How Mobile Payment Systems are Revolutionizing Marketing and Retail

Thanks to co-authors: Nathan Johnson, Alicia Midland, Christopher Vincelli

Who uses mobile payment systems

Most users of mobile payment systems such as Square are small businesses like farm stands or cafes and they also make use of mobile payment credit card readers[]. The readers are a way for them to grow their business without the need to invest in a standard cash register or conventional credit card processors that have hidden costs. Small business owners like that the system is fast, easy, and uncomplicated with a low learning curve. Additionally, a key benefit for these business owners is that they can use Square’s business analytics dashboard to gather a large amount of data and statistics that they can use for marketing their business.

Why owners choose mobile payment systems

Square’s dashboard gives the owners access to what their busiest months or days are down to which day of the week or even time of day when the store has the most or least amount of business.[] To increase the number of customers at a non-busy time, the stores could offer incentives or deals on products. Owners can also use the dashboard data to see when more staff on hand is needed, to track transactions and inventory, or even to identify what the most common payment amount is. Spreadsheets can also be easily downloaded to interact with other software.

Mobile payments using applications such as Square Wallet add a social aspect to checkout. If a customer pays using Square Wallet, their picture pops up on the store’s iPad and the cashier confirms the purchase, allowing them to more easily identify regular customers, their name, and their orders. As for social marketing, the Square and Starbucks deal enables Starbucks to create and account for their own virtual currency system.[] They could use the system to offer customers discounts to merchants tied to Square and surprise regular customers with free treats to increase their new Starbucks Evenings clientele.

Mobile payment systems are here to stay

Regardless of the barriers some retailers face in adopting mobile payment technology, it appears that such devices are here to stay and will only gain in popularity and consumers gain comfort in its ease of use, and as merchants begin dumping their bulky cash registers for smartphones, iPod Touches and iPads.


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