Smartphone, mobile payment boom to impact retailers, SMEs

Technology allowing SME bill payments online and customer transactions in-store is changing rapidly with increased usage of smartphones and tablets in Australia, where consumers have driven one of the world’s fastest uptakes of contactless payments.

Consumer and business transactions conducted on smartphones through mobile point of sale transactions are expected to almost triple between 2014 and 2016 to $21.7 billion, according to Gartner research.

And software company NetSuite Inc. and the Australian Retailers Association revealed that 52%  of smartphone users are now using their devices to assist them at some stage of the shopping process, up from 38% in 2011.

However, they said that less than 30% of retailers currently offer a smartphone-accessible website and only 21% have developed a mobile app for customers, despite approximately 65% of the population owning a smartphone.

Australian payments solutions providers Mint Payments, which supports NFC contactless payments systems for smartphones and just launched a small mobile card reader/eftpos machine, said that digital wallets with fingerprint scans are soon going to hit Australia and cash is predicted to cease existing in the next decade.

“Not only will payments be faster and more secure for customers, but for businesses it will mean added automation, better service, quicker processing times and improved cash flow,” said Bjorn Behrendt, chief marketing officer at Mint Payments.

Products such as the tiny mobile eftpos machines that connect to any smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, and cardless ATM transactions are cutting-edge now, but this is actually just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the state-of-the-art platforms that are being predicted, Behrendt added.

Another mobile POS company, which provides a mobile integrated payments system, Tyro Payments, said that more than 390,000 SMEs will now be able to accept mobile payments in-store from close to 5.5 million Australian users of PayPal.

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