

This article is written by our friends at Square.

Mobile payments are on the rise. BI Intelligence predicts that the number of in-store mobile payments users will reach 150 million by the end of 2020, representing a whopping 56 percent of the entire consumer population that year.

Clearly, consumers like paying with their phones. So adapting to mobile payments (sometimes referred to as NFC payments) is extremely valuable for your business. Letting people pay the way they want means you’ll never miss out on future sales.

Why use mobile payments?

Beyond keeping your business relevant, there are a number of other key benefits to setting yourself up to accept mobile payments.

They’re fast

Contactless payments are the fastest way to pay. Usually, they take about a second to process. For businesses that have checkout lines, faster payments means faster lines (and more sales in a shorter amount of time).

They’re convenient

People are carrying around less and less cash. But they have their phones at the ready. This combination makes mobile payments a convenient way to pay. There’s no need to dig into your bag for your wallet at the checkout counter—you can just tap your phone to pay.

They’re secure

Mobile payments have multiple layers of dynamic encryption, making them an extremely secure way to pay. They’re far more secure than magstripe payments, and just as secure as EMV chip card payments. Consumers can also activate fingerprint technology in most mobile payments solutions — another layer of security that protects data on lost or stolen devices. This security is not only comforting for your customers, but it should provide increased fraud protection for your business. Which means fewer disputes for your to manage.

How mobile payments can help you grow

It seems like a small thing, but accepting mobile payments can help you grow your business. Here’s how:

1. More foot traffic

In a Square consumer survey, respondents who had adopted mobile payments cited them as their ideal payment method, referencing speed, convenience, and security as their top reasons for continued usage. And perhaps as a result, these consumers reported a tendency to actively seek out businesses that accept the technology.

2. More sales

Not only do mobile payments users frequent mobile-payments-enabled businesses, most said they’re likely to spend more once they get there.

3. More tips

Mobile payments users reported a likelihood to be more generous with gratuity. Data from Square’s #PayFasterPortland event shows that customers who used their NFC device with Square’s contactless and chip reader tipped more than customers who used traditional magstripe cards.

4. Improved customer experience

Waiting in slow lines is consumers’ number one frustration when they in stores. A key benefit of mobile payments is that they’re fast. A speedy line and checkout process make for a much better customer experience.

5. Attract new customers

An Accenture survey found that 23 percent of millennials use mobile payments at least once a week. And in Square’s survey, 45 percent of those who had adopted the technology were between the ages of 18 and 34. By accepting mobile payments, you can open yourself up to new, younger consumers.

How to start accepting mobile payments

Once you’ve decided that you want to take mobile payments, the first thing to do is find the right hardware. Square contactless and chip reader makes it easy and quick to get started. Plug in the reader, ring up a purchase, and wait for the green light to appear on the reader. Then have the customer hold the phone over the reader to pay with Apple Pay, Google Pay, or other contactless payments.

That’s really all there is to it. But to set yourself up for success—and reap the benefits of contactless payments—you’ll want to take a few more steps:

  • Train yourself and your employees: Once your new reader’s all set up, do some practice runs. That way, when you have a line of customers, you’re well versed on the process. We have a handy cheat sheet for how to accept contactless payments, that you can give to your staff as well.

  • Put the reader in a good spot: Your reader should go halfway between you and customers on your counter. That way, they can easily dip chip cards or hold up their mobile devices to pay.

  • Let people know you accept mobile payments: To get more people to pay via their mobile devices, you need to let them know that you accept contactless payments. Apple Pay has kits you can download that contain things like register decals. You can also get creative and make your own signage that let your customers know they can use their phone to pay.

Mobile payments are a fast, secure, and convenient way for your customers to pay. By offering the option to pay with their phone, you’ll create the best checkout experience for your customers and you’ll be on your way to growing your business.


This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Bench assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.

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