2 in 5 SMBs embrace mobile payments
August 06, 2013

With awareness about mobile payments increasing across the country, more small and medium-sized businesses are investing in the purchasing platform to increase sales and drive consumer satisfaction. According to a new study by BIA/Kesley, a media company, almost half of the SMBs surveyed have taken steps to accept mobile credit card payments at the point of sale in their stores. While many SMBs accept purchases via an attachable credit card reader, the majority have implemented mobile-friendly digital marketing initiatives. As more customers engage with retailers through their smartphones or tablets, the number of SMBs that have invested in the payment innovation is set to continue increasing well into the future.

Businesses invest in portable POS
BIA/Kesley's report, titled "Local Commerce Monitor," found SMBs are boosting their use of mobile advertising and transaction platforms compared to one year ago. Conducted online by research firm Ipsos, the study asked 568 SMBs in July about their digital marketing budgets. Forty percent of respondents said they use an attachable credit card reader on a smartphone or tablet to accept plastic payments at the point of sale. In fact, an additional 16 percent said they plan to invest in the portable purchasing method in the coming year. 

Steve Marshall, director of research for BIA/Kelsey, said mobile marketing and on-the-go payments are growing together thanks to increasing consumer use of smartphones and tablets. 

"Mobile continues to make impressive inroads into the SMB market, as both a marketing vehicle and as an element of the business infrastructure," Marshall said. "Together, mobile and social tools are transforming the way SMBs acquire and retain customers. With the heavy use of social media, SMB marketing is quickly becoming a two-way engagement rather than a one-way promotion."

Seventy-two percent of SMBs said they use social media as an advertising strategy, with many seeing a rise in customer engagement as a result. 

According to Mobile Marketing Watch, a digital advertising news site, the use of mobile technology is becoming essential for SMBs. The source reported payment acceptance through a credit card device that can attach to a smartphone or tablet may quickly become the purchasing option of choice for many consumers. With more shoppers utilizing apps on their smartphones and tablets and SMBs investing in portable payment methods, the transaction option will drive consumer satisfaction in the long term. 

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