Online and offline commerce are coming together in a big way in Canada in 2014 through mobile payment processing. Several companies are racing to corner the Canadian mobile payment market this year, including Shopify Canada and Moneris Solutions Payd Pro.
Mobile payments can be a wonderful asset to your business, especially if you do business on the road or operate a home-based business. They’re perfect for mobile businesses (such as landscapers), on-location services (such as plumbing or photography), trade shows, farmers’ markets and networking events. Imagine closing a sale while the customer is excited about your offer, rather than handing out a business card and hoping they won’t change their mind in the interim. You can sell and get paid anywhere, any time, and you don’t have to trust cheques.
The Big Players in Mobile Payment Processing
Payd Pro from Moneris Solutions is scheduled for launch in February, 2014, but you can preregister now. The mobile app allows you to accept payments anywhere through a Bluetooth® companion device and an Apple iOS or Android-enabled smartphone. The Bluetooth® technology allows for payment processing without actually handing your phone to the customer. You can process payments using Interac debit or major credit cards. Moneris Solutions is a joint investment between the Royal Bank (RBC) and the Bank of Montreal (BMO). They are the largest payment processors in Canada.
“At Moneris, we are proud to be the first payment processor in Canada to empower small business owners with the ability to process debit card transactions anywhere they do business,” said Jeff Guthrie, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Moneris. “Canadians increasingly expect to have the freedom to choose any payment option they find convenient, with any type of a merchant organization, big or small. We are committed to bringing innovative, effective and secure solutions to merchants of all sizes, including smaller service providers, such as artisans, photographers, personal trainers and contractors.”
Shopify Ecommerce Canada offers a popular online catalog and eCommerce integration system to Canadian merchants. They added an Apple iOS mobile payment app to their impressive collection of applications included in their packages, under a limited launch on January 2nd of this year. The mobile payment app is currently available to American companies that operate in Canada and will expand throughout Canada from there. The wonderful thing about this mobile payment option is it operates in sync with Shopify’s Point of Sale (POS) system, which in turn syncs online and offline sales & inventory. The app includes other sales and management features that can be utilized on the go. Shopify Mobile is free for all existing Shopify merchants.
Shopify announced their mobile launch on their blog, “Merchants using Shopify Payments can use our free card reader to accept cash or credit card payments from directly inside the app. You can sell your existing products or create custom sales on the spot.”
Both of these mobile payment processors are lagging a bit behind Square, which entered the market in October, 2012. They cornered a chunk of the market with their offer of a free reader.
“We are focused on making commerce easy for everyone. Square builds free tools for local businesses of all sizes and types to thrive,” said Alyssa Cutright, VP of International for Square. “We’re thrilled to introduce Canadian businesses and their customers to the most seamless and enjoyable way to do business.”
Square, in turn, was lagging behind PayPal when it came to a Canadian launch. PayPal launched PayPal Here with it’s own merchants in the Spring of 2012 and expanded Canada-wide from there.
“We could have come out with just a basic card reader a long time ago but we wanted to do something a lot more compelling,” said Darrell MacMullin, managing director of PayPal Canada. “Our users need a real commerce solution provider, not just a card reader.”
Choosing a Mobile Payment Provider
We always encourage Canadian businesses to jump on eCommerce technology, because as a rule we’re behind the rest of the modern world. However, you may want to wait until later in the year to decide which mobile payment processing solution is best for your business.
- Competitive rates
- Integration & compatibility – Since many small businesses in Canada are only now dipping a toe into eCommerce, it’s important to consider all-in-one solutions or those that work best with your existing technology. If you’re starting eCommerce at square one, it may make sense for you to take the easiest route with a company like Shopify Ecommerce.
- Reliability – There will be cheap knock-offs on the market which may suffice for your business, but be very careful about who you entrust your sales to.
- Additional features and perks
It’s clear that there will be no monopoly here and the competition is just starting. As these mobile payment options grow, so do their benefits. From remotely managing your store to sending special offers directly to customers, mobile payments will be a critical aspect of selling in a modern, omni-channel retail world.
Do you use, or plan to implement, mobile payments? Please share your experience or questions in the comments below.
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Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In over 20 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and eCommerce websites.
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