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Mobile Payments a 'No-Brainer' for Small Businesses
By Craig Galbraith
January 04, 2013 - News

Small businesses shouldn't assume that mobile-money initiatives are only for their larger brethren. Electronic Commerce International, a small-business payment processor, is urging smaller companies to look at mobile payments.

“For our small business merchants, getting a mobile payment system in your storefront is going to be crucial to be able to continue to compete," ECI CEO Jim Anderson told Mobile Payments Today.

The theory makes perfect sense to analysts at Yankee Group.

“Offering customers a mobile point of sale (mPoS) should be somewhat of a no-brainer for small businesses," noted Yankee Group associate analyst Jordan McKee, commenting on the MPT article. "The mPoS market is flooded with vendors that specifically target small to mid-sized companies, providing them with the opportunity to better serve their clientele. Merchants with an mPoS have the opportunity to offer increased customer service, given that employees are no longer stuck behind the register. The potential to assist customers anywhere in the store and take the subsequent payment on the spot is a value-add that is difficult to overlook."

Anderson says 20 percent of holiday-season sales were made through a mobile device, providing small companies with a major opportunity to grow sales and revenue.

No longer such a niche offering, McKee calls mobile payments "more of the norm." And companies that "integrate mobile-money initiatives early on will remain ahead of the curve."

This comes on the heels of more than one report last month that the mobile-payments industry is in for some tough sledding ahead. For instance, Gartner noted in its IT predictions for 2013 and beyond that less than 2 percent of consumers globally will adopt Near Field Communication (NFC)-based mobile payments. Juniper Research said Apple's decision not to include NFC technology in the iPhone 5 delivered a "significant blow" to the industry.

On the flip side, Fiserv, the technology-solutions provider, says mobile payments will grow in 2013, driven by the customer’s need to have anytime, anywhere access to their information. More and more people will use smartphones and tablets to access their finances, the company said.

Follow editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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