Small Business, Starbucks and GoogleWallet

I was reading two articles this morning that really caught my attention.  One is about GoogleWallet and the other about Starbucks.  Both caught my attention and got me thinking about how they affect small businesses.

GoogleWallet as you may know is a Google service with the premise of using your mobile phone as a credit card to make payments without needing your wallet.  You know what Starbucks is unless you live like Robinson Crusoe.  Both companies are heavy into mobile and their news today was both good an bad for small businesses.

GoogleWallet is not going to be allowed on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone to be launched on the Verizon network.  It’s an exclusive launch so for the time being Verizon is the master of this device.  It’s known that Verizon is working on a project called Isis (a competing mobile wallet solution) along with AT&T and T-Mobile to and Google is working to make GoogleWallet “the” name in NFC payments.  Sadly the Galaxy Nexus from Verizon will be handicapped from the get go, no NFC payment system for it.  This isn’t good for small business owners who are trying to decide if they should invest in NFC point of sale machines.  It’s a tough decision to spend the extra money but up to this point it seemed reasonable.  Now I think there’s going to be to many options and no easy way to choose.  Additionally this will delay the mass market adoption of NFC and mobile payments.

Starbucks on the other hand had some great news today.  They have announced that in less then a year they have amassed over 26 million transactions via their mobile payment app.  Now one in four transactions are executed on the mobile app.  You’re probably asking how this affects small businesses, it’s a huge factor in deciding if you should integrate mobile payments into your app and use compatible scanners at your point of sale.

If you’re a small retailer like a cafe and you get a lot of repeat business you may be using or considered using a rewards card.  You can integrate that along with a payment module into your mobile app.  Imagine customers ordering their food before they arrive, once they do arrive they can sit and eat right away then go to the cash register to pay and use your companies mobile app with a bar code connected to a credit card.  At the same time tracking that they’ve been there 12 times this year so they get 50% off their bill.  That will sure make them happy and you’ll get an even more committed customer.

These are both important and guiding factors in your companies mobile play contributing to a decision.  Mobile is a big part of many businesses today and will only continue to grow.  So what will you decide to do?  Create a mobile app and utilize mobile payments like a bar code similar to Starbucks or use NFC with GoogleWallet or Isis?  I’m curious, please comment here or email me