Gone are the days when it was necessary to fill out a card slip and process a credit or debit card payment later. Today there are many different ways to process electronic payments no matter where the merchant is at present. As versatile as today’s methods happen to be, the future of mobile processing is already providing solutions that make it easier than ever for small business owners to accept payments and have the money in their accounts faster. Here are some examples of what to expect.
The Future of Card Readers
Many people thought that the zenith in card processing had arrived with the use of readers that attach to smartphone and tablets. Along with the reader, the merchant would download an application to process the payments. That one innovation alone meant that the small business owner could set up an exhibit at a trade show or local festival, sell goods, and process the payments on the spot.
While card readers are not expected to go away any time soon, they are not the only option on the market. There are now mobile applications that allow merchants to manually enter card numbers and have the information immediately cross checked with the physical card. The beauty of this approach is there is no reader to keep up with and attach, and the user can still process the payment quickly. A nice plus is that many of these applications offer the ability to email a receipt to the credit card holder.
Tattoos and Other NFC Technology
What if it were possible to use a temporary tattoo to access the payment software on a smartphone and process a payment? That technology already exists and is being used in a few markets. There are issues to be worked out, such as using ink that will hold the shape of the tattoo even if the user perspires but will still wash off when desired. How well the tattoo can be ready by the near field communication terminals in different retail locations is another factor that must be perfected. Expect to see more about this approach over the next several years.
NFC chips are another payment approach that’s already around but needs more work. The chips are inserted under the skin. In order to process a payment, the consumer waves the hand or arm containing the chip in the direction of the scanner. That action activates the software and allows the payment to proceed without the need to take a plastic card out of the wallet. At present, issues about security and the gradual deterioration of the chip are among the issues that are being addressed.
Mobile Processing Without a Phone or Tablet
Another approach that is in the early stages is using devices other than smartphones and tablets for the untethered processing. There are already watches on the market designed to provide all the functions necessary. Developers hope to join the market by offering the same technology in the form of pendants and other forms of jewelry. Think of how easy it would be to process a transaction by scanning the card with a ring and reading the information contained in the card chip.
There is no doubt that the future of mobile processing is bright. Many people have already abandoned the use of cash in favor of the latest and most secure payment methods. Watch as current methods are refined, improved, and possibly replaced by something that has yet to be envisioned.