Will Mobile Payments Trump the Old Mighty Dollar?

It’s hard times for hard cash, as mobile and alternative payments have taken the place of dollar bills and loose change. In fact, it’s estimated that consumers and businesses worldwide will make more than $1 trillion in purchases from mobile devices by 2017, according to IDC Financial Insights. In the U.S. alone, mobile payments will top $1 billion this year, before reaching and upwards of $58 billion by 2017.Analysts predict that the majority of these payments will come from mobile commerce – or purchases make through a company’s website via a mobile device – as well as NFC (near field communication) payments – or payments made by “waving” a mobile device in the direction of a reader device.

Currently, the purchase of low-value items, for example a cup of coffee, is most prevalent; however, the purchasing of larger, pricier items will soon follow.

“The growing prevalence of smartphones is enabling a variety of mobile payment methods, which combined are becoming a significant share of global commerce,” said Aaron McPherson, IDC’s practice director of worldwide payment strategies, in a statement. “We expect growth rates to continue to accelerate as consumers and retailers become more comfortable with the technology.”

As a society that’s always on the go, the growth of mobile and alternative payments comes as no surprise. After all, you can do just about anything from your mobile phone from ordering a gourmet meal to booking a vacation to paying your cable bill.  And in a culture where customers would rather text than pick up the phone, the need for e-commerce and customer self-care options is paramount.

GLDS has supported mobile payments for a few years now internationally via a real-time payment posting API, but how about U.S. broadband? While we haven’t seen it happen here in the US, GLDS has the infrastructure in place to support it whenever you, and your customers, are ready.