Last week, I walked out of our office to see Blake Street buzzing with people adorned in purple and black jerseys. As is standard this time of year, being located three blocks from Coors Field, we get to witness fans heading over to the game and all of the hot dog, peanut, and ticket sales that proliferate in the blocks surrounding.
Walking past a ticket “broker,” I overheard him talking to man wearing a Cincinnati jersey (even though we were playing the Mets) discussing the option of accepting credit cards for his ticket sales.
“I’ve thought about getting one of those things,” he said. I can only assume he was referring to a mobile credit card reader. “But cash is so easy for me right now.”
I laughed as I witnessed the irony of what was happening outside our office–workplace to creators of payment processing technology. While a patron was asking if he could pay by credit card or other form, this businessman was explaining why he only accepts cash – because it’s so easy. I didn’t hover to see if the transaction was ever completed.
As I kept walking, though, I continued to think about what he said, and wondered if the man in the Cincinnati jersey would have felt comfortable paying him with a credit card right there on the street. Would I?
The reality is, this ticket seller could likely have signed up for a Square or a similar mobile payment app and accepted a credit card on the spot. But, according to a recent study, most of the public would not only feel uncomfortable paying him on the street, they would also be uncomfortable using a mobile payment method in a more standard business setting.
The Federal Reserve reported in March that only 1 in 5 consumers currently use mobile phones for banking. Another 1 in 5 said they would probably use it in the future, but the remainder declined usage, expressing concerns over security. Another study, conducted by the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, found that the likelihood of adopting mobile payment processing technology was largely based on age, with the most enthusiastic patrons ranging from ages 35-44. However, no age group contained a majority that was likely to use mobile payment processing technology.
What does this data mean for us in the business of mobile payment technology? As was the case with online payment processing technology in years prior, consumers are and should be concerned about what’s happening with their credit card information. When new technologies come along that seem to “float” their data across new networks—it makes them (us) uncomfortable. It is our jobs to stress the security measures we implement, market the benefits, and of course, continue to improve our offering.
For the ticket seller (or any business out there), our recommendation is simple: Accept the forms of payment that your customers wish to pay you. Your customers – young or old – will let you know their payment preferences, whether that’s online, by phone, through the mail, over the phone, or on a phone. Only when you are fulfilling those needs are you ensuring your full revenue potential and ensuring your customers are happy making purchases with you.