Mobile payment is not a new concept. The online money transfer system PayPal has been around since 1998. SMS payments are also available, but have been criticized for their poor reliability and slow speeds. QR Code payments have been successful in Asia and in some parts of Europe. Google Wallet was released in the US in 2011. In 2014, Apple released Apple Pay for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and it seems that mobile payments are finally starting to take off. In this article we learn what are Google Wallet and Apple Pay.
Why mobile and why now?
One of the main problems has been that there are just not enough businesses offering mobile payment options. That is all about to change. In 2015 in the US, a law change will require merchants to update their payment terminals. While it’s not mandatory to upgrade to a system that supports tap-to-pay, it’s estimated that most retailers and restaurants will. This is something you should consider too. Now that more and more smartphone users have Google Wallet or Apple Pay, it would seem silly not to.
What are Google Wallet and Apple Pay, and how are they different?
Both apps use Near Field Communication (NFC), a form of short range wireless communication. In plain terms, this is what allows the smartphone to communicate with the payment terminal. A customer can simply wave their smartphone in front of the payment terminal to complete the purchase.
Google Wallet and Apple Pay are currently the best out of the mobile payment apps out there. Google Wallet is available both for Android and iOS. Apple Pay has a slight advantage over Google Wallet. With its two part security process that requires a fingerprint for identification. The phone also contains a chip that generates a random 16-digit number to mimic a credit card number for each transaction. Google Wallet stores credit card information on an encrypted server. Google Wallet can, however, work with any credit card or bank and supports loyalty cards and gift cards. Meaning customers no longer have to carry around dozens of loyalty cards.
What does this mean for the restaurant?
Many fast food chains in the US, like McDonald’s and Subway are already offering an option to pay for food using mobile, with the number set to grow. Mobile payments are all about convenience. Credit cards sped up payment in the 1980s and 90s, eliminating the need for cash. Mobile payment is trying to eliminate the need to carry around a wallet altogether. Imagine the convenience of just being able to carry a phone. The phone can store loyalty cards and credit cards, and to use any of these cards, all you need to do is touch the screen. This is a good time to consider updating your payment terminals with NFC capabilities to accept both Google Wallet and Apple Pay. While we are still a ways off from completely ditching our wallets for mobile ones, as more and more shops and restaurants offer mobile payments, customers will eventually come to expect it.