By George Webb
Technology is changing the ways we spend our money in ways we’d never thought possible, even just a few years ago. Every year, we see the introduction of innovative new ideas and there seems no end to the possibilities for both businesses and the consumer. Here is a look at new payment technology that may be a fit for your business.
As smartphone and tablet sales continue to increase very quickly, more widespread use of mobile wallets and NFC will take hold sooner rather than later. This is basically an alternative to way for the consumer to carry their debit/credit card data on a mobile device rather than within a card itself.
Being able to accept mobile payments can give a business a number of advantages. Firstly, due to mobile wallets/NFC payments becoming increasingly common, businesses that adopt these practices will be able to stay up to date with more tech aware consumers. These transactions take a faction of the time it would take for cash or card payments, great for reducing queues and wait times during peak times leading to a happier and more streamlined customer experience.
Self-Service and Contactless
Over the last few years, particularly in the food retail industry, there has been a big shift towards speeding up and automating the customer shopping and checkout experience, with the all too familiar “unexpected item in bagging area” prompt so deeply ingrained in British shopping culture that life would not be the same without it.
Big supermarkets and high street chains are all following this trend because it helps keep the businesses costs down and like with mobile wallets, speeds up the consumer shopping experience. Although self-service kiosks have been commonplace for some time we are now seeing the he latest generating of machines now moving towards incorporating new solutions such as contactless and NFC payments.
Closely linked to the mobile wallets, due to the fact that they share the same NFC technology, the rise of smart watches and other wearable technology is likely to cause further advances in the mobile payment tech. We are likely to see to see an increase in the use of payments via wearable tech such as smartwatches due to their ease of use; the consumer can literally complete a payment with the flick of a wrist. While many decry wearable technology as a flop, it important to note that many criticised contactless payments when the technology first became available, where now they are becoming heavy used in daily life.
Internet of Things
The “Internet of Things” is a hot topic right now and will continue be so for some time to come. But what impact will it have on the lives of the consumer and businesses? Well, according Forbes magazine, the new rule is that “Anything that can be connected, will be connected” and the implications for everything we do could be far reaching not least for the retail industry.
One of the most exciting factors of the IoT for both the consumer and retailer is home replenishment. Imagine a home with multiple devices such as your fridge, television and even gym equipment fully integrated to the cloud. Able to restock food and perishables automatically, as well as create shopping lists based in on your use of gym equipment and nutritional goals.
What’s right for your business?
First, businesses should plan and implement any changes to payment technology carefully, it is all too common for businesses to jump in head first without the requisite degree of caution. For example, what value to the customer experience is this bringing? Or is it even relevant to my area or the socio-economic background of my target consumer?
Second, you need to become adept at change management. This involves keeping abreast of developments and keeping focused on the longer reaching impacts of the changes you are making.