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Guide To Mobile Payments


Guide to mobile payments

Figures show that by 2023, mobile payment transactions are set to exceed £3.5 trillion illustrating that payments are an increasingly popular way for businesses to accept payments.  This is mainly because they’re secure, fast, and convenient. 

Mobile payments refer to any transaction performed digitally with a mobile device using NFC (near field communication). 

People may choose to use mobile payments instead of paying directly with credit or debit cards, cash or cheques for greater ease and convenience.

The most widely known mobile payment methods include, mobile wallets (or digital wallets) such as Apple, Google and Samsung Pay as well as QR codes or mobile-to-mobile payments. 

How mobile payments work

Mobile payment technology allows a customer to pay for a product or service digitally, instead of using cash, cheques or physical credit cards.

To complete a mobile payment, customers will need a mobile wallet. A mobile wallet, also known as a digital wallet, allows users to securely add and store credit, debit or loyalty cards via an app so customers can “tap to pay” in stores, using NFC (near field communication) technology.

Digital wallets can help people to pay when shopping online (for example: PayPal), transfer money between friends, or pay with a phone.

NFC is the technology that enables two devices, like a phone and a payment reader to communicate wirelessly when they are close together (typically two inches apart).  In order to accept an NFC mobile payment at your business, you need a payment reader.

Below are the most popular examples of mobile payments: 

Apple Pay

Apple Pay works on an iPhone and an Apple watch. Customers store their debit or credit cards details onto the device so when they are in store, they can hold it over the card reader while holding their finger on the Touch ID button for biometric authentication - one of the most secure ways to complete a transaction.

If you are setting up Apple Pay you will need a payments reader enabled for NFC. If you run an online store, you can accept Apple Pay through your app or website without a reader.

Google Pay
Google Pay, is available on all NFC-enabled devices that run Android version 4.4 or later. Just like Apple Pay, all users need to do is open the app on their mobile phone and complete the transaction by holding  the device over the payments reader.

Samsung Pay
Users simply open the Samsung Pay app, and select the card they want to use for payment. They then use their PIN, IRIS, or fingerprint to verify their identity and finally hold the back of the phone to the reader to complete a purchase.

Other mobile payment methods include: 

QR codes

QR codes go a step further in mobile payments. Instead of having to pay through a POS terminal, customers scan your business’ QR code using their mobile device and make payments from their bank or payment service’s dedicated app. Payments are transferred to your dedicated merchant account where you’ll then receive funds instantly without even having to use a POS terminal.

Mobile to Mobile Payments 

Mobile-to-mobile payments allow users to make quick and secure payments using a mobile number. Essentially, consumers sign up for mobile-to-mobile services and then send and accept payments, as long as both parties are subscribed to the same service.

How to accept mobile payments?

To start accepting mobile payments at your store you should make sure you have the following:

  • Equipment to accept mobile payments

    Your payment service provider should have a variety of options for different budgets to match the way your business works. Most Point Of Sale (POS) terminals are ready to accept mobile payments.

  • Technology to accept mobile payments

    The POS terminal you chose will need to be equipped with NFC technology. Encryption and tokenisation are solutions that will be already working in the background to help protect your business against fraud.

  • A trusted payment service provider 

    Your card processor and merchant service provider can work with you to help you implement a mobile payments strategy to help maximise your revenue and increase sales.

Benefits of accepting mobile payments

The key benefits of accepting mobile payments include:

Improved Efficiency

One of the key benefits to accepting mobile payments takes out the burden of having to audit your cash payments and enter data into your books. It also prevents a data entry error and speeds up your accounting. 


Accepting mobile payments means you’re accepting the safest way for customers to pay. Mobile payments have multiple layers of encryption meaning they are an extremely secure way for customers to pay. They are more secure than magstripe payments and chip and PIN card payments if your customers are using a mobile payments app with face ID (like Apple Pay) or fingerprint technology for biometric authentication.

Increase Sales 

If you accept mobile transactions it gives your customers more ways to pay. It also gives you an edge over your competitors who may still be stuck using traditional methods. 

Many people’s ideal payment method is mobile contactless payment, due to speed, convenience, and security, and in the particular current climate, the ability to pay contactlessly - this can make your business more attractive to customers and lead to greater sales.

Improved Customer Experience

A key benefit of accepting contactless payment by mobile phone is that it’s fast, even faster than magstripe and chip cards. To complete a transaction, all customers have to do is hover their phone over the contactless card reader and it’s done. Ultimately a fast checkout process makes for a much better customer experience. It allows your business to give them the ability to pay the way they find most convenient, which in turn makes them willing to spend with you again.


Mobile payments have and are continuing to revolutionise the way businesses get paid. With the use of mobile devices by consumers on the rise, every business needs to ensure that they provide an enjoyable experience to their customer so they can easily checkout and pay for purchases.  

At Opayo, we can help businesses achieve this and help to start accepting these popular mobile payment methods. For further information visit our payment terminals page or call us now on 0191 313 0300.