Juniper Research predicts NFC transactions will reach $670 billion by 2015, up from $240 billion this year.
"The top 3 regions for mobile payments (East Asia and China, Western Europe and North America) will represent 75% of the global mobile payment gross transaction value by 2015," reports Leena Rao of TechCrunch.com. "Digital goods payments will account for nearly 40% of the market in 2015."
Payment companies like Square and PayPal are experiencing major growth in mobile transactions, with more competitors on the way, Rao writes.
Payware Mobile Enterprise from VeriFone is one of those competitors.
"The VeriFone Payware Mobile Enterprise system basically takes any tablet–from iPad to BlackBerry Playbook and beyond–and allows you to use it to collect payments anywhere, at any time," writes Steve Anderson on the TFTS Blog.
"It’s really little more than a magnetic card reader and an accompanying app, but this one’s geared toward bigger businesses (there’s even a calculator out there that shows that smaller payments at bigger volume is usually Square’s turf, while VeriFone is often the better deal on fewer and bigger payments). It even goes so far as to support PIN verification and NFC payments, which means that it’ll play nice with Google Wallet, even if Google Wallet won’t be seeing a big release for at least the next six months."
Payware Mobile Enterprise provides a professional-grade solution that turns a tablet into a terminal or integrated device, rather than simply plugging the Square into an iPhone or iPad (as seen below). The Square is an easily lost accessory that sticks out and is prone to breaking.
Because the Payware swipe transaction device encases the tablet, it presents a more "secure" payment method to in-store customers.
"Square (who has only recently allied itself with Visa) has been gearing itself toward the small business, the roadside stand and the flea market vendor and the like," writes Anderson. "For VeriFone to go after bigger business is an important move for them."
Apple stores, for example, allow customers to pay electronically from all over the store, using handheld credit card and debit card payment devices. It would make sense for them to replace those with something like Payware; the iPad becomes the checkout till.
However, I'm not sure that "tablet terminals" are always the answer for mobile in-store experiences: they're bigger than smartphones and you're selling phones more than you're selling tablets.
Still, these types of terminals are good options and show a trend towards multiple avenues for payment in any location. Terminals like these could be especially useful in the world of onsite or corporate sales, when combined with a mobile Internet option or in specific quick transaction scenarios.
If developed for RQ4, this sort of option could give RQ4 users a competitive advantage over other dealers and help to improve in-store experience and transaction times.