Mobile based payments or simply mobile payments are form of payments made through mobile devices, as opposed to card or cash. It’s a broad term, one which includes many different types of payments within its ecosystem.
Knowing about these payment types and their individual features, is therefore important for any merchant who wants to offer customers the option to pay with their smartphones or tablets.
In this article, we’ll walk you through a general introduction to four main types of mobile payments to help you get familiar with your options, and kick start your journey towards becoming an ultimate mobile merchant in your niche.
NFC payments are the most popular form of mobile payments. This payment type relies on communication between an NFC-enabled smartphone and a POS device, facilitated via an RFID link.
What basically happens is, consumers have their card details stored in digital format on a smartphone. The media for storage can either be the smartphone’s SIM card or a cloud based platform accessible from the consumer’s smartphone.
At the checkout terminal, consumers tell the merchant that they wish to pay using a smartphone. The retailer obliges, and presents a POS device that can accept contactless payments. The consumer accesses the card digitally, and brings the smartphone closer to the payment module, following which, the card details are transmitted via NFC and the transaction is completed.
Mobile payments via QR code
QR code is one of the recent developments in the payment industry. This mobile payment method is already quite popular in China. That’s not to say rest of the world doesn’t use it.
The working principle is simple. Using a QR scanning app, consumers digitally link their card details to a unique code. Whenever a consumer wants to make payment, the code is shared with the retailer. If the retailer has a QR scanner, they will scan the code to identify you and deduct the required amount using a compatible payment processing system. If retailers don’t have a scanner, the consumer’s code is requested to be shared within an app environment. This app then facilitates their purchases.
In-aisle mobile payments
In-aisle mobile payments refer to those payments that work on scan-and-go technology. Consumers scan the items they’re interested in purchasing. The scanned item is stored in an app. When consumers want to check out, they simply access the app and make an in-app purchase. This eliminates the need of queues and helps businesses free up valuable real estate.
An alternative to NFC payments, Bluetooth payments utilize low energy Bluetooth signals to transfer payment related information between a consumer’s Bluetooth-enabled smartphone and a retailer’s Bluetooth device, known as the beacon.
As soon as the consumer enters the store, their smartphone starts communicating with an in-store beacon. All purchase activities are recorded by the smartphone and their details are sent to the beacon. At the time of checkout, the consumer tells the retailer to process the final amount, which is automatically paid through the consumer’s mobile wallet.
Mobile payment technology has come a long way since its inception. As the business community continues to strive for ways to provide consumers with seamless and convenient shopping experience, one can safely say there’s more to come.
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