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Choosing the Right Platform for Mobile Payments

They say there’s a mobile application for everything these days and guess what, there is one that will replace your wallet too. Imagine not having to worry about the bulge in the back pocket of your trouser but instead using a phone that you carry anyway for your everyday transactions such as restaurant and grocery bills. Mobile payments are not a concept anymore; it is a real life tangible phenomenon, a continuously thriving phenomenon that is surely the future of economic transactions. Perhaps the latest area of life to be engulfed by the inevitable wave of Information Technology, this evolution (of mobile payments) will revolutionize lives around the globe very soon. Wondering how mobile payments work? A mobile application stores your data and then all you have to do to pay your bill at the checkout in the supermarket is bring your phone close to the Near Field Communication (NFC) counter. A moment’s wait perhaps and your bill will be paid and off you trot.

Reducing how much your pockets weigh and also how it weighs down your mind, the advancement in mobile payments technology means as Ryan Rommann puts it: Cash is Trash.

Payment Method 1

Image: NFC Payments

Fierce Competition

The emergence of the industry means that many warlords have entered the market, all vying for the top spot and the greatest share. This means that a consumer has a wide variety of available platforms to choose from to computerize his wallet. Below, we will look at available platforms and how to choose the one most suited to meet your needs.

The Three Pointers

In order to choose the right platform for mobile payments we need to put in front of ourselves three pointers, which may enable us to clarify what we are looking for. These pointers will help narrow down our options since there are a great many in the market. The first of these pointers is

Desirability

The first question must be asked before the search for the perfect platform begins, for it asks if incorporation of a mobile payments system is preferable to the business or not. From a business point of view, the reliance of customers on digital media must be studied. If the target population is not interested in e-commerce the installation of a mobile payments system will not be suitable. In the opposite situation where the consumers have a high interest in it, mobile payments should be preferred. From the consumer’s point of view, mobile payments are only worth their time if their favorite stores or shops are using it. Therefore the needs of a business or a consumer need to be studied in the detail to assess if a digital wallet is the thing they are looking for. So, only if a mobile payments system is needed can we proceed to the next pointer, and if you do not require mobile payments there can be no right platform for you.

Payment Methods 2
Image: Access to Payment

Compatibility

The next pointer is how the digital wallet will get along with all the other things you carry around in your head and pocket. If it is an app, it must be supported by the OS that your phone uses. Likewise, the app should also be able integrate the system of payments that you use. This means that the Credit Card Company or bank must be a compatible part of the application. Also, the app should be able to support multiple formats if it is the case with the user.

Payment Method 3

Image: Compatibility

Security

The makers and promoters of mobile payment systems swear by its security. Though 100% safety is impossible, those in favor of mobile payments will generally consider its safety standards as much higher than credit cards. Even if this is the case, it is quite arguable that mobile payments come with their own brands of security issues. Many people therefore, consider digital wallets risky only because they do not have enough knowledge. In order to make the right platform therefore requires examination of the security measures provided. Most systems these days come with multiple security layers which involve pin codes and blockages in case of theft. The right platform can only be chosen if the security measures provide and promised by the app answer the consumer’s queries.

NFC Mobile Payment Process

The above given pointers though substantial enough to help you find a suitable match do not include a very important feature. The feature is ‘user friendliness’; a ‘complete’ product can be useless if it is not easy to use. The mobile payments system can only be right for you if it is desirable, compatible and secure for you, but if it makes your life easier it is exactly what you are looking for.

About the Author:

Umar Jamshed is an IT expert and a former consultant with The World Bank. He is a graduate of Curtin University, Australia. He writes for Inbound.Zone and manages his IT firm.

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