When Apple pulled the plug on the headphone jack, pun intended, it started a debate about whether wired peripherals were a thing of the past. Apple, Samsung and a growing number of smartphone manufacturers are beginning to see a great deal of promise in Bluetooth technology. Soon, Bluetooth will affect everything from how you listen to music to how you pay for the items you buy on your way home.
Already, it’s possible to transfer money digitally over Bluetooth. Merchants had been slow to adopt this technology because, for many, it means expensive adjustments they need to make to stay in compliance with the law. Now that the painful part is over, and smartphone adoption rates are up, Bluetooth technology is on the rise.
This has given way to several important peripherals, including card readers and mobile payment systems. Two devices might use Bluetooth and WiFi, so someone can take an order from a customer and process payment while the order is fulfilled. This would work well in restaurants, or in the retail sector. Imagine ordering a customized computer, or wardrobe, and having every piece hand delivered to you in the exact specifications you asked for. That’s the power of Bluetooth.
Another important innovation is the digital wallet itself. Bluetooth technology just helps provide the vehicle to make a payment, the wallets handle the encryption and actual movement of funds. Plus, these wallets are accepting and using a growing number of currencies. Soon, you might be able to travel abroad with little more than a smartphone and a passport.
There’s a lot of news floating around about how important digital wallets will be for consumers, but the part no one talks about is how they’ll affect merchants. For the most part, merchants do what the market dictates, but these big changes in store maybe aren’t so bad. Here’s a look at the benefits merchants will see when they make the switch to accept digital wallets.
Right now, brands need to work hard to push customer loyalty programs with physical cards the customer has to keep. Larger retailers have more options, but the mom and pop shops can only mimic the idea. With digital wallets, it will become easier to get customers into your loyalty program, distribute coupons to them and get them back into your store. Enticing deals can now go directly to your best shoppers.
Faster and Safer Checkout
Everyone loves a faster checkout, but you’ll appreciate speed, efficiency and security all at once. Using special encryption, these wallets can control the data sent to and from banks as the customer completes the transaction. Everything is anonymous, and no information is held. That means once the transaction is done, a receipt can be emailed to the customer and all payment information disappears.
Customers will eventually have more tools to query your shop. In the future, they may be able to check the items you have in stock, or look at wait times in store to figure out when the best time to arrive is for their schedule.
Digital wallets show a lot of promise, but there are still some small concerns that prevent the public from fully embracing this new technology. Some of these concerns are overhyped by the media, but many come down to a lack of understanding. In this article, we’ll look at some of the common questions regarding consumer safety and see how digital wallets overcome those challenges.
The first thing to straighten out is that a digital wallet isn’t very easy for outside parties to gain access to. Nothing is completely immune to hacking, but there are some important precautions taken when using a digital wallet.
For one, retailers never have access to an account number. Everything is “tokenized”, which is another way of saying that it all takes place within a single session. Because each transaction number is unique, with no account data attached to it, thieves can’t snatch all of the data tied to your account. Without that data, they won’t be able to easily gain access.
The entire key to security really lies in your mobile device. Password or fingerprint protecting your device will help stop thieves from entering a device they have access to. Keeping your phone on your person at all times is the safest method you have to protect your account, but password protection is also a must.
If you misplace or lose the phone, you’ve got one final option. You can reset your account remotely by logging into the app from your desktop.