A mobile payment service can take many forms: Payments taken at the countertop point-of-sale, in-app, online, or through a mobile POS. This diverse payment processing market is evolving at a rapid pace today.

To truly understand why mobile payment services matter for your business, you must first understand what exactly constitutes this type of payment method, why it’s a necessity today and where mobile fits into the changing market trends. Merchants must also understand if they’re the type of business that fits this model, and learn how it may impact their customer relations.

To break down this ever-changing market, we’ve gathered the key insights that any merchant needs to know as they begin researching the inner workings of the mobile payment services market. Armed with these tips and you can be better equipped to decide which solution matches the needs of you and your customers.

What are Mobile Payment Services?

Mobile payment services allow businesses to accept mobile payments anytime, anywhere, and on almost any mobile device. They enable a flexible, streamlined payment processing experience that makes payment acceptance more ubiquitous for both the business and the customer. In essence, mobile payment services are the technology that allows for merchants to accept a variety of modern, secure and innovative payment methods — along with traditional payment options.

Mobile payment services cover all the basics: Magstripe cards, EMV cards, contactless, online and mobile. The devices that fall into this category help businesses rid themselves of clunky legacy POS systems that make accepting modern and new payment methods friction-filled. Instead, mobile payment services put merchants in control over how they want to control the payment experience with their customers. Whether it’s in-person, online, or via a mobile device while on the go, mobile payment services are ideal for any business who wants a POS that is flexible, adaptable and future-proofed.

The market is ripe for change across the mobile payment services. Data from BI Intelligence estimates that in-store mobile payments will hit $503 billion by 2020, which is an 80% growth over a five-year period. Industry data estimates that mobile wallets are expected could surpass the use of both credit and debit cards by 2020. While the many reports about the mobile payments market fluctuate about how much consumers will actually use mobile payments technology, it’s clear that merchants need to be ready to accept more innovative types of payments. Embracing mobile payments services is the way to achieve that goal.

Which Businesses Fit the Mobile Payment Service Model?

Mobile payment services fully connect with the rest of your billing and accounting systems to keep your payments records up to date in real time. It also allows customers to interact with them across more devices, and through better payment technology. Any business wanting more flexible, modern payment methods that can be custom-tailored to accept more payment types fit the bill for mobile payment services. This could include, but is not limited to:

  • New entrepreneurs who are just starting out their business and want a better way to oversee every aspect of their business operations.
  • Budget-savvy business owners who want to lower payment processing costs and merchants looking for a reliable payment system.
  • Retail business owners looking for a solution that will keep costs down
  • Business owners in need of stable, reliable, and secure processing solutions
  • Merchants who do it all for their business and need streamlined retail credit card processing solutions that won’t break the bank.

What Are the Different Types of Mobile Payment Options?

The mobile payments market is vast. It includes businesses that accept payments via a mobile device at the point of sale — either through a contactless method or a QR code that is scanned. Mobile payments also refer to digital payments that allow shoppers to pay in-app or online using a payment method such as PayPal or Apple Pay.

How to Decide which Mobile Payment Service is Best

There is no mobile payment service that is best for any type of business. The beauty of mobile payments is the built-in flexibility that these services can provide businesses of any size. Instead of being constrained to one or two types of payment methods, mobile payment services equipped merchants to accept both EMV and magstripe card payments, as well as NFC/contactless payments (such as Apple Pay and mobile wallets) – all in one device.

There are also plug-and-play devices that can easily be added onto devices that provides merchants with a fast, reliable and seamless mobile device. This provides business with on-the-go advanced payments encryption technology that is compatible with many iOS and Android devices. Choosing the right mobile payment service starts by finding a payment processing experience that can give your business the needed flexibility to attract the widest net of customers possible. The right partner will provide a payments experience that adapts to your growing needs — and not the other way around.

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Anna Kragie is a content contributor for Payline Data. She previously wrote for PYMNTS.com, as a Sr. Content Producer, where she focused on financial services and payments innovation, fraud and security, emerging payments, and FinTech news, research and thought-leadership content across the payments industry.