Guides and reports

Choosing a mobile payments system

Going mobile makes for an elevated customer experience and one sure to drive higher conversions.

August 26, 2021
 ·  5 minutes
Choosing a mobile payments system

Mobile payment systems are the answer to the ever-growing demand for an agile customer experience, one where anything can be bought through your phone. The operative word here is of course, mobile. Customers are on the move; they communicate via mobile, and how they want to pay is through devices native and familiar to their everyday.

How mobile payment systems work is to allow the customer through a mobile device to pay for a good or service wherever they are, be it on the top of a mountain ordering a juice for the end of their hike or walking around a store.

As we get back to stores, customer behavior will continue shifting toward a more mobile and accessible customer experience. So too, will the need for a swift, smooth and effective checkout. So let’s delve into what mobile payment systems are and how they might help you stay on top of your moving target.

What is a mobile payment system?

Today, one-third of internet users use their mobile devices to purchase goods and services, using their mobile as a payment gateway. The term mobile payment system is a catch-all for anything that allows payments to happen away from a fixed terminal or desktop. Think about the app you’ve downloaded for your favorite store or the browser experience you’ve created for mobile, these give your customers the option to pay however they want.

Browser-based paymentsare those completed while within the browser app. Interestingly, mobile browser conversions are typically 9% lower than on desktop, which suggests that there is still room for improvement within this checkout experience and optimizing will prevent that churn often associated with mobile payments.

In-app paymentsgathered pace during COVID-19. They offer the most fluid, on-brand customer experience and give businesses the opportunity to build loyalty systems within the app. Joe and the Juice’spivot to app-based purchasesand pre-orders allowed them to continue selling uninterrupted during the pandemic.

Customers that use their phones to buy something in store are also engaging inmobile payments, often leaning ondigital walletslike Apple Pay or Google Pay™️ in order to checkout with ease. This type of payment typically relies on NFC technology which allows a shop’s POS terminal to securely gather the shopper’s payment information via a mobile payment gateway.

mPOSare hand-held devices that allow you to take payments anywhere within a wifi radius, affording customers the opportunity to cut long lines and checkout with ease. A report by451 Researchshowed that only 35% of US retailers surveyed used mPOS, and just 29% offered self-checkout. A RIS/GartnerRetail Technology Studyfound 30% of retailers had no plans to upgrade systems like item master data management, stock replenishment, allocation, price management, or promotion management in the next 24 months.

How do mobile payment systems work?

The various technologies powering mobile payments are simple, secure and widely adopted across the world.

Near field communication (NFC) technology

Transacting via mobile payment systems allows money to be transferred and payments made without the use of a physical card. NFC acts as the connection between two devices in close proximity to one another. The mobile device, using a digital wallet like Apple Pay or Google Pay™️ will connect with the store’s POS terminal, and complete the payment.

QR codes

Customer generated QR codes offer another means through which mobile payments can be received, with the merchant simply scanning the code to receive the funds.

Network tokens

Network tokens help store and process the shopper’s payment data. This is made possible with mobile payment tokenization, which lets you capture and reuse card details via an encrypted token - so you don’t have to worry about storing sensitive payment data.

What are the advantages of mobile payment systems?

Simply put, mobile means convenience, and convenience is key in today’s economy. The more convenient it is for customers to pay, the higher the satisfaction and subsequently, the higher your revenue will be.

Increased revenue

Customers uncomfortable with prolonged periods in stores will be more inclined to shop in environments they know are mobile-efficient, leading to higher sales for mobile leaders.

According to McKinsey, retailers with the highest offerings of touchless automation, both in-store and in warehouses, can expect a clear competitive advantage going forward.

Happy customers

For both a staffer and a customer, having a mobile terminal in hand means keeping the conversation going right to the end, an experience that’s frankly more fun for both parties. 46% of consumers agree that “skipping the line and paying directly with a sales assistant’s mobile payment terminal” would increase their likelihood of completing a purchase.


Additionally, you can connect your loyalty program to their payment card so customers can earn points without having to dig around in their wallets for additional cards or stamp booklets.

pay by link retail

Launching mobile payment systems with Adyen

Choosing the right mobile payment solution for your company will lead to a hike in both sales and customer satisfaction. So how to choose?

If you want to catch your customer when they’re wandering around instead of having them queue for a fixed terminal, we offer a comprehensive range of mobile devices. Our platform is also the full package, meaning we can manage your ecommerce, card acquiring, risk management, and point of sale in one system. With everything connected, your customer can dictate their journey. They can order online, they can collect and return in store, and they can pay at the point of sale or in-app. It really doesn’t matter. And you get to see all their activity in one place.

An alternative mobile pay solution isPay By Link, whereby the platform generates custom payment links for your shoppers through various checkout pages. Payment links are the most accessible and quickest way to make your payments more mobile. Links generated can be sent through social media, email, or chat. QR codes are created using this solution as well.

Interested in making your payments move?

Get in touch

Fresh insights, straight to your inbox

By submitting your information you confirm that you have read Adyen's Privacy Policy and agree to the use of your data in all Adyen communications.