The New Way to Pay

The defining aspect of the success of Smartphones over the last five years has been the ability that they have given us to literally do anything we want in practically any place. The phrase ‘there is an app for everything’ has now become common parlance amongst both industry members and consumers alike. We carry in our pockets mini-computers with more power and potential than those which we used in offices just 10 years ago.

We are also using our phones and tablet devices for much more than the simple entertainment devices which can make and  receive calls that was the at the core of the first smartphones. Millions of people now manage their finances largely through online banking and carry out a significant number of transactions and transfers just using their thumbs on the 4 inch screen of a mobile phone.

The payments can be made to existing ‘payees’ or depending upon your bank can be done through a VISA payment sent to the payees mobile phone number which they can them claim. There have been a number of high-profile advertising campaigns targeting consumers in this way, and emphasising the ease with which they can now send and receive small amounts of money without having to request any personal or banking information.

A major leader in the Secure Online Payments market is PayPal. Although as a company and a service PayPal has been in existence for sixteen years and is well known by users of internet auction sites with the explosion of popularity and capability of smartphone and tablet technology PayPal has now become a way to pay for anything and everything.

The appeal of using PayPal to pay for goods and services is two fold; firstly the user is able to register more quickly for payment – all they need to do is login to their account and authorise the transaction and secondly they only need to enter their bank or card details once. This saves time and also increases financial security. Payments can be made directly from a verified bank account, as well as by credit or debit card. The PayPal ‘wallet’ allows users to retain funds received and make payments without transferring it to their bank account.

As smartphone technology has become more advanced users are now able to use their account from a provider such as this to pay for anything from the fuel for their car, to clothes to a meal out. As well as to make recurring payments for ongoing services.

It is also possible for small businesses to now take card payments using just a mobile phone, massively reducing the time and costs of paper processing. These types of payments are also having a significant impact in developing countries where it has now become cheaper than ever to make secure financial transactions.

In a recent article we looked at the impact that QR codes are having on the technology industry, and a significant area of this is in mobile payments. The payer selects how much they want to pay and to whom, this then generates a QR code which is scanned by the merchant and the payment is complete! There has been no messing about with cards, PINs or cash. It has all be done instantaneously and securely.

Do you use your mobile devices to carry out day to day financial tasks? What impact do you think that it is having on your business? Let us know!

Image Credits: © Artur Marciniec - Fotolia.com