Why Mobile Payments Aren't Gaining Traction With Small Businesses The adoption of mobile payment systems is nearly universal -- except on Main Street.
A year after the launch of Apple Pay and five months into Google's Android Pay service, it seems like mobile payments have finally caught fire with the public. Thousands of banks and retail giants have jumped onboard, yet small businesses—which account for more than 90 percent of businesses in the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau—are so far responding with a collective meh.
"I would say it's been a fairly negligible adoption rate so far," says Jordan McKee, senior analyst covering mobile payments at 451 Research in Boston. "There hasn't been a tremendous amount of interest given the cost of upgrading terminals to accept NFC payments."
Near field communication is the technology behind the new contactless payment systems. Long a feature of Android handsets, the chip lets consumers put a smartphone inches away from a payment terminal to make a transaction. Apple Pay joined the party in 2014 with the iPhone 6; the tech is also a key feature of the new Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) credit card standard.