The payments revolution will be mobile!

27 februari 2014

This blog post is brought to you by our CEO and co-founder, Jacob de Geer.

The advent of mobile payments systems such as iZettle and Square, that allow payments to be taken on a mobile device rather than via a traditional terminal, has changed everything. In the coming 12 months I believe we will see mobile payments become firmly entrenched in daily business practice.

The payments revolution will be mobile. Here are my top five predictions for 2014.

1. It pays to be different
As the market becomes increasingly competitive, we can expect 2014 to be a year when mobile payment providers start to clearly differentiate themselves from their rivals. We will see mPOS (mobile point of sale systems) move beyond merely facilitating payment transactions.

Expect mPOS players to explore avenues such as sales analytics, loyalty reward schemes and white labelling for big businesses, such as banks, that want to get a piece of the market.

A mobile phone, an app and a small card reader can now give you more options, information and analytics than an expensive computer, cash desk and separate card terminal would have just two or three years ago. All for just a fraction of the cost too.

2. Reducing barriers to businesses growth
With the world still trying to climb out of economic gloom, the importance of small businesses to national economies has never been more obvious. 

2014 will see more and more support from governments, both locally and nationally, to help entrepreneurs get going. Banks are under increasing pressure to give SMEs a helping hand so we will see more SME initiatives from them.

Making it easier to take card payments is a part of this movement and banks are now partnering with tech startups and payment ‘disrupters’ to empower small businesses by offering new tools and technology to make it easier for them to sell.

3. ‘Big data’ is so 2013
‘Big data’, and the opportunities it offers big business and government has been one of the key themes of 2013. However, 2014 will be the year of ‘small data’. That is to say that the ability of smaller entities, such as SMEs, to be able to analyse and use data relevant to them to help identify marketing and business opportunities and identify customer trends will become easier than ever.

The constantly improving analytic offerings of mPOS systems means more data on their business performance will be available for SMEs which will help business planning and, ultimately, function as a tool to grow the business.

4. Mobile living
With the era of the smartphone firmly upon us, we are seeing a growing acceptance by both business and consumers to technology changing the way we doing everyday things.

Whilst there remains a level of reluctance amongst sections of the public (especially the older generation) to the infiltration of apps and computers into all aspects of public life, there is no doubt that fear of technology has massively decreased.

There is no better example of this than the use of mobile payments in London and Stockholm by homeless magazine vendors from publications like The Big Issue. A situation unthinkable just a short while back.

5. Chip card standard will increase in influence
One of the major discrepancies between banking in the USA and Europe is the structure around card payments. The USA still has magstripe and signature cards at the core of its system while Europe runs on chip and PIN verification. The latter system is the far more advanced of the two and will continue to increase in influence.

This is a condensed version of an article originally published in The Telegraph

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