Mobile payments more viable option than NFC for smaller merchants
June 25, 2013

Companies have numerous options when it comes to accepting mobile credit card payments. Many small- and medium-sized enterprises utilize hardware attachments on smartphones or tablets to offer consumers a mobile payment method. Some SMEs employ portable devices built with near-field communication (NFC) technology, which turns their smartphone into a credit card processing gadget, and may be waiting for widespread adoption of NFC-based mobile payment among consumers and other retailers. However, attendees at the Mobile World Congress 2013 suggested SMEs avoid relying on the NFC platform as a mobile payment processing strategy.

According to PC World, conference attendees did not think the U.S. market will lead the way for NFC adoption because other methods are more consumer friendly. The U.S. uses magnetic strip plastic, which is a faster payment method in the country than in Europe, and therefore NFC payments may not gain much headway. NFC is more applicable to European consumers, who utilize chip-and-pin credit cards, as simply tapping a phone to purchase a product is a quicker transaction option than the multiple step process of swiping a chip-embedded card. reported that Bill Gajda, head of mobile and product at Visa, said NFC technology does not go far enough to provide consumers with optimal mobile payment benefits.

"If all we're doing is replacing a swipe of a card with a tap of a phone, we're not doing enough," Gajda said.

Although the mobile payment landscape is evolving to provide new advantages for customers and retailers, NFC may not see mainstream adoption in the U.S. Alternative methods of accepting plastic on the go, such as the services provided by Sage Mobile Payments, ensure financial security for consumers while still providing a quick and easy purchasing solution at the point of sale.

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