In the early days of payments, we had the barter system.
Over time, trading goods and services paved the way for commodity money, which morphed into coins and paper currency, and in the 1950s we saw the introduction of the first credit card.
From there, it was a much quicker leap to the launch of mobile payments in the 1990s.
Now, payment technology is changing again.
It turns out consumers want more from their digital shopping experience—and retailers are learning new and innovative ways to provide it.
No longer is ‘tap and go’ payment technology enough.
People want to know what else businesses can do to make the shopping experience faster, easier and more enjoyable.
You know those sci-fi movies where they do an instant DNA scan and voilà, purchase complete? We may not be there yet, but we’re definitely getting closer with “invisible payment” technology.
What are invisible payments?
Think Uber, only in a store: you walk in, scan your mobile device at the door, fill your bag with the items you need, and walk out.
No long lines, no checkout hassles, and a virtual receipt is sent to your phone the instant you leave.
Not surprisingly, the retail giant Amazon is already doing it with its flagship Amazon Go grocery store in Seattle, Washington.
Of course, we can’t all be Amazon … or can we?
California-based AiFi is on a mission to bring checkout-free innovation to all businesses through the use of in-store cameras, real-time tracking and sophisticated product SKU recognition.
Mobile wallet solutions are also evolving.
Like we mentioned earlier, ‘tap and go’ payment was only the beginning.
Being able to pay with a smartphone is great and all, but it’s about the same as pulling out a debit card or a $20 bill.
Consumers nowadays want to know, “What else can you offer?”
The retail giant Walmart has answered that question with Walmart Pay, a mobile wallet service that features QR code technology to streamline the payment process and make it more secure.
With Walmart Pay, shoppers also get added benefits like the ability to check gift card balances, order prescriptions (and pick them up without waiting in line) and even perform money transfers.
Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts offer similar value-added benefits with their mobile wallet services, including free drinks and order-ahead capability.
Target and Kroger, the largest supermarket chain in the United States, are also following suit.
“Payment wearables” are actually a thing now.
Did you by any chance tune in to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games last month? The athletes were not the only ones winning.
Visa used the venue to introduce its newest wearable payment devices: NFC-enabled stickers, commemorative pins and gloves—which turned out to be a smart idea given the frigid temps in South Korea.
The wearable tech is usable at any contactless payment terminal and might just be the new face of safe, hassle-free purchasing.
(Imagine paying for a bottle of water with your sunglasses during your morning run through the park.)
At this point we might be moving into sci-fi movie territory, but the point is this:
Digital payment technology is evolving at a rapid pace, and you need to be ready.
Merchants, especially smaller businesses, can’t afford to be left behind in the dark ages of payment processing.
In a new report released by PYMNTS.com and Visa, 61% of consumers describe shopping—online or in store—as unproductive, inefficient, time-consuming and even boring.
Digital payment technology will continue to advance toward delivering a faster, safer and more satisfying shopping experience for your customers, but where does that leave you?
Your payment processing system is the lifeline of your business.
If it goes down, so does your ability to collect payments.
When you have MyWatchmen standing by, there is never a need to waste time on hold if you run into an issue or need tech support.
We help you keep things running smoothly on your end so technology problems don’t get in the way of business.
Call MyWatchmen today at 1-888-256-2845 or schedule a time to meet with us.