Adoption of NFC (Near-Field Communication) mobile payment systems is definitely growing, but so far adoption has been slower than expected. So, is it worth your business investing in the capability right now?

Adoption of NFC (Near-Field Communication) mobile payment systems is definitely growing, but so far adoption has been slower than expected. So, is it worth your business investing in the capability right now?

While smartphone payments still account for relatively low percentages of transactions, they’re rising quickly.

Some industry observers may suggest it’s not worth investing in the technology at the moment, but there’s no doubt that all consumer sectors will have to do so within the next couple of years or face customers turning their back on them in droves.

Mobile phones – always on, always with you

Mobile phones can do pretty much anything these days. Logging the number of steps you’ve taken, finding your nearest petrol station, listening to music – already there’s few areas of our lives which haven’t been infiltrated by mobile technology.

Who knew when the first smartphones appeared just what they would soon be capable of? A mobile phone is always on, and always with you. And that means its uses are almost boundless.

Until recently, the only items which were always in your possession were your keys and your purse. It seems logical to assume that a mobile phone could soon replace both of those ever-presents in the average pocket or handbag.

Paying for things with a mobile is almost certainly the way we’ll do things in the future, but that doesn’t mean it’s how we’re doing things now or how we’ll do them next week. But, evidence suggests that an explosion is coming.

Mobile spending trends in the UK

In the 12 months up to March 2018, mobile spending in the UK rose by 300 per cent. Supermarkets, bars and restaurants are driving that surge. Shoppers on the go are grabbing their groceries with a swipe of their phone while time-starved diners and drinkers are using a mobile to pay for their purchases.

If you’re operating a business of this sort, it’s already essential that you embrace mobile payments. It won’t be long until customers become irritated if they can’t pay for their quick lunchtime bite with their phone.

Until recently, this type of low value, frequent purchase seemed to be the visible limit for mobile payments. It seemed that technology, security and customer confidence in the applications would need to increase before phone pay systems became the norm in other sectors.

But this year has seen the launch of ‘limitless’ mobile payment services, led by ApplePay. That means sectors selling higher-end products are quickly adopting mobile “tap and go” systems and it really won’t be long until sales in every consumer sector are driven by smartphone spending.

The immediate future

2018 is likely to see the use of debit cards finally pass cash as our favoured payment method. It’s already unacceptable for a business to say ‘no’ when asked if they take cards. It seems it won’t be long until the same is true of mobile payments.

Experts suggest we’ve already reached the “tipping point” for mobile payments and that the avalanche of adoption is upon us. Dare you lag behind?

Already, all-in-one PoS devices are available on the market in a cost-effective form. Able to accept card or mobile wallet payments, they’re undoubtedly the present and future-proof devices that all businesses, large, medium or small, will need to board the revolution.