From online payment options such as PayPal and Venmo to mobile offerings like Apple Pay and Google Wallet, the internet has revolutionized the way users and merchants send and receive payments. Regular advances in the security of data have allowed for more innovations in this area, such as loading prepaid cards at brick-and-mortar retailers like Starbucks and paying via a mobile device, as well as security certificates issued to websites with the proper encryption standards to accept credit card payments with minimal risk of losing data.
This trend has been especially popular with younger generations such as millennials and Generation Z, which have adopted services like Venmo to process payments among friends and also to pay bills, but the phenomenon is hardly restricted by age.
Financial institutions have also developed online- or mobile-pay options, such as Chase’s QuickPay feature, which has evolved from a way to transfer money between Chase bank account holders to a “single tap” feature that enables quick and easy payments among users of many banks. Some financial institutions are even based online, such as Green Dot’s GoBank, which is often billed as “the Walmart bank,” but offers the same full services of traditional banks, centered on a mobile platform.
A FICO study from 2014 illustrates the international demand for more mobile banking features. At the time, respondents showed interest in the ability to check their account balances via their smartphones, receive mobile notifications in case of suspicious activity on their accounts, make payments from their phones, and transfer money from their accounts via their mobile handsets. Interest was higher among men versus women, and most features saw an increase in consumer interest with a decrease in age group, but the responses were overwhelmingly in favor of increased connectivity with payment and banking options.
Retail businesses can also capitalize on this trend by creating an online and mobile presence. Among the many features of the Shoppi mobile platform is the ability to accept payments for products. Shoppers can use the ShoppiPay option where it is offered by merchants and send payments securely. This ensures that payments always go to merchants who are verified vendors with Shoppi. ShoppiPay also functions as a prepaid account, with the ability to preload funds into the system and pay for items with that balance. Using ShoppiPay can also earn credits toward future payments, creating extra incentive for shoppers to make purchases from Shoppi-verified retailers.
As mobile and online business grows, missing out on adding features that users are clearly interested in and which other businesses are also pulling into their business and marketing strategies. Smartphones are increasingly becoming all-purpose tools personalized for every conceivable use in daily lives, and they allow access to consumers in new and inventive ways. Platforms like Shoppi make such features easily accessible for retail brands, taking the effort out of developing a standalone system but still reaping the benefits of having the ability to accept payments via mobile-based functions.