Mobile payments are the most recent form of e commerce. In a world which is being continually bombarded by inventions that aim to reshape daily lives of the human population, mobile payments are of revolutionary value. Mobile payments have emerged as an amazing solution to speed up and simplify a basic part of people’s every day routines: monetary transactions. The whole concept of mobile payments revolves around the idea of eliminating completely the need to carry around paper money or traditional coinage. The theory is to remove the wallets from your pockets and link them to your phone. In this way your cellular device virtually becomes a portal to your bank account, a gateway which offers amazing ease of use and reliability of service. Perhaps the greatest advantage of the system is that it uses your mobile phone as a medium for operating, in doing so it takes up a small amount of memory space on your phone but relieves a huge burden form your pockets.
|Global Mobile payments will hit $721.4 billion in 2017.|
The trend of using mobile payments is progressing like a snowball, which not only moves faster as it rolls but also gets bigger. The sharp increase in the use of this system is because it is a part of the IT revolution which of course is endless. The digital wallet trend has been fueled by the increasing number of smartphones that are flowing from the market to the consumers. A few years ago it was common knowledge that smartphones were everywhere, well thanks to the phones all around, today mobile payment is everywhere.
What the System Is
A mobile payment is the name given to the process of making payments through your mobile device. This is usually done through an app which can be downloaded from the internet on your smartphone. The app lets you link your mobile phone to your bank account; some applications allow multiple accounts to be linked with the same phone. In this way you can access your finances simply by logging into the app. When making a purchase the money will move smoothly and swiftly from your account to the merchant’s bank account through your phone and the transaction will be completed, just like that! The receipt will be generated in your phone and you can use it to keep track of your monthly expenditure. Simply brilliant and brilliantly effective, no receipts, no signatures and no more need to carry around cheque books or wallets. Life becomes a whole lot simpler.
Every industry, especially in its nascent stages sees strong competition from companies for the biggest market share. The Mobile payments industry is no different, the competition here is legendary because of the involvement of some of the biggest IT companies on the planet. This serves as a proof and reminder that mobile payment is the future of electronic commerce and complete dominance in the sector might be nearer than you think. The competition means that consumers have access to a great number and type of applications, all with their own distinctive features. The consumers are free to choose an application which seems to provide a suitable solution to their needs. For now I will look at 5 famous mobile payment apps.
1. Apple Pay
Remember I mentioned big companies above? Well here is Apple Inc. for you. The tech giant might have joined the fray recently but bear in mind the company’s reputation for innovation. The Apple pay was launched in October 2014 and it opened up a whole new dimension in mobile payments. Just as it did with its other projects, Apple has innovated mobile payments through its new product. The best part is that the product was released at the perfect time; it made headlines and caught the attention of investors and consumers alike. The Apple Pay uses perhaps the simplest method for making a payment and the finest stroke of creativity is yet to come. Compiled with simplicity of procedure is an effective security measure, fingerprint scan. The system works by bringing your Iphone near the reader at the checkout and then you will have to validate the purchase by pressing your finger in the phone. No application needs to be opened to make a transaction. The only drawback, if it can be called a drawback is that the Apple Pay can only be used from Iphone 6, 6 plus or the Apple watch. Apple pay uses the NFC technology to make purchases and does not send actual credit card numbers, making the whole transaction safe. The product might not bring a lot of revenues just yet (and I emphasize might) but Apple Pay has given a whole new meaning to the phenomenon of mobile payment in general.
2. Google Wallet
Another giant, another huge product; Google Wallet is one of the most popular and powerful mobile payment apps available. With its close kinship with android devices, Google Wallet had a head start over other apps when it entered the markets. In terms of compatible devices and available features, it is one of the leaders in the industry. So what is offered in this application? One of the key points that give Google Wallet an edge over their competitors is compatibility with both Android and IOS. In this way the application can be used by anyone who has a smartphone. Google Wallet uses the NFC technology and has the ability to incorporate gift cards and loyalty vouchers. The app can be used to make payments at shop counters, to make online purchases and to send money to other people who use the app.
Pay pal is another stalwart of the mobile payment industry. Pay pal can be downloaded and used on your IOS and your android phones. The app is a powerful tool that not only allows you to spend money but also lets you keep track of it. This application allows you to send money anywhere around the world and smoothly so too. Payments can be made through the app by a simple process which allows money to flow from your bank account to the merchant. You can then check your purchase history and plan further transactions accordingly. The time spent in making payments is significantly reduced and security is also enhanced since the app needs to be logged into for usage. However one distinctive feature sets Paypal apart. This feature is the ability to link cards to your application simply by taking a picture of it, technology giving its complete worth.
Square is a very straight forward app to make mobile payments and was one of the first companies in the business. Square allows users to link their credit cards to the application in their phone; the users create a whole profile for themselves. The app also allows users to find stores based on their location, when users enter the store they select it on their app. When checking out with their purchase the users simply tell the salesperson their name and the purchase is accredited against their account. Square charges a transaction fee, which is set at 2.75%.
Boloro is an emerging mobile payment solution that has a great potential to become one of the leaders in the industry. The application allows customers to link their account to the mobile app, the user is issued a 4 digit pin code which the user is given on activation. There are two ways Boloro lets users pay, by tapping the phone at an NFC counter or by entering and verifying mobile details. The user then receives a text message which signifies that the purchase has been made.
With the trend of mobile payments increasing around the globe, it is only a matter of time before you start using the system too. I have tried to give you an overview of 5 prominent apps for making mobile payment apps, but the list is by no means exhaustive. There are many more ways you can make payments through your phone and believe me there are solutions for all the inconvenience caused to you because of carrying money around.
About Author: Umar Jamshed is an IT expert and a former consultant with The World Bank. He is a graduate of Curtin University, Australia. He works for Boloro which is a mobile payment network.