Mobile payments are payment services which operate under financial regulations and are performed from or via a mobile device. Mobile payments are also referred as mobile money, mobile money transfer or mobile wallet. A consumer can pay with mobile phone for wide range of services and digital or hard goods – no need to carry cash, cheque, or credit cards in the wallet. Many mobile transactions fall under category of mobile payment. For instance, mobile payment also includes mobile commerce or e-commerce enabled by smartphone app or mobile website, e.g. Amazon's iPhone app.
Mobile Payment Solutions
With advent of technology, mobile payment is widely being adopted and accepted. In fact, mobile payment trend is being referred as a billion dollar trend of 2014. In 2013, globally, mobile payment market share has been around $600B and it is expected grow even faster in 2014. Therefore, mobile payment apps and start-ups, specializing in different areas of business, are getting a lot of attention. In near future, following are few established and start-up companies whose mobile payment methods and growth would be closely seen by technologists, investors and ecommerce business experts;
- Square: mobile payment services and products e.g. Square Wallet
- Stripe: APIs and tools for individuals and businesses to accept and manage mobile payments
- PayPal: iOS and Android app for users to exchange money
- Dash: Targets mobile payments in Restaurant and hospitality industry
- TapFunder: Text-to-donate mobile payments for non-profit organizations
- BuyReply: Buy goods from any medium i.e. TV, radio, social media etc.
- Venmo: Easy splitting and payments to friends – free mobile app for iPhone & Android
- Google: Mobile payment relies on NFC technology, stores must have NFC chip readers
- and many more
Featured Mobile Payment App
Tim Hortons, Canadian Café and Bake Shop, has recently introduced mobile payment feature in its TimmyMe app – users can pre-load card and then pay with barcode from their mobile phone. TimmyMe app is available for iOS, Android and BlackBerry. Among its other features includes Restaurant locator, Tim Card Reload, TimmyRun and Nutritional Info.
To stay abreast of mobile wallet trend, the leading financial companies (Visa, American Express and MasterCard) are heavily investing in their mobile payment platforms.