The average person in the U.S. makes more than 370 non-cash purchases every year. The exchange of money between businesses and their customers is more convenient than ever thanks to disruption in the payments sector.

This revolution in fintech has seen improvements in mobile payments and a focus on making the customer experience seamless. We're sure to see the number of non-cash transactions processed increase in the future, with consumers already seeing themselves using traditional payment instruments less by 2020.

Mobile payment solutions and even cryptocurrency open up a world of possibilities for business owners. Benefits include the ability to collect cash in real-time, satisfying the customer's desire to have what they want there and then, cut down on fraud and reduce operating costs. With all these benefits, the more mobile payment options a business can accept - whether at a brick-and-mortar or online store - the better.

Businesses should accept at least one of these payment forms in order to keep up with what their customers expect.


As of last year, the number of retailers accepting cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, had surpassed 100,000. Among large companies that accept Bitcoin are Microsoft, Dell and Expedia. One of the advantages of accepting the currency is reduced processing costs. The typical credit card processing cost to business owners is between two to three percent. Bitcoin fees lie somewhere in the range of zero to two percent. Disadvantages include the fluctuating value and potential theft of the digital currency. Back in August, hackers stole more than $65 million-worth of Bitcoin from a Hong Kong exchange. This saw its value decrease dramatically.

Bitcoin payments can be accepted online through a merchant solution, which generally enable conversion to the currency of choice, sometimes automatically. Brick-and-mortar stores can use specialized point of sale terminals to accept Bitcoin and even generate a QR code to be displayed in-store so customers can scan it with their phone and pay. Although Bitcoin may not be as widely accepted as some forms of non-cash payment forms, it's definitely proving itself as a viable option for some businesses and their customers.


With more than 188 million active PayPal accounts, businesses who accept this payment method have the potential to widen their customer base. PayPal Express Checkout is a secure way for businesses to accept payments online and their pro service offers a complete on-site checkout experience. Customers with a PayPal account are able to nominate a credit card, debit card or bank account of their choice to have their funds withdrawn from. The advantage of having card transactions processed through PayPal is the layer of security and fraud protection offered as well as the eliminated need for PCI compliance, as customer credit card data is never exchanged.

For participating brick-and-mortar stores, customers can order ahead and pay using the PayPal app. At music festival, Outside Lands, in San Francisco, PayPal recently offered a cashless payment option for attendees purchasing from food and drink vendors. Users pair their PayPal account with their RFID bracelet, which also acts as their entry ticket. This is all part of PayPal's plan to eliminate lines at cashiers.

Mobile Wallets

Since there is now added incentive for retailers to install EMV-compliant credit card terminals, as they are now liable for fraudulent transactions if they haven't upgraded their old terminals, this gives way to the proliferation of readers that support NFC contactless payment. A survey conducted by Accenture found that 19 percent of US consumers use their mobile phones regularly at merchant locations to make payments. While this is relatively low, operating system-based mobile wallets will continue to make waves in the mobile payments sector. Apple Pay accounted for 68 percent of in-store mobile payments after less than a year in the market.

While the ability to accept payments online through Apply Pay is limited to select retailers at this point, there are added security benefits for brick-and-mortar retailers and their customers. While some have labeled mobile wallets as a veneer over already-existing credit card processing methods, this extra layer means the collecting of customer information isn't performed by the merchant, thereby decreasing their liability. Customers are safeguarded against fraudulent transactions in most instances; Apple Pay uses Touch ID and unique transaction codes for added security.

Business owners are positioned to reap all the benefits of disruptions in the payments sector, the hardest part is choosing which solution or solutions work for them.