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What Are Mobile Payments?

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by Adedamola Bada · 5 min read
What Are Mobile Payments?
Photo: Shutterstock

As far as there are many ways to make mobile payments nowadays, our guide provides all you need to know about this convenient payment method.

Mobile payments, ever-increasing in momentum and adoption, are the emergent trends in payments solution. These payments solutions offer cash-free methods of payments with reduced risk when compared to the traditional processes of payment with cash.

With most businesses and industrial platforms employing the use of mobile payments, it helps build such platforms due to the ease of payment experiences eliminating the need for in-person interactions.

What are Mobile Payments?

Mobile payment is a generic term for all payments made on a mobile device which covers mobile wallets, mobile transfers, mobile carrier billings, and card-based payments solutions.

Daily transactions can be made by individuals using any of these forms of mobile payments which is facilitated by the capture of their banking details, and the processing of the data obtained from the individuals. This allows consumers to have a more streamlined experience when paying for all sorts of goods, digital or compact, and services.

These user-friendly and faster mobile payment options offer consumers better tracking of their spending as well as increased security features in the underlying layers of the system architecture of the mobile payments.

Several mobile payments platforms can easily function without the need for intermediaries, like banking or financial institutions.

What is a Mobile Wallet?

A mobile wallet is an encrypted software application with tools that can be used to capture payment details of debit/credit cards with account balances, which can then be used to make digital payments. Mobile wallets are of three kinds, closed, semi-closed, and open wallets.

Closed wallets are those applications, built by a private company or institution, which does not permit cash withdrawals or returns and doesn’t allow the interference of third parties. These wallets are specifically made for the company’s platforms and work only on such platforms, for example, Amazon Wallet, Freecharge credit, and several others.

Semi-closed wallets are wallets that are accessible for use on multiple platforms that are in agreement with the wallet’s payment portal. These kinds of wallets also do not allow withdrawal of cash withdrawal, but money can be received by such wallets, for example, Paytm, Mobikwik, and some others.

Open wallets are the kind of wallets that do not have any restriction of cash withdrawals and are issued by either a bank or a financial third party. These wallets can be used for purchases on multiple merchant platforms. Examples of such wallets include Vodafone’s M-Pesa, PayPal, etc.

How Do Mobile Payments Work?

The mode of operation of mobile payments differs, depending on the underlying technology that is being used for their functionalities. Some payment solutions make use of Near Field Communication (NFC), based on radio frequencies, to establish a connection with devices and exchange information. The reader

Mobile payments also include Internet-enabled payment methods like Google Wallet, Apple Pay, and some others that make use of an internet connection. Mobile wallets make use of QR codes and NFC to make payments on card terminals, for in-app purchases, and on the web.

These payment solutions are digitally integrated and help in decreasing costs as well as fees of transactions made.

How Can I Accept Mobile Payments At My Store?

A mobile Point-of-Sale (POS) system or card reader is needed to be able to mobile payments within a store, which are inexpensive and easy to use. These devices accept cards payment options, like credit or debit cards, which is a much easier and convenient way for consumers to make payments.

Contactless payments can also be made by making a connection with the consumer’s smartphones using an NFC-enabled device. Most smartphones in existence now are NFC-compatible which works with the NFC devices to create a streamlined contactless link for payment solutions. 

These options could all be made available for consumers to make use of different ways of making payments.

What Is Mobile Money Transfer?

Mobile money transfer involves the use of a mobile device to facilitate the interbank transfer of funds, as well as payments of bills and deposit/withdrawal of funds by consumers. These mobile money transfers are now a vital part of everyday transactions made by individuals or bodies.

Most mobile money transfers are available on platforms that portray high levels of security and regulations to assure customers of their transparency.

Why Use Mobile Payments?

The world’s financial system is moving towards an era of digitalization which offers a faster and more efficient method of transactional activities. The contactless mode of payments has been certified to have increased the consumer’s experience with transactions made at either a convenience store or places that offer services in exchange for payment.

This is because they are faster and doesn’t require the consumers to carry cash with them at all times. There are also loyalty and rewards programs made available on some payment platforms for consumers to benefit from.

Mobile payments are also more secure and help business-owners keep better records of the transactions made. Every transaction made by the consumers is available for reference within the payment platform’s history.

The mobile payments help in improving the cash flow of businesses, as well as help reduce the expenses incurred when making transactions the traditional way.

Mobile payments also help in adding a competitive edge by integrating the latest technology with a business platform.

Future of Mobile Payments

With the rise and acceptance of more digitized cashless payment methods and applications, it’s safe to say that mobile payments will be a key factor for the future of commerce.

Also not forgetting the emergent trends of digital currencies which can serve as a decentralized form of payment solutions, these currencies are implemented on the blockchain technology for the sole purpose of cutting out the intermediaries involved the traditional methods of payments.

As technology improves within the payments industry, mobile payments will increase in security and relevance to the consumers as it plays a significant role in the modes of transactions. 

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