This post was originally written by Brandon Hollembeak, Product Manager – Advertising Products & Services
Chances are you’ve either heard of or seen mobile payments happening, as opposed to this time a year ago, when the conversations were just starting. Here in Chicago and across the country, many of the new or smaller retailers are quickly adopting some type of mobile payment solution to run their Point of Sale process with increasing frequency; while big box stores have begun doing their own experiments.
There are many facets to mobile payments we could dive into, including the big race to dominate the mobile payment industry between mobile carriers (like AT&T, Verizon), mobile software providers (like Google, PayPal, Intuit) and financial institutions (like Visa, Mastercard, Chase Bank). For this first post, let’s focus on the three main methods that are most used today and up and coming.
Paying with your credit card on a mobile website is the most basic example of mobile payments. You can submit payments on pretty much any retailer’s mobile website today, just as easily as you can from a desktop.
Mobile Card Swipe
There are two ways to affect change: 1) Force or 2) Convincing. Some of the biggest leaps in technology over the last few years have used #2 to successfully change how we live and what we do. Foursquare made check-ins a game to lure people in. Now that people are used to check-ins, the game isn’t really needed, which is why Facebook Places has been successful. Spotify made your music available in the cloud (comfy) and added in sharing what you’re listening to (not comfy), and now how many songs do you see on your friend’s Facebook pages? Again, it’s working.
The Mobile Card Swipe is the smallest change for consumers, since they are still using their credit card to swipe, but it’s being swiped by one of many new services for business that have popped up over the last year. Square is one of the most popular mobile card swipe tools along with PayPal, Intuit (which syncs automatically with QuickBooks) and Verifone.
Near-Field Communication Payments & Mobile Wallets
Near-Field Communication (or NFC) is a technology using Radio Frequency chips in different plastic cards you can beep against a reader to use. These chips are now starting to be incorporated into mobile phones.
Software like Google Wallet, iWallet (Apple), V.me (Visa) and others have created Mobile Wallets. They store your credit card or bank information directly in your account and device, so you can use those accounts to beep your phone against an NFC reader at a check-out.
Google is one of the first to integrate the mobile wallet with phones to actually beep your phone at a participating retailer to pay. Apple is rumored to be including it in a future version of the iPhone, with several other mobile manufacturers testing it as well.
In the multifamily industry, there are many different scenarios where you could take advantage of mobile payments. Residents paying their rent is the obvious choice, but what about paying a maintenance bill to their hand-held device before the maintenance staff leaves? Or if you have paid parking spaces for guests, using mobile payments so you don’t have to have garage staff?
Have you personally used mobile payments yet? Does your management company use mobile payments? If so, do you have any advice or stories to share?