Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mobile Payments are Soaring for Holiday 2011 Sales

PayPal reported that Black Friday showed a 6-fold increase over 2010 sales, 516% increase year-to-year.     Cyber Monday had a 552% increase.  Mobile payments are the big winner this holiday season since consumers opted to take advantage of online sales and made purchases via their smartphones and tablets. There was nearly a 400% increase in the number of consumers utilizing PayPal mobile on Cyber Monday.  This is good news for the mobile payments industry.  Consumer confidence has definitely increased with regard to security of their payment information and/or using PayPal.

SMBs should be thinking about how their consumers access their website via smartphone and tablet, if they haven't already done so.  Mobile-rendered websites seem to be a trend, separate websites created specifically for access on mobile devices is another way (, as well as Apps.  It would be interesting to see numbers pertaining to the average number of apps a consumer downloads, and the usage of those apps.  Personally, I have about 3 dozen apps on my Android phone.  I religiously use my Starbucks app, which is a combination stored value card/gift card and loyalty so I can hit a button on my app and the cashier scans the barcode and my payment is made.  I love that my "stars" for my rewards update nearly instantly, as does my remaining balance.

The other app I use religiously is Key Ring.  All of my plastic loyalty cards have been scanned into this handy, dandy app so whenever I head to the grocery store, favorite shoe store or even the movie theater, I open my Key Ring app, click on the retailer name and voila - my loyalty # and barcode are right there for a quick scan or data entry into the register.

I would use my "mobile wallet" (aka my smartphone) more often if retailers had the means for me to do so.  Starbucks seems to be leading the pack right now.  This Holiday season is very promising, and shows that the industry is moving in that direction.  I am excited about that.  Who needs cash and plastic credit cards if you can do everything via your smartphone or other device?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NY Times reports Salvation Army Bell Ringers now accept mobile payments via Square

I heard about some very entrepreneurial Girl Scout Troops in California taking credit cards for payment when they go door-to-door or sell at the grocery stores.  They "charge it!" simply using a smartphone and Square, a small device that attaches to a smartphone.  Simply swipe - and that's it!  Yesterday, The New York Times reported that the Salvation Army has also jumped on the mobile payment bandwagon.  Since fewer consumers actually carry cash these days, it made sense for the non-profit to bridge that gap.  So don't be surprised if you go to your favorite retail stores this holiday season and the bell ringer says they now accept credit cards.  Everyone has the ability to accept credit cards, from anywhere.  Think of all the home-based businesses that would enjoy the ease and convenience of taking credit cards for payment.  Mobile payment just keeps getting better and better!
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