- Contactless payments of all types have been replacing cash and card payments at a rapid pace
- The ability for customers to pay with a smartphone and digital wallet can be a major advantage
- Equipping your business with the technology to handle digital wallets should be a priority
With smartphones in the pockets of virtually everyone around the world, it’s not surprising that people are taking advantage of the vast array of functions that these mobile devices can perform. In addition to being our main form of communication and information access, smartphones are now replacing other physical things such as personal identification, keys, and even credit and debit cards for making payments using digital wallet apps.
In case you haven’t noticed, the average person’s wallet has really started to shrink down over recent years. Smartphones have made it easy to lighten your pockets by eliminating the need to carry all types of things we used to keep in wallets and purses, such as customer loyalty cards, health benefit plan cards, identification cards, and even physical keys and access cards. All of these things can now be contained digitally within apps on our smartphones, and so can all our various methods of paying for products and services thanks to the advent of the digital wallet.
We’ve been rapidly progressing towards an entirely cashless society for many years, and many people have stopped carrying physical currency altogether in favour of alternative payment methods. Credit cards, debit cards, tap-to-pay cards and now digital wallet apps that live on our smartphones have essentially eliminated any need for cash and coins. However, not all businesses are equipped with the right point-of-sale technology to handle these new digital payment methods. This can put a business at a serious disadvantage, so there’s no time to waste in implementing a POS solution that will future-proof your company and deliver the fast and efficient payment processing experience that customers have come to expect.
But, why have digital wallets become so popular in recent years? What exactly are they, and what advantages do they offer to customers?
What is a Digital Wallet App?
A digital wallet is exactly what it sounds like; a digital representation of a physical wallet. The two most popular digital wallet apps are, unsurprisingly, the Apple Wallet (for iOS devices) and the Google Wallet (for Android devices). To set up a digital wallet on your smartphone, simply enter the details of your various credit cards and online payment methods into the app, and those details are securely retained and stored on your phone.
When the time comes to pay for a product or service, either in person or online, simply open up the app and select the preferred payment method, then follow the prompts to authorize and confirm your payment. You’ll never need to search through your wallet or purse for a physical payment card again, making the checkout experience faster, easier, and far more efficient. Digital wallets can be used to complete online purchases, ecommerce payments, as well as for in-store transactions.
Sounds simple, right? It is, but so far, we haven’t necessarily explained the specific mechanics behind how digital wallet technology actually functions to replace a physical payment card like a credit or debit card. The answer to that question lies deep within the smartphone hardware in the form of a near-field communication (NFC) chip.
How do Digital Wallet Payment Apps Work Using NFC Technology?
Near-field communications technology is used in many different applications, including widespread use in payment processing. If you’ve ever used a tap-to-pay credit or debit card at a point-of-sale, then you’ve used NFC technology. You see, embedded inside a tap-enabled credit or debit card is a small chip. When this chip comes into close proximity to the NFC sensor of a tap-to-pay terminal, an encrypted signal containing the payment details is wirelessly sent to the POS where it is then transmitted securely to the payment processor for verification and authorization. NFC tap-to-pay systems are fast, secure, and very convenient for businesses and customers alike.
Your smartphone also contains an NFC chip, which it uses for many different tasks that involve sending and receiving data over short distances. Some examples include wirelessly sending images, contact information, and other forms of digital files from one smartphone or NFC-enabled device to another. Your smartphone’s NFC chip is what allows digital wallets to perform the same function as a physical credit or debit card at the point-of-sale by sending the necessary payment information stored in the digital wallet through the NFC chip and wirelessly to the merchant’s point-of-sale system.
Now, we’ve reached the main issue for businesses and why digital wallets are so important to include among their list of accepted payment methods. You see, not all point-of-sale systems are compatible with NFC payment technology, and therefore not all will be able to accept payments from customers using digital wallets on their smartphones. Given the ongoing growth of contactless and cashless payment methods as the preferred type of payments among consumers of all demographics, it is absolutely critical that businesses are equipped to meet these demands and are prepared to accommodate the payment preferences of their customers.
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Payment Processing Systems from MONEXgroup Compatible with Digital Wallets
Fortunately, there are many types of point-of-sale systems your business can choose from that are fully capable of accepting any and all types of payments, including cash, credit and debit cards, and NFC digital wallet payments. Which system you choose ultimately depends on how your business handles the checkout process. For example, the ideal payment processing solution for a physical retail store will not be the same as what’s best for an on-site contractor or an ecommerce online digital storefront. MONEXgroup’s team of payment processing experts will work closely with you to evaluate all the available options, and guide you towards the system that is the best fit for your needs.
For businesses that process the majority of their transactions in person, an in-store POS system such as the Clover Station Duo or the Clover Mini will provide all the compatibility you need to accept payments of all types including NFC digital wallet payments. In addition, you can also equip your POS with a robust suite of business apps and software tools to enhance productivity and obtain critical business data. From your Clover POS system, you can perform tasks such as inventory control, staff scheduling, loyalty program setup, customer account management, and much more.
If you need a portable point-of-sale solution that can be taken anywhere, the Clover Flex offers the same digital wallet payment processing compatibility of Clover’s in-store payment solutions, but in a compact mobile form factor. With built-in WiFi and cellular LTE connectivity, the Clover Flex goes wherever you need it to, making it the ideal POS system for many types of mobile businesses including contractors, on-site service providers, food trucks, pop-up restaurants, and more.
To accept payments from digital wallet apps at vending machines, parking terminals, ticketing kiosks, and other types of unattended applications, MONEXgroup can supply your business with flexible and intuitive payment terminals that are compatible with all types of NFC payments. Your unattended payment terminals can be specially configured to provide an optimized transaction flow for your customers, and the digital screen interface can be customized to feature your brand logo and colors for a seamless brand experience.
MONEXgroup can also implement a comprehensive ecommerce platform for your business to accept digital wallet payments through your online store. Whether you need a complete end-to-end ecommerce website, or wish to integrate a more powerful ecommerce payment portal into your existing online store, our technical web experts will assist you every step of the way. We can also create a virtual terminal solution for your business that can allow you to process digital wallet transactions for customers through any smartphone, connected tablet, PC or laptop.
Upgrade your POS System and Prepare for The Future
Adoption of digital wallet apps like Apple Wallet and Google Wallet continues to accelerate, and it’s a simple fact that your business must be prepared to handle digital wallet payment transactions, starting now. Customers demand speed, convenience, security, and simplicity when checking out and paying for products and services at the point-of-sale, and digital wallets deliver on all those criteria. By enabling customers to pay with whatever method they prefer, your business will be poised to capitalize on the growing trend of digital wallets and smartphone NFC payments. With MONEXgroup as your merchant services and payment processing provider, your business will have the technology and support you need to make the most of digital wallet payments now, and into the future.
Author: Layal Scheirich, Head of Sales at MONEXgroup
Bio: With 18 years of experience in payment processing and merchant services, Layal has seen in-store POS technology evolve from its humble beginnings to contactless, unattended, mobile and online alternatives. Today, Layal is an inspiration to the MONEXgroup’s team and a go-to source of information related to payment processing. She is enthusiastic to share her knowledge with audiences interested in cutting-edge technologies available today, such as unattended payment for self-serve kiosks, e-commerce online payment gateways, virtual terminals, and contactless and mobile payment solutions.
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Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Implementing Contactless Payment Systems for Small Businesses
Contactless payment is any system that allows consumers to make a purchase without touching the payment terminal or handing over cash. Most contactless transactions use a technology called near field communication (NFC).
Contactless Payment Systems vs. Mobile Payment Technology
As the name suggests, contactless payment systems involve payments made through any medium not using actual physical cash. All transactions are completed electronically through a wireless technology called Near Field Communication (NFC).
What is an NFC Payment?
Each year, fewer Canadians are carrying cash and instead are opting to pay with different types of payment cards and a wide range of digital payment methods that offer greater speed and security during the transaction process.
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