Mobile Payments Ready For Adoption, But Consumers Remain Reluctant

Category: Payment Processing Technologies

Over the past several years, a number of mobile payment platforms have been rolled out to the general public, to varying degrees of success. At this point, there are enough options out there that at least a few are likely to catch on with consumers in the next few years, but experts say at this point it's just a matter of proving their worth and convenience.

When merchants move to adopt mobile payments, and get out in front of the coming trends, there are many reasons why partnering with Sterling Payment Technology can help them transition as seamlessly as possible.

By now, a large and growing share of consumers have phones that are capable of handling NFC-based mobile payments, but relatively few use the devices for that purpose, according to Media Post Communications. But polls repeatedly show that the majority of shoppers just don't think mobile will provide an advantage above and beyond EMV - which they also recently adopted - or other preferred, longer-standing payment methods.

NFC-based payment platforms are likely to catch on soon.NFC-based payment platforms are likely to catch on soon.

How To Entice Patrons
Experts have long advocated for a roll-out of mobile payment-based rewards or incentive programs so that people become tempted to try them to, perhaps, get a free coffee or save 5 percent on a purchase, according to Payment Week. The ability of financial institutions and other firms that are now rolling out or trying to broaden use of their mobile platforms to connect with consumers and show them how convenient and simple these options are is vital. Once that happens initially, more widespread adoption becomes inevitable.

"The lesson we can share is to be ready for everything and always listen to users and their needs - mobile payments are here to last and, in the near future, can change our life," Matteo Fermi, head of mobile payments at the Spanish financial institution CaixaBank.

A Perfect Example
Of course, mobile payments and EMV are relatively new to most American consumers, but they've been around far longer overseas, and people there have had more time to acquaint themselves with the added security and convenience tap-to-pay technology provides, according to Yahoo Finance. And that's a big reason why those platforms have gained far more traction with foreign shoppers than their U.S. counterparts. Here, too, experts believe that kind of familiarity will eventually breed comfort and broader use in the U.S., but right now it might simply be a waiting game.

"I think it will be relatively quick at some point, just like mobile phone adoption was very quick once the phone became small and affordable," Karl Kilb, CEO of mobile pay platform Boloro, told the site.

Given that mobile payments have already taken off with a small percentage of consumers, and those numbers are only likely to grow, it makes sense for merchants of all sizes to transition to accepting these types of transactions. Having the ability to handle just about any type of popular payment, both now and in the future, can go a long way toward helping merchants stand out from the crowd.