The payments industry is fast-changing, with disruptive new technologies introduced all the time, as well as an ever-evolving regulatory landscape. One of the most significant trends in recent years has been the rapid growth of mobile payment options. With 81% of consumers owning a smartphone , and most of us using them from the moment we wake up in the morning  until we go to sleep at night, it’s no wonder that consumers have gravitated toward mobile payments. Analysts estimate the global mobile payment market is valued at $816.50 billion and is expected to reach $5528.23 billion by 2025, for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 31 percent.

Much of the reason mobile payments are growing in popularity is due to their convenience and the wide range of options available as payment methods. From digital wallets to biometrics for mobile payment authentication, QR codes to SMS-based secure payment hyperlinks, there have been many new technological introductions in recent years that are transforming the purchasing experience for consumers and enabling new, more secure and convenient payment options. Here’s a look at a few of the most popular mobile payment options and how they benefit businesses and consumers alike.

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Digital Wallets

Digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Zelle, Venmo and others make it easy and convenient for consumers to pay for purchases without needing to carry cash, credit or debit cards with them. Instead, their banking account or payment card information is encrypted and stored on a mobile app or electronic wallet. If a thief grabbed your traditional wallet, they would have access to all your payment cards. But with a digital wallet, if your smartphone is stolen, the payment information in your digital wallet is still protected behind a passcode or biometric authentication.

Digital wallets can be either Internet-based or device-based. Internet-based wallets enable consumers to store their payment information and conveniently use it to pay for online purchases without needing to pull out their payment card. Device-based wallets often use near field communication (NFC) technology to enable contactless payments in stores. Consumers simply hold their smartphone near the contactless reader or NFC-enabled point of sale (PoS) system near the checkout to pay.

Biometrics for Mobile Payment Authentication

From fingerprint readers to facial recognition technology, biometric authentication methods have become commonplace on smartphones in recent years and are helping drive the adoption of mobile payment options. Most smartphones today have sensors built in that can read our fingerprints, scan our retinas, or even analyse the blood vessels in our fingers. As a result, consumers have become comfortable with using biometric authentication methods for unlocking mobile devices, accessing high-value apps, or authenticating and authorizing payments. The ease of being able to approve a mobile payment through the touch of a finger or by merely looking at one’s smartphone screen delivers such a superior customer experience over the alternative of inputting complex passwords or payment card details that it’s no wonder biometric authentication technologies are playing a major role in driving the adoption of mobile payments.

QR Codes

Using QR codes as a mobile payment option is becoming increasingly common, especially in China. To pay, customers simply scan the merchant’s QR code with their smartphone camera, which takes them to a payment page. The benefits of QR codes for businesses is that they are very affordable to create and share, and consumers don’t need any special equipment – just their smartphone camera.

SMS

Conducting mobile payments through the SMS channel is also an increasingly popular option. SMS-based mobile payments are fast, familiar and straightforward for consumers – after all, it’s estimated that people send more than 15,000,000 SMS text messages every minute!

Security Comes First

Regardless of what type of mobile payment option a business chooses to provide for its customers, strong data security and compliance with the Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) must be the highest priority. Failure to protect customers’ sensitive payment information can result in data breaches or incidents of fraud, which can critically damage a company’s brand reputation and result in significant fines, in addition to causing significant upset and hassle for the consumer.

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Enabling Mobile Payments for a Better Customer Experience

For businesses looking to create a better, more secure payment experience for their customers, Semafone’s Cardprotect Relay+ solution provides an easy and flexible way to get up and running using mobile channels:

QR Codes

With Cardprotect Relay+, businesses can easily generate and send QR codes on-demand for a secure and convenient mobile payment process. The QR codes can be used in-person or sent to the customer through any digital channel, including SMS, web chat, social media and more. The customer simply aims their smartphone camera at the QR code and enters their payment card details into the secure web form that is presented to them. Their sensitive payment card data is encrypted and securely routed directly to the payment service provider (PSP) for processing.

SMS

By using Cardprotect Relay+, businesses can enable fast and frictionless mobile payments through the SMS channel, without needing any specialized hardware or complicated m-commerce platform. Merchants simply use the cloud-based solution to generate a secure payment hyperlink, which they send to the customer via SMS. When the customer taps the link in their text message, they are presented with a secure payment page where they can input their payment card information.

The entire process takes just seconds to complete, and as the customer is inputting their payment card information, real-time progress updates are relayed back to the merchant business. The merchant is able to see when the link is opened, when payment information has been input, and whether the payment was successfully processed by the PSP.

With Cardprotect Relay+, businesses can enable secure and PCI DSS compliant mobile payment options that are also fast and frictionless for customers. Because Cardprotect Relay+ keeps customers’ sensitive payment card information out of the business’s network infrastructure in the first place, it helps reduce the risk of data breaches and fraud while also dramatically reducing the scope of compliance for PCI DSS.

The Future of Payments is Mobile

With billions of people around the world owning smartphones, consumer demand for mobile payment options will only continue to grow. The proliferation of 5G technology in the coming years will also help drive the growth of mobile payments, as faster data transmission enables more services to be provided through the mobile channel. To continue to grow sales and revenue, while also delivering the customer experience consumers want, businesses will need to offer mobile payment options. With Cardprotect Relay+, they can easily do so while also ensuring strong security and streamlining compliance.

Mobile Payments Technologies That Are Transforming the Customer Experience
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