Earlier this year we reported about the growing trend of mobile payments on 2011.
Now that more than half a year has passed, it is clear that the battle has started and the next few months will be critical for the future of mobile payments. The technology is getting popular, with many new mobile phone models now equipped by default with NFC technology.
But the innovation is not only on the customer side. Vendors can now use mobile devices and networks to accept payments. First was Square. Their very simple solution of mobile payment lets almost anyone with an iPhone or Adroid device accept credit card payments at a very competitive price, relying on their internet connectivity to securely process the payment.
Soon, competitors appeared. Erply, which specializes in cloud-based point-of-sale solutions for mobile devices as well as desktops and laptops, has unveiled a new mobile credit card reader for handheld mobile devices.
Touted for both small and large businesses, the Erply card reader is designed to support traditional credit card processing as well as near field communications (NFC) technology.
And not later than last month, Intuit Inc. and Verizon Wireless on Thursday announced that Intuit’s GoPayment mobile application and reader are now available in Verizon Wireless’s 2,300 U.S. stores.
Intuit is another service of mobile payment, similar to Square and Erply.
As carriers seek to sell more services to small businesses, they’re increasingly seeing the value of offering payment applications with smart phones, according to mobile-payments consultant Todd Ablowitz, president of Centennial, Colo.-based Double Diamond Group. “Clearly what this says more than anything else is that carriers that can reach merchants and casual merchants are recognizing the value of payment acceptance,” he says.
“Payments and transactions are often the biggest hurdle businesses face,” Mike Schaefer, executive director of the Business Solutions Group for Verizon Wireless, said in a news release. “Our value proposition is to streamline, simplify, and enable business owners to get paid with minimal delay.”
Those who feel left out in this race are the Banks. It probably won’t be very long before they come up with an answer to these new competitors.