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26 Mobile Payments As Marketing Strategy

mocapayThe mobile device continues to evolve and one trend that’s finally picking up steam in the US is the act of making and accepting payments via mobile payment systems. Mobile payments are already very common in other parts of the world where less infrastructure friction (read: entrenched industries that don’t want to change the game) allowed for faster adoption.

The question marketers of all kinds need to start asking is if their customers are mobile, how mobile does the business need to be? I get push back every time I mention text messaging and SMS, but like it or not you can’t sit this out, you’ve got to start getting serious about every aspect of mobile marketing, including this one.

While mobile payments may seem like just another way to accept money, much like checks and credit cards, I think you’ll start to see integration that other forms of payment don’t offer. It’s tough to integrate with someone’s checking account, but on a mobile device loaded with a database, GPS and compass, well, you’ve got the makings of a location aware loyalty program with the ability to offer loyalty specials and club and membership perks through an electronic wallet kind of approach.

The first adoption will come with more convenience. Recently, I was selling books at an event attended by eBay sellers and was able to offer “bump” payment with the PayPal iPhone app to those that wished to pay that way. No credit card reader, no paper slips, instant transfer, and more secure than written forms. Of course the person sending the money must have the same technology in order to play.

I’ve signed up for and ordered my Square account and reader – a tool that plugs into the iPhone, iPad or Android headphone port that reads credits cards and allows merchants to accept mobile payments without the need for a credit card terminal or technology from the sending party.

Companies like Colorado based Mocapay have begun to offer creative approaches to mobile payments as a part of the overall marketing puzzle. Using the tool you can push out text messages to encourage purchase, personalize follow-up messages and track and reward frequent purchases with rewards programs.

4 Amazon Trots Out More eCommerce Tools

Amazon PaymentsAmazon.com recently jumped into the merchant service, transaction and ecommerce tools for small business, business under the banner of Amazon Payments.

The new services come in a variety of flavors and are aimed directly at the current undisputed leader – PayPal.com. Now PayPal is miles ahead but Amazon’s got some things no other merchant services offering does – Amazon has a trusted brand and it’s got product to put in the mix.

Any business that uses their services automatically can add, upsell and cross-sell the entire Amazon product mix from the same set of tools and I think that’s a big plus.

The offering starts with Simply Pay – the basic, put a link on your site and collect money through their system (any Amazon account holder won’t have to put account info in!)

Next up is Checkout – this is Amazon’s shopping cart offering with integrated payment and, again, the ability to add Amazon product with an Amazon Associates cut.

Don’t forget about Amazon Fulfillment too – Amazon will hang onto your product and fill and ship orders for you through the shopping cart and payment system essentially automating the entire sales fulfillment process.

Lastly we have Amazon’s developer offering called Flexible Payments – this is the tool developers can start using to make their processing scripts work with Amazon’s payment system. This is where I think they will see some great growth. Lots of 3-party software will be able to hook onto the system in pretty short order because Amazon does a better job with developers than PayPal has in the past.

20 PayPal as a serious ecommerce tool

PayPalPayPal has been around now for quite some time. It’s always been a choice for Internet marketers looking for easy ways to get and send money. Then eBay purchased PayPal and pretty much made it a household name for people doing all sorts of commerce on the Internet.

Many people are familiar with PayPal only as an easy way to send and receive payments online to and from PayPal users, but they offer so much more. As a business account holder you can set-up a full suite of online tools and accept many forms of payment, including standard credit card transactions, from non PayPal users.

About a year ago PayPal purchased the real-time processing gateway from Verisign, a proven name in this field, and completed, in my opinion, the total online and offline ecommerce solution.

Reliably and securely accepting forms of payment over the Internet is a bit of a feat really. There are so may moving parts that must be hooked together to make it work.

At the very least you need:

  • Internet merchant account to accept and process credit card payments online
  • Don’t forget that you’ll need American Express and Discover account separately
  • PayPal account integration to offer the PayPal payment option for PayPal users
  • ACH account if you want to accept checks online as a form of payment
  • Real time processing to get authorization of those cards instantly during a transaction
  • Secure shopping cart to offer products and services and shopping experience safely
  • Delivery mechanism for any digital products

In many instances ecommerce sites get the tools above working by linking together up to five separate vendors with five different fees attached.

If you are in this boat or considering ecommerce for your online marketing take a good hard look at PayPal for your merchant account, gateway and perhaps even shopping cart. They have put together a tool called PayFlow Pro that works very well with many shopping carts and are very aggressive with merchant account and gateway fees, including currently waving set-up fees that can run in excess of $500 from some vendors.

At the very least it has become a standard practice to offer the PayPal Express Payment option and equip your shopping carts with the code to hand a payment off to PayPal from a PayPal user.

Gift certificates for referral

PayPalSending gift certificates, good towards the purchase of your products and, yes, services too, can be a great way to stimulate additional purchases. It’s also a great tool to use for referrals. Send out gift certificates to customers and ask them to give them away to someone who might use it. Then give your customer additional credits for each one of those gift certificates that comes back by way of a new customer.

PayPal has a feature that makes creating online and printable gift certificates for your products and services pretty simple. Here’s an example on Duct Tape Marketing (Just an example execution not trying to trick you into buying gift certificates – although people have asked!)

The only real downside is that to redeem the certificate the user must be or become a PayPal member.

If you are an existing PayPal merchant the process for creating gift certificates is as simple as completing a form and pasting the buy button into your web page code.

Another promising looking online referral tool is ReferNow. This service allows you to create referral campaigns that make it very easy for customers to refer. The service creates the tools that make it very easy for you to motivate referral sources and track referral activity.