This is the second of a two part series about the virtual evolution of the wallet and how that will affect small business. Click here to read part one.
How Will The Continuing Evolution of the Wallet Affect Small Business?
Big brands such as Mastercard, Google and Apple are involved in facilitating the evolution of the wallet, and they work with other big brands from Macy’s to Starbucks, to bring the technological infrastructure needed to support this shift.
Where does that leave small business?
According to the SBA, small business accounts for 54% of all sales in the United States.
Not only would limited access to the tools needed to keep up with wallet evolution have the potential to cripple the economy, there’s no other apparent benefit for small business being left behind. In fact, some of the tools seem tailor made for small business.
Both Square and Google Checkout – a product that has since been folded into Google Wallet – both come to mind as tools meant to make accepting money virtually or on the go easier for smaller merchants.
And for many of the coming changes, any small business that has been keeping up with mainstream business technology already has the capability to use tools that migrate the wallet to the cloud, cell or computer.
So the question really is – does your small business have the tech to continue to accept payments from the evolved wallet?
There’s a secondary benefit to all these changes as well. This is the perfect time to make your loyalty program compatible with the emerging technology. And you can even leverage that as part of your marketing:
alert your newsletter subscribers that your loyalty program is compatible with apps like Passbook
update your website to show that you accept PayPal or Google Wallet
educate employees at your physical location about the various new devices people may use to pay and how to process them
Of course, you need to have the basic technology needed for your customers to take full advantage- in 2015, 50% of shopping is expected to occur online. If you don’t have at least a basic website, it’s absolutely critical that you get one up as soon as you can.
The Wallet will Keep Evolving. And So Could Money
Some experts have observed that a collaborative economy is emerging, one in which, ideally, you could rent or trade anything. Alternate currencies are emerging – Bitcoin being the most prominent, and by most accounts, the first.
These potentially disruptive technologies will hardly make money obsolete, at least not in our lifetimes. But they could stand to change the way the marketplace works. To stay ahead of the curve, as small business owners, it helps to stay abreast of these trends, and adapt accordingly.