Study: small business owners make progress, share struggles with mobile payments

Shedding light on small merchants and mobile

As mobile commerce activity increases within the U.S. marketplace and payment processing advances alongside it, ISOs, acquirers and other merchant service providers must reposition themselves to meet the immediate and future needs of the businesses they serve. A newly released research report from ControlScan and TransFirst promises to help meet this objective, sharing important insights into small merchants’ progress and struggles in implementing various mobile payment technologies.

Responses from more than 1650 merchants were collected from March 18 to April 18 of this year via theControlScan/TransFirst 2013 Mobile Payment Acceptance Survey. The survey was sent to those businesses classified by credit card brands as “Level 4,” which are merchants that process fewer than 20,000 ecommerce or 1 million physical card transactions annually. These typically small to mid-sized businesses represent service areas such as retail and consumer goods, healthcare and human services, personal and professional services, and restaurant and hospitality. Three-quarters of survey respondents’ businesses have 10 or fewer employees.

Key data points from the survey include:

  • 82% of ecommerce merchants don’t know whether a purchase on their website comes from a mobile device or a PC, yet data from those who do indicates that mobile site visitors are representing a significantly increasing portion of online sales;
  • 49% of ecommerce merchants know their websites are not currently optimized for mobile devices and an additional 17% say they don’t know or are unsure about their site’s current status, revealing that as many as two-thirds of these merchants may be putting up roadblocks to the growing number of mobile consumers; and
  • 10% of respondents to last year’s benchmark Mobile Payment Acceptance Survey said they were using a smartphone or tablet to accept face-to-face credit card payments. In less than one year’s time, that number has almost doubled to 17%.

“The mobile payment survey findings show that small merchants have a real business need to effectively adapt to mobile technology trends,” said Dave Abouchar, Sr. Director of Product Management for payment security and compliance solution provider ControlScan. “Now is the time for ISOs and acquirers to embrace these trends with innovative offerings that guide their merchants toward business growth and increased revenue.”

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