The high profile search engine giant Google Inc., recently announced it’s new pay-by-phone service, Google Wallet, slated for a limited run this summer. Though many are quick to point out the service’s glaring shortcomings, such as that it only works with the MasterCard network, is available for only one Android phone model, and so far only 15 retailers are signed up, nevertheless Google’s foray into the mobile processing market has drawn a significant amount of attention to mobile payments in general.
Then there are the newcomers, such as Square, the brainchild of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey. This service promises to simplify the complicated, convoluted world of credit card processing costs and fees, and in many cases offers a cheaper payment processing option for those who already own an iPhone, iPad, or Android mobile device.
But even as the tech world is abuzz, the majority of small business owners are receiving these announcements with a resounding “So what?”
Despite wide adaption in many Asian countries, industry experts do not expect mobile payments to really take off in the U.S. for another few years. While much of the resistance is on the consumer end- old, ingrained consumer habits are hard to change- I don’t expect many small business owners to jump on board in the near future.
Aside from the current limitations inherent to both Google Wallet and Square, many cash-strapped small business owners are quick to point out that purchasing an iPhone, iPad, or even an Android device can be pricey, and many may fail to find any real value in making the upgrade even where the cost of equipment is not a factor.
That said, while many small business owners may be skeptical about the future of mobile payments, the presence and growth of services, such as Google Wallet, Square, and others may open the door to leaner, cheaper, and more transparent payment processing systems. And that’s something just about any small business owner would be happy about.