Mobile payments have taken on a new look. The recent release of Apple Pay and Google Wallet have popularized Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology in the payment processing industry. 

 

In fact, 86 percent of point-of-sale terminals in the U.S. will be NFC-enabled by 2017, a recent Gemalto white paper stated. In the same year, NFC payment transactions across the globe are projected to reach 2.8 billion, Gemalto added, citing Gartner statistics. As consumers continue to integrate mobile device usage into their everyday lives, it's likely that mobile payments will become a common aspect of merchant payment processing.

 

It's clear the direction the industry is trending. However, merchants that are tied to traditional payment processing technology have nothing to fear. NFC payments provide a plethora of advantages for local businesses. Here are three reasons why NFC technology makes merchant life easier:

 

  •        Safety comes first: Whether merchants like it or not, an industry liability shift is coming in the form of the new EMV chip-based guidelines. In October, the new guidelines outline which party is responsible if a data breach occurs; merchants that aren't EMV-compliant by this date are liable for any damage and financial loss. That said, if small-business owners make the upfront investment to upgrade their payment processing technology, they can be sure their customers' payment information is safer than it would be using a non-upgraded POS solution. EMV terminals, which typically support NFC payments, has added steps of security to better mitigate against potential breaches.
  •       Payments are quicker: Merchants that invest in NFC-capable payment technology are, in essence, speeding up the checkout process with mobile payments. All it takes is a simple tap of a consumer's mobile phone and the payment is processed through secure end-to-end encryption and tokenization. Once payments are sped up, merchants don't have to worry about customers waiting in long lines to make a transaction. Quicker lines could ultimately lead to increased payments during hours of service.
  •       Happy customers leads to more business: The merchant landscape relies heavily on the consumer. Savvy retailers can provide their customers with what they want by upgrading to NFC-capable point-of-sale systems. Gemalto said 1 in 3 phones are NFC enabled. By 2017, a projected 43 million contactless point-of-sale readers will be in place in the U.S. This accessibility is just paving the way for widespread NFC use in the merchant ecosystem. Consumers enjoy easy-to-use means of payments. If merchants accept NFC transactions, they are making sure the customer's needs are met, which is a recipe for business success.