Mobile payment technology gaining traction

More than half of small businesses now use mobile credit-card readers -- or plan to do so within 12 months.

The number of small businesses that are using some sort of mobile payment platform to complete transactions is reaching the halfway mark, according to new research by advertising consultants BIA/Kelsey. 

40 percent of them now use a mobile credit card reader attached to a smartphone or tablet, while another 16 percent of them plan to invest in this sort of solution within the next 12 months, reports the latest BIA/Kelsey Local Commerce Monitor.

The ongoing study taps the minset of small-business owners and managers, specifically at companies with 1 to 99 employees. The latest study, conducted in July 2013, was completed by 568 respondents.

In addition to those mobile metrics, the study showed that 72 percent of small businesses are using social media to promote their business: 52 percent of them use a Facebook page, while 25 percent manage a Google+ Local page.

"Together, mobile and social are transforming the way SMBs acquire and retain customers," said Steve Marshall, director of research for BIA/Kelsey. "With the heavy use of social media, SMB marketing is quickly becoming a two-way engagement rather than a one-way promotion."

The BIA/Kelsey is just the latest in a string of data pointing to the fast adoption of mobile payment solutions, as well as tablet-based POS technology, by small businesses.

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