Should Your Facility Offer Mobile Payments?

Should your Facility Offer Mobile Payments?You’ve probably heard of Google Wallet and Apple Pay, but chances are you haven’t offered mobile payments at your self storage business yet. Even though mobile pay systems have been around for years, they are only now starting to break into the mainstream. For years, businesses and consumers have been content with credit card payments, but increasing point-of-sale (POS) malware attacks are making some retailers look to make changes. Should your self storage business offer mobile payments? Here are the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Better Security
    For consumers, the better security of mobile payments is an important selling point. Businesses are also better protected because neither you nor your employees ever handles a credit card number. Instead, a mobile payment app will generate a unique barcode for every transaction and send it to you. The code can’t be hacked, which protects you and your customer.
  • Faster
    Making transactions work faster is always better. Most mobile payment systems are quick because customers just pass or tap their mobile device over your near-field communication (NFC) reader that you have connected to the POS system.
  • More Convenient
    People like mobile payments because they don’t have to worry about credit cards. Depending on the system, the customer might need to enter a password or pin, but most are just scan and go.
  • Proven to Work
    While POS is slow to come to the U.S., businesses overseas have been using this technology for a decade or more. In Japan, people buy everything from cell phones to food using mobile payments.
  • Cutting Edge
    By switching to mobile payments now, you establish your business as up-to-date with all of the latest technology. In fact, you might even be able to make mobile payments an advertising point.

Cons

  • Requires Latest Technology
    Accepting mobile payments will require your self storage business to get POS hardware. NFC readers can be expensive, but if you need to upgrade anyway to handle the new chip cards, adding an NFC reader won’t cost much more.
  • Incompatibility
    Not all systems can work with all mobile devices. Older or low-end phones may not have NFC capability, so you can’t depend on all of your customers being able to use your mobile payment system. Therefore, at least for now, you will probably have to continue traditional payment methods as well.
  • Customer Hesitancy
    Although many of your self storage business customers may welcome the ability to pay using their devices, others may be leery because they aren’t used to paying with their phones and may not realize the additional safety of mobile payments. They may also be concerned that they won’t get credit card rewards. However, consumer acceptance of this method is just around the corner. Forrest Research noted that while only $52 billion dollars were spent in mobile payments in 2014, they predict that by 2019 mobile payments will be $142 billion.

The Bottom Line

Should your self storage business offer mobile payments? It depends. If you cater to upscale customers and offer state-of-the-art facilities in a trendy location, you probably want to invest in mobile payment systems now. On the other hand, if you think your customers might not be ready to make these new kinds of payments yet, you might want to wait a while until they become more commonplace. However, if you know you are going to need to upgrade your technology soon anyway, you might want to consider adding the mobile payment option that you’ll probably be needing soon.

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