Earlier this month, PayPal’s iPhone app reached one million downloads within three weeks of its launch earlier this month. With the app, users can split restaurant checks, collect money for events, set reminders for recurring payments, donate to their favorite causes and manage their PayPal accounts.
The lure behind mobile electronic payments like PayPal Mobile is that it makes it ridiculously easy for money to exchange hands. Instead of carrying cash, swiping credit/debit cards or writing checks (people still do that?), imagine being able to send a payment directly from a cell phone – and who doesn’t own a cell phone? They’ve become just as important to people as their wallet, purse, or identification. (I’ll wait for you to name somebody without one). The easier it is for people to spend money, the more money people are willing to spend.
All the more reason businesses need to re-examine how they accept payments.Think about how this could help the vendors/contractors that don’t want to deal with the headache of a credit card machine – it seems like every time I am ready to pay, the roll of paper gets stuck and I end up with a illegible, crumpled up receipt. Organizations like the American Red Cross who reportedly racked up $22 million dollars via text messages to donate to the Haiti earthquake relief efforts in January are leading the charge. Large corporations like Starbucks are simply looking to attract customers to their products by offering a ‘cooler’ way to pay. By allowing customers to pay via cell/smart phone, businesses are opening themselves up to those customers who are buying into new technology and using it to make their lives a little less complicated. What could be simpler than opening up an app on your cell/smart phone to pay for a tub of raw Shea butter, a Barack Obama t-shirt, bootleg DVD/CD, knockoff designer purse, sunglasses, or perfume…or any picture by this guy being sold by just about EVERY vendor during your local expo, festival, or concert that is surely to be overcrowded this summer?
The exponential rate at which people are becoming tech savvy makes it more likely that they will buy into mobile electronic payments as a fast and easy way they pay for goods and services, the more businesses looking to attract new customers will adopt mobile electronic payments as a major form of financial transaction.