Passbook could be a brilliant way for Apple to trump any other mobile payment option.
Mobile payment technologies have an interesting and complicated relationship with local businesses. On the one hand, local mom-and-pop restaurants, shops, and services are probably the companies that you’d expect to adopt new payment technologies the slowest – particularly if those technologies require new point of sale hardware like an NFC reader. On the other hand, mobile payment systems could be poised to deliver a new wave of business to such local companies.
Making the situation more complicated is the fact that any mobile payment system (Google Wallet, PayPal in-store purchasing, or any system that Apple may be slowly developing) can’t be considered a solid winner or option unless that system strikes it big with local businesses. A system that only applies to large chains, like the in-store purchasing the PayPal rolled out to Home Depot and other retailers, can’t be considered mainstream unless it’s adopted very widely and by a significant percentage of small businesses.
Further complicating the relationship is the fact that many players in the race to create a true digital wallet are on focusing widely varying options for small and local businesses. That means that no one company is leading and no company really seems to have a consistent strategy for tapping this immense and important market.
Despite new technologies for mobile payments, customers trust familiar companies like Apple.
PayPal, Amazon, and Apple are leading the mobile payment market according to IDC. The research company released the results of a business strategy study that focused on new and emerging payment technologies. The 2012 study is eighth year that IDC has conducted the survey, but it is the first year where mobile payments were a major focus.
While many efforts are underway to develop new payment technologies, many of them based around NFC, most new technologies have yet to catch on with consumers.
Overall mobile payments, however, are catching on with consumers. IDC reports that the number of individuals making mobile payments has doubled since last year’s report and that one-third (33%) of consumers have made some form of mobile payment. The data also shows that the mobile payments market is being led established players and existing technologies.
You know your product is successful when somebody starts selling accessories for it. But what about when people start selling accessories for accessories, which work together with the original product? This happens: the New iPad Credit Card Dock, a perspex frame which holds both and iPad and a Square credit card reader.
This cash register could be used in the House of Bamboo
I used to work as a the sole waiter in a restaurant where the cash register consisted of a wooden cigar box and a solar-powered Casio calculator. I’m an honest chap, and the chef was also the owner, so it worked just fine. But times have changed, and now there exists a modern alternative to our old cedar box. It’s called the Cashbox and it is fashioned from beautiful bamboo varnished to look like a hideous high-school craft project.
It looks like Square has yet another competitor in the mobile payments arena. Global payment leader VeriFone has announced SAIL, a credit card reader much like Square’s, that will attach to a number of mobile devices. While VeriFone may have a little catching up to do, they have the advantage of an extensive network with a commanding percentage of retail transactions passing through their service.
As a business owner, I love being able to take payments on my iPhone or iPad when I’m on the go — like at my booth during Seattle Comic Con. That’s one of the reason’s I’m a big Square fan. But while Square has a beautiful design and makes taking credit card payments a snap, it lacks a lot of features real businesses need.
Enter USAePay, which, like Square, also offers iPhone and iPad-compatible credit card readers. But together with their iOS app, USAePay provides many features Square doesn’t. And it’s for that reason, I decided to take USAePay for a spin; here’s what I found.
Paypal has finally made it into the mobile payment market after being beat to the punch by the likes of Square and Intuit. PayPal may be late to the party but they have a more recognizable name in the world of payment systems and that may just be enough to push them to the front of the line. Besides their name, they’re also offering merchants a 2.7% flat rate on transactions versus the 2.75% offered by Square. PayPal didn’t stop there either, launching a full on geometrical attack by choosing a triangle as the shape of choice for their card reader dongle.
Square, the iOS credit-card company, wants to replace lame old cash registers with sleek iPads sporting its little square white credit card-reading dongle. The new Square Register app for iPad aims to do just that.
Meet Julie Summers. She’s a “street worker” (prostitute) who is dragging her industry into the 21st century. Julie is the first — certainly that I know of — who doesn’t just accept cash, but will also take card using the Square service on her iPhone.