According to a report issued earlier this year by Bank of America, the number of consumers using their phones to make purchases is now at 40%, up from 34% in 2015.
What is particularly intriguing about this is that the trend cuts across all age groups, so it’s not just the Millennials that grew up with smartphones opting for mobile payment. These stats also are specific to in-store purchases – further reducing the number of customers still paying with cash or by check.
Good old-fashioned money is still the most prominent method of paying for goods at a checkout counter. But if these trends continue that won’t be the case forever.
Such payments are referred to NFC – near field communication. That term describes the technology that allows two devices, in most cases a customer’s smartphone and a company’s payment terminal, to communicate with each other when they are in close proximity.
Businesses that want to accept these payments will need a NFC-enabled payment reader. When a payment is initiated, the NFC-enabled reader and the smartphone pass encrypted information back and forth to complete the payment. This process only takes a few seconds, and is typically faster than an exchange of cash or even the chip cards now replacing magstripe debit cards.
If you’re a merchant, you need to be ready to accept payment however your customers wish to provide it. Do you have the ability to take NFC transactions, of the kind being so actively promoted now by places like Apple Pay? If the terminals at your business are not set up for this, you may run the risk of losing business from those who prefer digital payments.