by Ty Hardison

Millennials spearhead spike in mobile payments

Mobile payments are rapidly becoming more popular. "The time has come: Mobile payments will either be the next big thing or a huge flop." This title from a 2015 article in Quartz captures the uncertain future of mobile payments - despite a growing list of smartphone companies and banks adding their own mobile wallets to what quickly became a crowded market, consumers' response remained lukewarm. It was difficult to determine whether shoppers would ever give up their plastic cards in favor of their smartphones. That future is now beginning to come into focus, and it looks like mobile payments may live up to expectations after all. In a study spanning some 40 million customers, Bank of America found mobile wallet transactions are up nearly 250 percent year-over-year, with mobile wallet spending following at 220 … more

Point-of-sale security critical to consumer loyalty

Cyber security is critical for retailers of all sizes. When it comes to keeping payment data secure, merchants have plenty of financial incentive. From undergoing a PCI-mandated forensic analysis to providing credit monitoring for affected customers, a data breach can set small business retailers back as much as $50,000, according to FirstData. However, new research suggests companies could stand to suffer even more in lost business if their point-of-sale systems are compromised. Nearly one in five consumers said they would stop shopping at a retailer altogether if it suffered a POS security breach, according to KMPG's 2016 Consumer Loss Barometer. Another 33 percent said they would likely not make another purchase there for at least three months. These results suggest that merchants would have to content … more

3 things every retailer needs to know about accepting wearable payments

Nearly 50 percent of consumers own a wearable device. What started with fitness bands and smart watches has now grown to become a $20 billion dollar wearable technology industry, according to Goldman Sachs. Despite being a newcomer to the consumer market, nearly 50 percent of consumers already own at least one wearable device, PwC found, leading many to believe they hold the key to future of in-store payments.Tractica, for example, predicts consumers will make more than $500 billion worth of payments via wearable as soon as 2020. While this surely signifies an exciting period of change for shoppers, retailers must also be ready to adapt to the shifting contactless payments landscape.Here's what you need to know as you prepare for the upcoming wearable payments boom:1. You might already have the hardware.  Most wearable devices would … more

EMV adoption picking up pace

Chip-enabled terminals are becoming more common with retailers. Across the country, the number of consumers and retailers with access to EMV technology continues to grow, helping drive down fraud rates at some of the nation's largest merchants. As many as 80 percent of Mastercard's consumer credit cards in the U.S. now have the embedded chips necessary for EMV payments, according to the card company. Consumers can use those cards to make EMV payments at 1.7 million merchant locations that now accept Mastercard chip payments. While that figure is up a whopping 374 percent since the October 1, 2015 liability shift deadline, it still represents just 30 percent of the total U.S. merchant population, Mastercard reported, suggesting there's still plenty of progress to be made in driving EMV adoption.Merchants who … more

Wells Fargo takes one step closer to a cardless customer experience

Wells Fargo now offers its members a proprietary mobile wallet. For years, one of the most rewarding parts of opening your first checking account was the moment you were handed your debit card for the first time. With that little piece of plastic, you could pay for goods and take out cash from stores and ATMs just about anywhere. For new Wells Fargo customers, however, the plastic card will play far less of a role. In fact, first time account holders may enter a world where they hardly have to use their debit card at all. Wells Fargo members now have access to a new mobile wallet from the bank, which allows shoppers to make NFC payments in eligible stores without taking their cards out of their wallets. When they need cash, they will soon be able to extract it from NFC-enabled ATMs currently being upgraded across the country. About 40 … more

What the Visa/PayPal partnership means for merchants

PayPal members will now have the option to connect their Visa cards to their accounts. On this year's second-quarter earnings calls, businesses around the country announced past profits and future initiatives to their shareholders, but none had quite as much to share as financial giants Visa and PayPal. On July 21, the two companies announced a deal that will propel PayPal's push to the in-store market while extending Visa's presence online. Under the partnership, PayPal will stop steering users away from linking their Visa cards to their accounts. Previously, the company encouraged users to connect their bank accounts directly to their PayPal wallets instead, so that PayPal could process payments with ACH's low fees rather than pay card processing fees. In exchange, Visa will include PayPal in its Visa Digital Enablement Program, which allows … more

Contactless payments: Another reason to upgrade your terminal

Retailers who upgrade to EMV terminals get built-in NFC functionality. Last October's EMV deadline handed merchants across the country a new ultimatum: Upgrade your terminal to accept EMV card payments or assume responsibility for any fraud that comes from the less secure magnetic-swipe transactions. Still, almost a year later countless retailers have yet to adopt the hardware they need to accept chip cards at the point of sale. What they may not realize, however, is that most EMV terminals also include the near-field communication technology required to accept tap-to-pay options, such as mobile wallets and contactless cards. Therefore, by failing to update their POS terminals, not only are merchants eschewing chip cards, but they are also missing out on a chance to accept a rapidly growing payment style that could benefit both them and their … more

Electronic payments responsible for massive economic growth

New research shows the efficiency of electronic payments paved the way for U.S. economic growth. For every retailer, accepting card payments brings a few major benefits, including improved cash flow, security and customer access. While direct perks like these often motivate individual businesses to adopt an electronic payment program, new research shows that the proliferation of electronic payments can have a massive impact on the national economy as a whole. When consumers opt to pay electronically, whether online or in person with a card, both they and the retailer are rewarded with convenience. Shoppers don't have to visit the bank as often to restock on cash, and never have to worry about delaying a purchase because their wallet is empty. Plus, they're able to buy the products they want without experiencing the pain of parting with their cash. On the other side of … more

3 benefits of bringing your giving program online

Accepting donations online can boost your organization's return.

In the wake of the recent e-commerce explosion, companies and consumers alike are becoming more comfortable making and receiving payments online. Despite this convergence in the consumer sphere, many churches, schools and other nonprofit organizations have yet to bring their giving programs online, limiting an increasingly tech-savvy populace to making donations via check or over the phone.

While this delay may be due in large part to tight budgets and the belief that technological solutions are too expensive, it is now more affordable than ever to bring business online. Plus, engaging potential donors via the internet creates opportunities to vastly increase giving, such that web-based solutions can pay for themselves quicker than ever. 

Here's how adding an online element … more

How to choose which mobile payments your business should accept

Accepting mobile payments requires an investment, but choosing the right platform can ensure that investment is returned quickly. NFC-enabled device offer some clear benefits for merchants already upgrading for EMV chip card acceptance. While expanding your offering to accept mobile payments may once have required a significant upfront investment to purchase the proper hardware, most EMV terminals also include an NFC reader built right in. With the right technology already on your countertop, there has never been a better time to start offering your customers the option to pay with their phone.  NFC-enabled mobile payment systems are among the most popular. Here are a few reasons an NFC-based system may be the best mobile payment strategy for your business to support:Popularity: Apple Pay currently boasts a user base of about 12 million consumers, with Android Pay accounting for another 5 million tap-to-pay … more