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What is Mobile Wallet Technology?

In an age where smartphones are everywhere and there seems to be an app for everything, "mobile wallet" technology is becoming more popular every day. As a small business owner, here's what you need to know about mobile wallets.

What is a Mobile Wallet?

Mobile wallets are essentially digital versions of traditional wallets that someone would carry in their pocket. While there are many variations, usually they can hold digital information about credit and debit cards for making payments, store coupons and loyalty programs, specific information about personal identity and more.

Many companies are jumping into the mobile payments space— on both the paying and receiving sides of the transaction—and new innovators are continuously changing the industry. In the U.S., they include companies such as Google, Amazon, PayPal, Square, and Apple. Internationally, still more companies are developing and launching new technologies in this space.

How does a mobile wallet work?

A customer can utilize all of their stored information simply by opening an app on their phone, entering in a PIN, password or fingerprint and then selecting the information they need to access. The app then utilizes information transfer technology such as Near-Field Communications (NFC) to interact with a mobile wallet ready payment terminals.

  • Mobile wallets store your credit or debit card securely
  • They may also store your loyalty cards, coupons, tickets, etc.
  • They communicate with terminals using a variety of technologies

That's where you come in as a small business owner. Without a device that receives mobile wallet information, you won't be able to take advantage of this increasingly popular payment mechanism.

How Can Mobile Wallet Payments Help My Business

Increased customer use of mobile wallet technology has benefits for businesses of all sizes.

These include:

  • Reduced fraud - mobile wallets are harder to steal or duplicate than cards or cash
  • Decreased payment time - especially important for high-volume businesses
  • Lower fees - processing fees are expected to decrease over time relative to traditional cards
  • Better customer loyalty - built through sales and incentives sent directly to smartphones

Leveraging new technologies that connect directly to a rich software experience in the customer's hand can help enhance their experience and educate them about your company. Innovative small businesses will go beyond merely accepting mobile wallet payments to forming more comprehensive mobile strategies than their direct competitors.

How can small business owners best prepare for the future?

First, you should educate yourself about the technologies and business solutions in the marketplace. Second, you should take steps to upgrade your hardware and software solutions for accepting payments from customers.

Chase Merchant Services's suite of terminal solutions enables businesses to accept NFC mobile wallet transactions as well as traditional credit cards. In addition, other new technologies, including the EMV security chip and contactless credit card transactions, are also supported. With our simple system, your business can be ready to help customers pay quickly and efficiently, no matter what payment method they choose.