Mobile Payments: What To Look For In The Near Future


In recent history, payments have been making a change from the traditional use of cash, to payments with cards, to now using our mobile hand-held devices. The transition into mobile devices has been one that started off slow in 2011 with Google creating the platform Google Wallet, but now is increasing rapidly with the likes of Apple, Samsung and major retail stores getting involved, so much so that Forrester forecasts a 48% compound annual growth rate leading to this industry producing $90 billion in annual revenue by 2017. With so many options, you might wonder which product to use, how these products work and/or which would benefit you as a business owner/user. As with any growing industry, there are dozens of options to be aware of, with different ways of addressing the task at hand. We want to discuss some of the main players in the mobile payments market, based on their size and dominance, and their forecasted success based on their technology and accessibility.

The most popular option in the media has been Apple Pay. This is solely due to Apple’s marketing, not to their success in mobile payments thus far. In terms of their mobile payment strategy, Apple uses NFC (near-field communication) in their most up-to-date mobile devices (iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, etc.) which can be read by certain point of sale machines. To use this, you wave your mobile device over the pad as you check out, and the system reads the payment information stored on the mobile device. Because this is a recent tool, it is exclusively offered on Apple devices and only 220,000 merchants (2% of all retail stores) have this sort of technology in their shops. In addition, it only has access to 90% of United States credit cards, excluding the smaller, local credit cards. This makes the tool less desirable in a retail market that prefers an all-or-nothing solution. Many different sources in the news have been claiming that this type of system will be more secure than simply using a card to pay, as there is a necessary fingerprint and pin access to use the NFC technology on a mobile device. But with all these benefits, you would think this system would rapidly expand: just ask Google Wallet, which has been attempting this use of NFC for three years with little response from the market.

Google was the first to introduce NFC, with their newest application for their Android platform. The major differences between Google Wallet and Apple Pay are that Google Wallet has a larger current user base (16.4 million, compared to Apple Pay’s 1.2 million as of October 2014) and their ability to integrate with more mobile platforms. Google Wallet does have an issue with the number of point of sale systems that can use the NFC technology, and some of the biggest chains disabling this system for their own sort of mobile payment. For example, chains such as CVS, Walmart, Target, Rite Aid and many others are opting for a different type of mobile payment known as Current C.

Current C has been described for almost three years as having the potential to become the next big mobile payment system. The biggest issue is that it is still a prototype, looking to come out as soon as early 2015. What makes it different is it uses QR codes, which are recognized by most checkout scanners and digital offers. It even has added benefits to the client, such as no swipe fees, which are the processing fee that retailers pay when an individual uses their credit card. The potential target demographic for Current C would be much larger than that of both the Apple Pay and Google Wallet NFC tools combined.

Another application that has some businesses intrigued is LevelUp, a program that offers discounts to customers but also no merchant service fees to businesses. Combining the best of both worlds, LevelUp uses QR codes to scan customer’s mobile device for their payment information and transfers it to the business’ point of sale system via the LevelUp scanner. LevelUp bases its revenue on a percentage of every discount it offers to customers: every time they have a special offer for a customer, LevelUp could see a large percentage of the revenue on that sale, making up for the fact they do not charge a merchant service fee to the client. Because every business needs to purchase the scanner that attaches to their point of sale system, only 14,000 locations have adopted this program, but they contain over 2 million customers. Other similar systems have been adopted by multinational chains such as Starbucks. Starbucks partnered with a major mobile point of sale service called Square in order to make it mobile payment services available in 7,000 of the coffee chain’s outlets. This type of service is slowly being implemented in other chains such as McDonald’s, but due to the cost of updated equipment, it has taken time to adjust.

The jump to mobile payment systems has been addressed by some major companies, and there are more in the prototype stage that could be something to keep an eye on, most notably PayPal and Samsung. PayPal has created an API (application program interface) called PayPal Here, which will allow businesses to connect credit card readers to their point of sale terminals in stores. This option will be more prevalent in smaller merchant shops, competing with the likes of Square. Samsung, the largest cell phone producer in the world, is in talks to acquire LoopPay, a startup which describes itself as the most accepted mobile wallet on the planet. This plan would give Samsung an edge over competitors such as Apple Pay, as they will have access to all credit cards and payment terminals from the get-go. This technology will not use NFC but a magnetic signal which simulates the swiping of the magnetic strip on a card. Its only downside is it lacks the security measures that are offered by NFC-based systems.

More competition, including smaller companies and start-ups, will continue to pave their way into the mobile payments market, making it tough to keep up with the latest technology. Business owners and customers alike should look into the two biggest successes thus far, being Apple Pay (after its major success with iPhone 6) and Samsung (with its acquisition of LoopPay) for their mobile payment needs. But don’t get attached to any of these systems just yet; the mobile payments industry is still developing and could take a new direction at any moment.

BookKeeping Express “Books” $5.8 Million Series A of Funding

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TYSONS CORNER, Va. (March 3, 2015) – BookKeeping Express (BKE), the leader in personalized business bookkeeping services that seamlessly integrates a sophisticated, cloud-based financial reporting platform with oversight from a team of accounting experts to make the business financial process more efficient and affordable, announced today it has closed a $5.8 million Series A round of funding. The financing was led exclusively by Paulson Investment Company, a leading investment firm focused on high-growth companies, with offices in San Francisco, Chicago, Portland and New York.

The capital will enable BKE to invest in new technologies, personnel and operational infrastructure, as well as better assist its hundreds of clients across the country, ranging from small mom-and-pop businesses to industry leaders like Great Clips, Anytime Fitness and Aire Serv® of The Dwyer Group®, as it continues its disruption of the bookkeeping industry by combining technology and people to simplify back-office operations for the business owner.

“This financing will help us take our company to the next level and advance our industry disruption,” said Keith Mueller, CEO of BookKeeping Express. “We have one mission: to help businesses solve an imperative piece of the operations puzzle by combining secure, cloud-based technology with an experienced team of accounting experts, enabling business owners to focus on their business rather than in their business. These additional resources will help us do that.”

BKE provides business owners with a full range of integrated bookkeeping and financial reporting services traditionally only reserved for big corporations. Through its cloud-based Executive Accounting Platform, BKE provides small to medium-sized businesses with a suite of integrated Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services, such as bill pay, payroll and monthly data entry, for the same price that its competitors would charge for only journal entry. In addition to the technology component, each business owner is matched up with a skilled team of bookkeepers, providing an added layer of support and guidance.

With the goal of surpassing 10,000 clients over the next five years, BookKeeping Express expects to become the de facto standard for bookkeeping and financial reporting.

For more information about BookKeeping Express, visit or contact 877-525-5337.

Read more about the release here:

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About BookKeeping Express

BookKeeping Express Enterprises (BKE), the leader in secure cloud-based business bookkeeping services, provides essential financial solutions to small- and medium-sized businesses by offering a full range of transaction processing reporting services traditionally only reserved for Fortune 5000 companies. By combining technology and people, BKE is disrupting the industry and simplifying operations for businesses through full integration. To learn more about BookKeeping Express, visit

Media Contact Alicia Aldrich Fishman Public Relations (847) 945-1300 ext. 246

Digital Fraud: What It Means For You

Technology has allowed companies to evolve, grow and be more efficient. Unfortunately, with all that is great with technology there is still an inherent risk of fraud that comes with it. This guest piece "How Technology is Shaping the Fight Against Fraud" written by BookKeeping Express CEO Keith Mueller on talks about those risks and what small to medium sized business can do to protect themselves from those risks. Some quick takeaways from the article:

  • Double edged sword of technology gets sharper
  • Improved information security will be a major priority
  • Employee theft and fraud will continue to be a serious threat
  • What can companies do?

Fraud will always be a concern for any company of any size. However, with the right processes in place and a proper management structure with the correct checks and balances will help protect against most risks out there that threaten your business.

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Tax season is upon us, are you ready?

Great Tax Tips

BKE CEO Keith Mueller offered up some quick thoughts on “Last-Minute Bookkeeping Tips Before You See the Tax Man” on We think checklists are especially handy when you’re trying to figure out what to do to make sure you have everything in place for tax prep. Some of his suggestions included:

  • File for an extension
  • Gather all fiscal records
  • Sort and categorize financial documents
  • Make sure all income is documented

If you want more great tips like this, read the full article ““Last-Minute Bookkeeping Tips Before You See the Tax Man” and make sure to sign up for the BKE Newsletter!

Is basic bookkeeping really basic?

Managing the bookkeeping for your business – it doesn't sound so bad at first, right? But when you dig deep into everything that goes into managing your business finances, it can be daunting. It turns out that bookkeeping is time consuming and complicated! Some have used the term tedious, and this For Dummies article "Basic Bookkeeping for your Small Business" goes as far as to use the term “drudgery” when describing the duties that go into small business bookkeeping.

The For Dummies article gives an overview of bookkeeping with the goal of getting you started.

There are six bullet points in the article:

  • Prepare source documents for all transactions, operations, and other events of the business.
  • Determine and enter in source documents the financial effects of the transactions and other events of the business.
  • Make original entries of financial effects into journals and accounts, with appropriate references to source documents.
  • Perform end-of-period procedures.
  • Compile the adjusted trial balance.
  • Close the books.

When you look at these six bullet points you might think "Hey, that’s not so hard!"

But the truth of it is that bookkeeping is a sensitive task. It can be time consuming, especially if you’re not experienced at it. It needs to be done by someone who is trustworthy, and the actual work needs to be kept in a safe and secure place. Most important of all? The numbers need to add up, especially when tax time comes around!

So what are your options for managing your business finances? You can hire a new, trustworthy, experienced employee to work on your books, or you can outsource the task to a bookkeeping or accounting firm. What you really need is someone who understands your industry, what you do as a company, and the best way to work with you – all important factors to make sure that your books are done correctly. Working with a quality bookkeeping service will help simplify your life and ease the process of running your small business, enabling you to focus on what really matters – making your business successful!

Watch this quick video to learn more about how BKE

can help alleviate your bookkeeping pain.