EMSPlus Blog

The Beginner’s Guide to Accepting Mobile Payments

Samantha Hubay

In this post, we’ll review the important points of accepting mobile payments, and offer some insight for gaining a competitive advantage.

Table of Contents

  1. What are Mobile Payments?
  2. How Mobile Payments Work
  3. Why You Should Accept Mobile Payments
  4. Enhancing Customer Experience
    1. In-person Shopping
    2. No More Lines
    3. Loyalty & Brand Awareness
  5. How to Choose the Right Equipment
  6. Get Started Today!


Mobile Payments Explained

A mobile payment is a regulated transaction that takes place through a mobile device. It functions just like any other credit card payment, only it’s completely digital. Credit or debit card details are stored on your device through a mobile wallet app, such as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay. Mobile wallets store information securely and require a thumbprint or other authorization to access.


How Mobile Payments Work

A technology called NFC, which stands for Near Field Communication, allows mobile payments to be processed. NFC does not require any manual connection or pairing to transfer data. All a customer has to do is open their mobile wallet and hold their phone about two inches from the NFC terminal. Their digital wallet will pop up and ask for a confirmation of payment. Once they have opened the wallet and confirmed the payment, it will be processed in a snap! No fumbling with cash or digging around for a card required.

Here is a list of devices that come equipped with NFC technology:

  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • All devices on Android 4.0 or later, using Android Beam capabilities


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Why You Should Accept Mobile Payments

There are plenty of reasons why your small business should accept mobile payments, besides the obvious convenience factor. Here are some of the top reasons to implement mobile acceptance:

1. Integrate loyalty programs and grow revenue

Many mobile wallet applications allow users to integrate their loyalty cards as well. That means a customer will never have to worry about leaving their card at home or rifling through their keychain for the right one. As long as they remembered to bring their phone, they can access the incentives and discounts available through their loyalty membership.


2. Easily accept credit card payments

Some small businesses still employ a cash-only policy. As we highlighted in a previous blog post, the time to accept credit card payments is now. But we understand, switching to a credit card processing model can be an overwhelming undertaking for your small business. Mobile payment acceptance can serve as a simple step between cash-only and a full blown point of sale system.


3. Track trends and monitor inventory

Since you’ll be processing credit cards with mobile acceptance; you’ll also gain insight into your customers’ habits and behaviors. For example, you could pull a report after a rush to see if there was a popular product during that time. Or, you could analyze the discounts that were used throughout the day to determine if your marketing emails are reaching customers. You can also monitor inventory to make sure you get those popular products back up on the shelf.


4. Increase checkout speeds

This one’s a no-brainer. Mobile payments are the fastest way for your customers to pay. Everyone wants fast, seamless service when it comes to checking out, because that’s typically the least exciting part of the experience. Make sure your customers leave your shop on a positive note.


5. Increase sales

Offering mobile payments as an option for your customers is a great way to boost sales, especially if you have historically accepted cash or check only. Recent research has shown that 80% of consumers carry credit cards, but 51% of small businesses only take cash. There is a huge opportunity there for welcoming more customers to your business and increasing sales.


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Enhancing the Customer Experience

Now that we’ve highlighted the reasons why you should accept mobile payments, let’s talk about how it affects your customers. The customer experience is extremely important in today’s retail environment. With eCommerce on the rise, brick and mortar shops have to find new ways to compete with the convenience of shopping online. One way to do this is through mobile payment acceptance.

In-person Shopping

Mobile payments are revolutionizing the way a customer shops. For example, let’s imagine for a moment that you own a boutique clothing and accessories store for women. You start accepting mobile payments, so you put a sign up in the window. A customer walking by on her way back from a run notices the sign and the attractive items in the window, so she walks in. She doesn’t have a full purse or wallet with her, because she wasn’t planning on making a purchase. However, she does have her phone in-hand which is equipped with a mobile wallet. Suddenly, this customer who wasn’t planning to make a purchase is buying a new shirt from your store. And thanks to mobile payment acceptance, it’s a breeze. In this example, mobile payment acceptance was not only a convenience for the customer; it was a reason for her to enter your store.

No More Lines

Everyone hates waiting in line, right? Except maybe the roller coaster enthusiast, where waiting in line is just part of the experience. With mobile payment acceptance, you can cut down on the time your customers have to wait to check out. Mobile wallets are very fast and simple to use. All a customer needs to do is hold their smart phone near your payment terminal for a few seconds. Once confirmed, payment information is transferred wirelessly and processed. This speed and efficiency can help decrease a customer’s wait time and ensure their last experience in your store is a positive one.

Loyalty & Brand Awareness

You can even integrate a loyalty program into your mobile wallet acceptance solutions. This way you encourage customers to return and make a purchase from you again. Plus, by accepting mobile payments you’ll look like the most tech-savvy retailer on the block.


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How to Choose the Right Equipment

Not all merchant services providers are created equal and all credit card terminals are slightly different. When it comes to something as important as payment processing, you want to make sure you can trust both your terminal and your provider. Here are some things to consider when choosing equipment:

1. Cost

Service fees and extra costs matter, especially to a small business like yours. It’s important to analyze the costs and fees associated with a potential merchant services provider before deciding which will be the right fit. A good starting point is to determine if your processor charges a monthly rate or a per-transaction fee.

Electronic Merchant Systems’ fees are the lowest in the industry!

2. Security

Fraud prevention and security are vital to keeping your small business out of big trouble. Fortunately, most merchant services providers have security services already built into their systems. However, you should make sure they are PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant as well. These standards require that your payment ecosystem is inventoried, documented, and secured.

EMS is a level 1 PCI-DSS compliant company!


3. Payment Methods

This could go without saying, but make sure your merchant services provider is going to equip you to handle any method of payment your customers will use. This includes cash, check, magnetic strip credit or debit cards, EMV chip cards, and NFC payments.

EMS manages and safeguards many types of transactions, including all major credit cards, debit cards, electronic benefits transfer (EBT), stored-value, and electronic check services.


4. Integrations

Look for a payment processor that provides more than just processing. That may sound counter-intuitive, but we promise it’s not. What you really need is a partner to help grow your business

EMS offers a full suite of solutions to help expand your business. We’ll meet you where you are today and help you build for tomorrow.


5. Support

Finally, you’ll want to make sure your payment processor has excellent customer service. You never know when an issue may arise, so look for a company that offers 24/7/365 support.

Electronic Merchant Systems’ customer support team is unparalleled. We’re here, 24/7/365 to assist with anything you may need. Whether your question arises at 3pm or 3am, give us a call. 


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Get Started Today!

Now that you have a sense of all that mobile payments can help you achieve, are you ready to get started? Contact us today and let’s talk about the best solution for your business.

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