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Michelle Latham | merchantservices

Why Top Retailers Accept Mobile Payments

Jan 7th 2013 at 2:32 PM


Urban Outfitters just saved hundreds of thousands of dollars. How was it possible? They began accepting mobile payments. Now, while smaller businesses shouldn't expect to save quite that much cash, making the switch to exclusively accepting mobile payments is still a viable way to save big.

The reason? Traditional point of sale (POS) registers can cost thousands of dollars, thus making the overhead cost of starting a business even steeping. However, a fully-optimized Apple iPad tops out at $1,000. And, it's even cheaper to use an iPhone or an iPod Touch. All you need is the iPad or iPhone and a device that swipes cards, then you'll be a little more like these companies:

The Apple Store


For years, Apple store locations have been accepting mobile payments for their products. One of the early adopters of this style of payment, Apple's employees simply check customers out with a swipe on their iPhones. One the biggest benefits to this method is that customers' payments can be processed from anywhere in the store, which is great for high-volume days (in other words: everyday).

Urban Outfitters


This hipster retail chain recently did away with their expensive POS registers to instead exclusivly accept mobile payments on iPads and iPhones. The benefits of this switch are numerous, but the most glaring is the hundreds of thousands of dollars the company saved by doing so. You do the math: A traditional POS register costs upwards of $5,000, while an iPad runs less than $1,000. Multiply the difference by the more than 400 stores in Urban Outfitters chain, and you have something on the order of a *zillion dollars in savings. (*Savings are estimated.)

Nordstrom & J.C. Penney


In the world or department stores, few names can compete with heavyweights Nordstrom and J.C. Penney. These two stores recently adopted a mobile payment processing system that will allow them to accept payments from anywhere in their cavernous stores. In addition, Jamie Nordstrom, the company's online division president of the same name, has announced plans for the company to go “completely mobile” in the foreseeable future.



If you've ever dealt with people before they've had their morning coffee, then you can see the remarkable benefit of Starbucks making the check-out process easier with mobile payments. Of course, there were other, more pressing factors that played a role in the change, such as the $25 million the massive coffee chain has invested in Square, the company processing the mobile payments. That big of an investment goes to show you where the future of payment processing is heading.


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