In Boston, it was recently announced that in the Spring and Summer, there will be 56 total food trucks, which is nearly four times the amount that were in existence in 2011. The city will see several local restaurants trying out a mobile version for the first time as well as some outsiders trying out the Hub. For residents, the influx of food options is great, especially if the owners have adopted a mCommerce solution so the busy clientele can pay with a mobile device.
In many instances, the small and midsize business market has been the breeding ground for these kinds of mobile payment solutions, and it is easy to understand why. A food truck may provide the best grilled cheese, organic smoothie or pizza, but if they don't accept credit they are missing out on a large market.
This is where tablet POS terminals or cloud-based systems come into play. At the recent Street Fight Summit about hyperlocal business content, commerce and technology, several panels of mobile and cloud-based payment solution creators spoke about the industry. With software-as-a-service prices dropping and connectivity increasing, these solutions have the ability to create an entire business solution that can be run on a smartphone or tablet.
"It's similar to the cellphone industry in that until an open platform like an Apple or Android came along, there weren't a tremendous explosion of mobile apps," said Scott Wolfgang, VP of strategic investments at Hearst Interactive Media. "As local businesses adopt open point-of-sale systems, that's going to be a key thing to occur before you can see a significant increase in mobile apps that work for mobile businesses and purchasers."
The B2B industry can take advantage of this also. Imagine being at a trade show, creating contracts and making sales on the spot by pulling out a tablet and swiping a card instead of making follow-up calls a week later. Mobile payments are part of the future of business and companies need to be ready to adopt.