Are you a small business owner who thinks on his or her feet, knowing that you must adapt to change in order to stay in business? Or, are you the kind of person running a company who is set in their ways, oftentimes not willing to try the latest big thing?

If you are the former, then you stand a good chance to get in on one of the bigger movements transpiring the retail world, mobile payments.

While many customers still prefer and/or have little choice but to pay for things the old-fashioned way, be it cash or checks, others like the convenience, speed, and relative security of making retail purchases via mobile payments. If some of the current reports are true, there appear to be millions and millions of them out there, some of whom could be waiting to do business with you.

According to a recent Forrester study, mobile payments will hit $90 billion by 2017, accounting for a 48 percent annual growth rate in comparison to last year’s numbers.

Going one step further, Juniper Research and ABI Research put the figure forecast by 2017 at $110 billion and $191 billion, respectively. Given those numbers, varied as they may be at the end of the day, the mobile payments industry certainly appears to be one small business owners should have their hands in.

If you have yet to dip your hands into the mobile payments jar, there are several factors to remember, among which include:

1. Determining which provider is best for you - Mobile payment providers come in all shapes and sizes, so make sure you find the one that is best for your small business. Review the company and history of the providers you get quotes from, make sure you ask about any hidden expenses, look to see if the provider has any negative history with customers (a check through the Better Business Bureau is a good place to start), and look for a record indicating the financial stability of each and every provider who quotes you;

2. Customer service always matter - Inevitably you will have questions or issues regarding your mobile payment plan, so find a provider who can be there for you to handle such matters. The ideal situation is to locate a provider who has customer service available 24/7, as there is no set time when problems or questions may arise. As you go about reviewing providers before choosing one, get a feel for their customer service at that point. If they seem more interested in helping you instead of always trying to make a sale, then there is a good chance they will be a solid provider;

3. Secure your own customers - One of the biggest roadblocks to your customers wanting to do mobile payments with you is any question regarding the security of their personal data. When someone makes a mobile payment transaction with your business, they want to make sure their personal information will not be subject to attack by hackers. Not only must you assure your customers of that, but your provider must make sure your customer’s data is properly encrypted, reducing the chances of identity theft occurring;

4. Promote your mobile capabilities - The last item to check off your list is promoting your ability to offer mobile payments for your customers. Through your social media networks, promote this fact, along with offering your customers, both current and potential, the ability to get discounts and rewards when they choose mobile payments. Your social networks and even your company blog can be good vehicles for educating consumers on the merits of mobile payments too.

If your small business offers more mobility in 2013, you could see it pay off with more customers and better sales.

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