DefinIT Insights

Like Getting Paid? New Technologies Make It Easier

24208869_sI’m guessing you like getting paid. Cash or credit, check or money order, you probably don’t really care how the money makes its way into your account. Just so long as it’s there. But the days of limiting payment options to cash or credit are long gone. Here are some ways that online businesses—and even some traditional, brick-and-mortar businesses—are accepting forms of payment.

Cash Or Credit Is No Longer The Question

A report published by Javelin Strategy & Research and quoted in a 2012 article of the Huffington Post showed that only 27% of in-person transactions were completed with actual cash. That number is expected to drop further by 2017. According to the same source, 66% of sales were fulfilled using some form of card, whether credit or debit.

Online, of course, things are a bit different. Websites rely on payment gateways that usually process credit cards, debit cards, or some other non-paper form of reimbursement. These payment gateways, like PayPal and, are required to meet some pretty stringent security laws. Since they are usually included as part of your website shopping cart, we’ve come to accept them as a normal thing. But they are far from the only way to pay—online or in person.

New Ways to Get Paid

A little over a decade ago, I remember hearing a report about people in Europe using their phones to pay for things as simple as a latte at the neighborhood coffee store. Very cool, I remember thinking. I wonder when this technology will make it across the Atlantic?

Well, it’s on its way, thanks to smartphones equipped with special sensors utilizing Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. Unfortunately, local coffee shops around the country—as well as their major retail relatives—have been slow to implement this equipment. In the meantime, you can still receive payments through your email, through phone apps, and even by means of your Amazon or Google account.

How does this work? Well, banks and independent payment services like PopMoney allow you to send money to people using their email addresses. Some may even allow you to send money to friends, relatives, or business partners (via your bank’s online banking service or mobile app) using their mobile phone numbers. A mobile banking app, paired with special scanner, can enable you to accept payments on your smartphone or tablet.

If you have the appropriate account, you can make payments through Google Wallet and Amazon Payments. You can use these options in any website where you see the logos. Google Wallet comes with an interesting feature. You can email friends money, attaching it to an email just like it’s a document. The funds come out of your Google Wallet account.

Will the day come when cash is a relic in a museum? When we actually do make all of our payments with our smartphones, emailing funds as easily as we email photos? What you think? Comment below and let us know!

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