Open Your E-Wallet, Small Businesses, Or Be Left Behind

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Did I get your attention with that headline? Good.

Two weeks ago, I spent some time exploring why small businesses tend to be behind the technology curve, using cloud computing as an example. The conclusions were that small businesses strapped for time and hyper-focused on the communities and customers they serve may miss out on some larger trends until they become more mainstream. It’s something we at Direct Capital want to combat by keeping you up to date on trends.

It appears that’s in danger of happening again with e-wallets and mobile payments, according to Technorati. The article strongly suggests that the technology, which includes the new Google Wallet, is going to be vital to small businesses very soon:

According to a November report by Aite Group, mobile payments (which includes bill payments) will account for $214 billion in gross dollar volume by 2015, up from $16 billion last year. Sixty percent of those ages 18-34 said that they would be comfortable with using a phone to make a payment at a store.

“There is enough momentum that small businesses need to take that first step” to learn how to best enable their businesses for mobile, whether that’s reformatting the business’ website or implementing a mobile application, says Paul Phillipson, managing director of Mazooma, in The Street.

It’s little wonder that Technorati lends some urgency to this report, telling small businesses to start learning about these kinds of services within the next year or two to stay on the curve. For those who don’t know, these systems essentially turn your phone into a secure credit card, storing your account information and allowing you to wave it like a card to make a transaction. It’s also pretty darn convenient.

But that said, this isn’t something you have to go out and get tomorrow. The technology is probably a handful of years away from becoming fully integrated into our society, which means those who want to pay by mobile credit card can pay by regular card if it’s not available. All I would advocate for is an understanding of how the technology works and how you may be able to use it in the future to attract more customers.

Any thoughts on e-wallets, and any plans to explore it?

Photo credit to grzessiek at

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