Merchant Services: The Rise of Apps and Mobile Devices
Small businesses are leading the way when it comes to incorporating emerging technology into their everyday operations, including mobile and wireless credit card processing from their merchant services provider.
The recently-released 2012 AT&T Small Business Technology Poll online survey of 2,513 small business owners and/or employees responsible for IT reveals that nearly all (96%) use wireless technologies. In fact, two-thirds of them indicated that they could not survive, or it would be a major challenge to survive, without them.
Additionally, 43 percent of the respondents reported that all of their employees use wireless devices or technologies to work away from the office. That figure is up by a whopping 80 percent over just three years ago.
The technologies used by the businesses surveyed include:
- Tablet computers — used by 67 percent of the businesses, up from 57 percent a year ago.
- Smartphones — used by 85 percent of small businesses, up from 80 percent last year and more than double the usage of five years ago. One-third of smartphones used for business purposes are 4G. Of those who don’t yet have 4G devices, 35 percent say they expect to purchase them within the next year.
- Mobile Apps — used by 30 percent of those surveyed to save time, increase productivity and reduce operating costs. Apps appear to be gaining in importance, with half of the businesses surveyed saying they could not survive/would be a major challenge to survive without them. That’s an increase of 31 percent over last year. The most popular apps include GPS navigation and mapping, location-based services and social media marketing.
Merchant Express® has observed that many small business owners appreciate the convenience offered by our app-based mobile credit card processing solution, PayFox®. By simply downloading the app to your iPhone, you can accept major credit cards and signature debit cards wherever and whenever needed. And you can cut your processing costs by using a USB cardreader to swipe every transaction at lower, card-present rates.
The AT&T poll also calculated a Wireless Quotient (WiQ) for each of the 12 markets surveyed based on perceived importance of wireless, use of wireless technology, use of mobile apps and the percentage of employees using wireless to work remotely. The five markets with the highest WiQ ratings were Dallas; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, Indianapolis and San Francisco.
If you’re a small business operator interested in adopting or expanding on wireless technology, start by talking to Merchant Express to learn all about the role of apps and mobile devices in credit card processing.