Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, have revolutionized our day-to-day life. We use them to be more productive in our work lives, connect with friends on social media, share our daily adventures and so, so much more. They are also revolutionizing the way businesses, both small and large, conduct sales, market their brands and learn about their customers. At the point of sale, mobile devices present a new way for people to pay and complete transactions.
Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and many other mobile wallet apps open up a new avenue for customers to pay. For many customers, mobile payment is a more convenient because it is faster than traditional payment methods. This helps a business get those customers through the point of sale process, out the door and on with their lives much quicker.
These mobile payment apps offer value to both shoppers and businesses. Your small business will experience shorter queue times and deeper insights into customer spending habits. These data-born insights help small businesses better target their customers with deals and messages that are relevant and valuable to each consumer.
What Is Apple Pay And How Does It Work?
For iPhone users, Apple Pay is the standard mobile payment app. Apple Pay transactions are done through Near Field Communication (NFC). This technology allows two devices, near one another, to make a secure connection to communicate with one another. In most mobile payment scenarios this means communication between the customer’s smartphone and the business’ NFC payment reader.
Apple Pay works by allowing a customer to check out, pay and finalize their transaction by easily holding their Apple smartphone over the payment reader. Alternatively, the customer can complete the transaction with a few taps within the Apple Pay app on their iPhone.
For security purposes, Apple Pay transactions implement a tokenization security protocol. Essentially, this process works by disguising private information in a series of randomly generated numbers, which act as the “token.” These tokens are saved onto your iPhone. When making a transaction, the mobile POS system can de-tokenizes these randomly generated numbers back into the relevant, private information, like your bank account number.
This security protocol helps to protect against malicious users that want to clone your account info and use it for their fraudulent activities. If a cyber criminal does get a hold of the “token,” they won’t have the ability to de-tokenize the numbers into anything valuable or relevant, which means all they can obtain is useless, random numbers.
What Is Samsung Pay And How Does It Work?
The Samsung Pay app works very similarly to Apple Pay; they both enable NFC payments. Where Samsung Pay deviates, however, is that it also leverages Magnetic Strip Transmission (MST) of payments. This technology is very similar to NFC payments because all users have to do is hold their Samsung smartphone near the POS system. The added benefit of this MST method of payment is that it can be used with many traditional POS machines, which means you may not even need a mobile POS system to accept payments through Samsung Pay.
Using the MST technology of Samsung Pay, the user scans their credit and debit cards into their Samsung Pay app account. Once this is completed, he or she has the means to access each card through the app with a few short clicks. When it is time to pay, the user accesses the app and brings up the digitized version of the card they wish to pay with. Then, by holding it near the magnetic strip reader that you would normally use if you were physically swiping the card, the machine will read the card and process the payment just like the real card.
Samsung Pay transactions using the MST technology have all of the same security protections as a physical card swipe. The user is prompted to enter their PIN number on the card. They may even have to sign a receipt and go through all the other typical processes and steps that you face when paying with a debit or credit card.
How Do Apple Pay And Samsung Pay Speed Up Sales?
Regarding speeding up sales and shortening queue times, mobile wallet apps are hugely impactful because they don’t require a lot of the steps that a card swipe or cash transaction entails, especially if you are using the NFC technology. All the customer has to do is flash their smartphone over the mobile POS payment reader, and the transaction can be finalized.
Cash transactions can be slow because change has to be made for the purchase. Similarly, recent changes to debit and credit cards, specifically the new EMV chips, have slowed down card-bases purchases. While these new chips are more secure, they slow the process down. Largely, this is because it is a new technology that has alerted an existing routine. In other words, we’re used to swiping cards, not inserting them, which can cause grave confusion at the register.
Instead of spending the time to dig out the wallet, make change or wait for the new EMV chip readers to process a transaction, NFC payments made through a mobile point of sale system happen with a simple wave of the smartphone. Even Samsung’s MST payments are quicker than many of the traditional means of purchasing products in a store.
How Do I Accept Apple Pay and Samsung Pay?
Accepting mobile payments requires a POS software that is optimized to accept NFC and smartphone payments. Without this kind of mobile enabled system, a small business could easily find themselves turning away customers that want to pay with their smartphone. While some older systems can handle Samsung’s MST payments, failing to have a mobile POS system misses out on any iPhone users looking to pay with their phone and even some Samsung users that prefer the NFC technology.
Luckily, today’s mobile POS solutions are more affordable than many of their traditional counterparts. These systems don’t require the large, clunky machines and cash registers that we are used to. Instead, they can process transactions with a tablet computer, some affordable payment reader machines and mobile payment software. Many companies, like eHopper, offer affordable mobile POS bundles that include everything your future point of sale system needs to accept mobile payments.
If your business has an existing, older and more traditional point of sale system, it can be difficult to feel the need to change to a mobile-friendly solution. However, consumers today, especially millennials, are increasingly expecting this technology. Failing to have a mobile POS system could hurt your business. Thus, it is likely better to invest in a new point of sale machine than continue working with an older, non-mobile system.
How Do I Notify Customers That My Business Accepts Apple Pay and Samsung Pay?
Many brick and mortar stores are not only beginning to accept smartphone payments but also working towards informing their customers that this alternative payment method is available to them. Signage and word of mouth are perhaps the two most common strategies that small businesses leverage to get the word out about their mobile payment capabilities.
Some small businesses even incentivize mobile payment usage, by offering certain mobile-only discounts and other promotions, because of the many benefits of these types of transactions. For one, they shorten queue times, which means your business can service more customer in a shorter amount of time. Shorter lines mean reducing the number of walkouts that leave because of long checkout times. Additionally, the best mobile POS systems are designed to gather data on each customer, which can be used to learn about their behaviors and better improve marketing efforts. It allows you to see how they spend, when they spend, what they buy and much more. This is something that simply isn’t possible with cash or even card transactions.
Many businesses are finding tremendous benefit in offering mobile payment solutions through their branded mobile app. First, having this capability in your mobile app is a valuable feature for customers, which can encourage more downloads and greater app usage. Secondly, it’s even easier to gather individual consumer data through your app. Finally, many mobile apps are integrated with a loyalty/rewards program. These app-based, mobile payments can automatically generate rewards points, rather than having to scan a separate loyalty card at checkout.
The point of sale landscape is changing. It is increasingly moving towards a future that is rich with more purchases made through smartphone mobile wallet apps like Samsung Pay and Apple Pay. In fact, you could make a strong case that the point of sale industry has already changed to meet these new technologies (and with good reason).
Mobile payment transactions are faster than cash or card, which creates greater convenience for the customer and the business. They also deliver a complete customer experience because reward points can be earned and tracked within the same payment app. Plus, they allow the small business to learn more about each unique customer, which makes it easier to deliver a relevant and personalized experience to each individual.
Even without all of these benefits, the simple truth is that customers are growing to expect that they can use their smartphones and mobile wallet apps to complete purchases. The longer you stay with your existing, non-mobile POS system, the more you will fail to meet this emerging expectation, which puts you at risk of damaging your business’ customer experience.