For many businesses mobile payment technology occupies the space between cutting-edge experimental innovations like 3D printing and mainstream consumer technology such as smartphones. It sounds very much like a concept that a business could adopt next year, or maybe the year after, maybe when the kinks have been worked out and people feel more comfortable with the idea. The truth is that this mind set is completely wrong. Mobile technology, particularly mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) technology, is already transforming businesses across the country. Consumers are comfortable with using smartphones to pay and mPOS technology offers a whole host of advantages for businesses.
For merchants and businesses, mPOS systems are an attractive option because they offer a flexible and affordable means to accept and process card transactions, while still presenting users with a recognisable interface. Unlike traditional card payment companies, which use bulky and static card terminals, mPOS harnesses the technology which already exists in users’ phones and tablets.
Crucially for small businesses, mobile payments companies such as SumUp require no rigid contracts and there are no set up costs. It is the cost of renting and installing traditional card acceptance units which deters many smaller businesses and traders from accepting card payments. This can often result in ‘cash only’ – much to the ire of casual shoppers and to the detriment of those companies’ bottom lines. Conservative estimates suggest that around 100 million transactions are lost in the UK every year due to businesses not having the facility to accept card payments.
A good example of a business that has used mPOS technology to boost growth is Glencoe Activities, an outdoor activity provider located in Glencoe Valley in Scotland. Glencoe offer a range of high adrenaline activities including, mountain biking, Segway tours, archery and white water rafting. The mobile nature of the business combined with the highly seasonal nature of outdoor activities means that Glencoe needs a flexible and cost effective way to accept payments from its customers. The director of the company Laurence Young decided to try SumUp and found that his business became more efficient in processing payments, enabling it to achieve 25% growth in revenues in 2013.
As Laurence explains, “Before using SumUp, accepting payment from our customers was often clunky and messy. We either had to request cash only, or ask the business ‘next door’ if we could use their card terminals – not always convenient!”
In a similar vein, eco-snowsports company Butta had major issues taking card payments. Although Butta is headquartered in Leatherhead, Surrey, the team spend a portion of their time on the road selling their products. Traditional payment methods were unsuitable for Butta as they did not fit well with both the modern ethos of their business and with the demands of their customers.
Butta first encountered SumUp a week before they were due to sell their products at the annual Ski and Snowboard Show in London 2012. The team recognised that by using SumUp they would be able to accept credit and debit card payments in a quick and secure manner. The team simply downloaded the app, signed up to SumUp and after receiving their card reader in the post, were ready to process MasterCard and Visa card payments right away.
With the help of SumUp, Butta has been able to expand its business, with 30% of its customer base now choosing to pay by card. With an eye on Europe, SumUp’s presence in countries such as Germany, Austria, Italy and Spain will play a major part in Butta’s future success across Europe.
Mobile payments open up an opportunity for businesses to expand their customer base and be more in tune with their consumers, ultimately allowing them to grow their business. The widespread availability of smartphones and tablets makes mobile payments the next logical step in a world where financial transactions take up an important part of our daily lives.
Click here to find out more about SumUp’s mobile payment solution which retails at only £19.99.