So you’re building a mobile app, offering must-have products or services to users everywhere. Good for you, consumers love apps.

Will you offer a dating service, or perhaps a music subscription with a free trial, new member discount, and “premium” pricing options? Or maybe your plan is for something else entirely, but still requires the ability to accept payment cards for one-time or recurring purchases.

You’re in the right place for useful information on all of that.

Whether a solo developer or part of a development team, your vision and efforts deliver mobile apps that disrupt traditional retail services — and benefit consumers.

For some, that’s motivation enough: to be part of the disruptor brigade. Yet for app developers planning to make money, mobile app payment processing isn’t an easy idea to master alone.

Because functional choices and payment industry complexities arise that you’ll need to understand and deal with as an ecommerce merchant. (Yup, add ecommerce merchant to your job titles now.)  

Let’s take a look at payment options every mobile app developer needs to consider, and some of the payment industry expertise you’ll want to tap into for the next, best mobile app.

Great Timing, Mobile App Developers

No one predicts mobile app payments will attain the most frequent way to pay trophy anytime soon. Yet experts at Forrester predict a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.3% through 2021.

They expect mobile payment transactions to account for $282.9 billion in the U.S. alone by 2021. Forrester also highlights that retailers experience benefits like customer loyalty and engagement ROI from use of mobile app payment processing technologies.

What will differentiate your mobile app from the norm? A different user interface — stronger security — new products or services?

The design choices you make will either help or hinder your chances to rake in your fair share of the billions.

Ease of Use — Speed — and Security Rule the Day

Perhaps your first design decisions should focus on what consumers want and expect from today’s mobile apps — especially the millennial generation that represents a prime user base. In a nutshell, ease of use — speed — and security top the list.

Let’s conceptualize for a moment:

  • Mobile app payment processing implies paying for items online by using the small screens available on smart phones. It’s hard enough typing a happy birthday message to your favorite aunt, much less the 30-40 characters needed to buy something online. Consumers who use tap-to-pay at retail stores want mobile app payment processing that’s just as convenient.
  • Mobile payments are streamlined by using tap-to-pay — stored-value — or saved account functionality. Which will it be for your new app? At a minimum, consumers will need to be able to enter name, shipping address, payment card (or bank account) number, expiration date, and CVV code in your app. (Then you need to store the information — securely, of course.)
  • Keep in mind that delays or glitches of any sort during an online payment process cause “cart abandonment.” Consumers fill an online shopping cart with an intended purchase(s), only to abandon the cart and leave the site when they become bored or annoyed by a delay.

As Katelan Cunningham— writing for ThinkApps — says, “Given all that, your payment process across all platforms (especially mobile) has to be extra intuitive, simple, and above all, trustworthy.”

So be sure the designs of your authentication, shopping cart, and check out processes are clear and flow well together — so your customers don’t become annoyed and leave without buying.

Consider simple design choices like:


  • Automate data entry formatting. For example, spaces or dashes in credit card numbers, slashes or hyphens in the expiration date, and so on.
  • Clearly display the total purchase amount throughout the checkout process, repeating and updating the total (as needed) from screen to screen. The customer should see the total amount as they press the “buy now” button.
  • Handle errors gracefully so that users try again. Use simple error messages highlighted in red, and guide the user with instructions on how to recover. Simple calls to action (CTAs) like “re-enter account number” or “contact your bank” make for a smooth user experience.

You have a lot of choices today. Don’t overlook the intersection between technology and payments capabilities for your app.

Helpful Payments Primer Materials

These articles might be helpful if this is your first mobile app payment processing adventure:

The number one concern for mobile shoppers around the world is security. Stopping fraud in its tracks should be front-and-center in the design of your mobile app payment processing application.

Find Mobile App Payment Processing Success With MerchACT

Choosing great business partners helps app developers of all types go far along the path to success. You want to integrate seamless, end-to-end payment processing. MerchACT can help you do it.

When you’re creating and launching your mobile app, finding a payments partner who treats you like more than an account number goes a long way toward delivering a good customer experience.

In addition to ecommerce payment processing services, we leverage industry relationships and payments industry expertise to offer consultative services and guidance tailored to your specific needs.

Far from being a “me too” kind of processor, we offer decades of payments industry experience and expertise — both domestic and international — along with a stellar industry reputation that sets us apart from our competitors.

Our merchants and mobile app payment processing clients are great business partners for us. We’d love to be one of yours.