Visa head: Mobile payments will continue to see innovation
March 08, 2013

There are a variety of ways for businesses to utilize mobile devices to assist with purchases. Hardware accessories can convert mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets into point-of-sale (POS) stations. Mobile wallets can be used in combination with near field communication devices to allow for payments through a simple tap. Some chains, such as Starbucks, even use quick response codes and their own mobile applications to expedite payments.

According to Bill Gajda, Visa's global head of mobile since 2010, mobile payment processing is still a relatively nascent field and hasn't shown any signs of slowing down. As the sector matures and finds new ways to use technology, he expects companies will have even more options for accepting consumer payments in a safe, time-efficient and cost-effective manner. While some mobile payment avenues may end up being more popular than others, he believes hardware and solution selection will ultimately come down to what makes sense for the individual business.

"We're going to see continued innovation around the point of sale and I think that in some retail environments and in some verticals, alternatives to NFC may make sense," Gajda explained to Fierce Mobile Content. "And they can coexist; they'll live side by side."

"There will be some verticals where they are trying to eliminate the traditional point of sale and put everything on a tablet," he added.

While Gajda was quick to talk up NFC technology, there are still several drawbacks that make it less than ideal for current situations. First and foremost, Apple's latest line of iPhones still doesn't incorporate the technology. For this reason, many companies are sticking with hardware accessories that can be plugged into smartphones and tablets. Solutions like Sage Mobile Payments allow businesses to accept debit card payments and accept credit card payments, thereby appealing to consumers who favor plastic over cash.

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