If mobile payments can be presented as an opportunity for merchants and point of sale developers, rather than a disruptive threat, the attitude will speed adoption and provide consumers with a better experience, according to Matt Cicciari of Merchant Warehouse.

"Merchants and POS developers must take advantage of the increasing disruption, uncertainty and complexity with payment solutions today and turn these conditions into a competitive advantage that helps their businesses grow rather than be threatened and hurt by it," Cicciari said during a mobile payments conference in New York Thursday. He is the director of product marketing at the Boston-based independent sales organization.

Rather than waiting for a leader to emerge in hardware, loyalty programs and mobile wallets, Cicciari encouraged merchants to develop a forward-thinking mobile strategy that can accommodate all facets of mobile payments now and in the future.

"Merchants don't care which credit card you pay with. Why are we making a big stink about which particular wallet are you going to use? For all intents and purposes, the merchant gets paid, the customer gets the product or service and everybody wins," he said.

Taking this approach will eliminate the uncertainty that comes with making a gamble to get behind a particular type of mobile payments technology (like Near Field Communication versus EMV smart cards) or only accepting one provider's mobile wallet. It also ensures that merchants "never turn away a paying customer," he said.

To accomplish this, merchants should implement software that's configurable and offers cloud-based support for remote central management of updates and changes. Cicciari added that doing so will make merchants vendor agnostic and prepare themselves to adopt future innovations with minimal disruption and expense.

This universal acceptance strategy dovetails with Merchant Warehouse's recently launched customer engagement platform, which is designed to handle current and future payment types, he said.

"Be able to do it all. Don't worry about the nuances and don't wait for a leader to emerge," he said.

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