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How does the mobile payment hype stack up to reality?

August 30, 2012

Mobile payments systems have gained momentum in the past few months, as major retailers and financial services have signalled an embrace of the online credit card processing channel.

Mobile payments systems have gained momentum in the past few months, as major retailers and financial services have signalled an embrace of the online credit card processing channel.

However, some experts are advising both consumers and retailers to move slowly into the arena, as it’s still new and requires improvements. A recent article from the Associated Press reflects on the how the hype of mobile payments systems measured up against their reality.

The first system the AP reviewed involved barcodes, which ultimately required three employees to complete the purchase. When using near-field communications mobile apps, the news source found the problem wasn’t the technology, it was the employees.

“It’ll take more than getting the hardware in place to make mobile systems as ubiquitous as plastic,” the AP explains. “Customers and employees need to get used to it, too.”

The AP offers an additional suggestion to mobile payments providers: Make sure users receive the benefits via their mobile devices as they would when swiping through a credit card terminal.

Currently, only a handful of retailers offer mobile payments systems. Yet, according to The New York Times, companies such as 7-Eleven, Best Buy, CVS and Wal-Mart are all preparing to become mobile-friendly.

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