Considering whether to accept debit and credit card payments for your business? There's no better time to take the plunge.
With each passing year, cash is becoming a less popular mode of payment among shoppers. Whether you operate in e-commerce, brick-and-mortar retail, or B2B services, failing to provide your customers with the ability to pay by card means missing out on potential revenue
Not convinced yet? Here are seven reasons why accepting card payments can benefit both your customers and your business operations:
Paying by card is valued by shoppers for being fast, easy, and safe
Enhance customer service: Card payments are quick, convenient, and secure, which can help build customer loyalty and satisfaction. In addition, employees can avoid the hassle of making change and focus on providing excellent service.
Increase credibility: Establishing a merchant account and partnering with credit card companies can improve your business reputation and inspire confidence in your customers. Adding card icons to your website and marketing materials can also help convey your legitimacy.
Boost sales: Customers tend to spend more when they can pay with cards, as they offer greater financial flexibility than cash. This means you can increase your average transaction size and encourage repeat business.
Accelerate cash flow: If you operate in B2B, accepting card payments can speed up the payment cycle and improve your working capital position. Your clients are more likely to pay on time, and you can avoid the delays and costs associated with processing checks.
Lower processing costs: Automated payment processing can actually reduce your accounts receivable and accounting overhead, despite the per-transaction fees. Checks, on the other hand, often cost more to process when you factor in bookkeeping and trips to the bank.
Reduce risks: With card payments, you can avoid the risks associated with bounced checks or counterfeit bills, as funds are directly pulled from customers' accounts. This provides more reliability and security for your business.
Simplify recordkeeping: Electronic payment processing generates a complete and accurate record of your sales activity each month, which can help streamline your bookkeeping and tax reporting.
Processing Options Available
When choosing a card processing system, it's important to consider your sales volume, growth goals, and the specific features and costs of each option. There are three primary types of systems:
Traditional POS (point of sale) systems: If your business sells goods from a physical location, you may find traditional POS systems beneficial. This robust technology facilitates managing frequent customer transactions and accepting multiple payment forms. Additionally, some systems can synchronize with your accounting software.
Mobile POS systems: These systems can transform any smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device into a register when paired with a free or low-cost app. They are excellent options for businesses that provide home delivery services, have several employees on the floor, or make sales at off-site venues.
Online payment aggregators: These are convenient tools that you can access through an app or browser. They enable you to accept card and ACH payments, with or without a dedicated merchant account. They're easy to set up, do not require long-term contracts, and often allow integration with accounting and resource planning tools.
Other Payment Forms to Consider
People like choices, so providing your customers with more payment options can have a positive impact for your business. Here are a few additional payment forms to consider:
- Gift Cards: Closed-loop gift cards, which can only be redeemed at your business, offer several advantages. They simplify gift-giving for your loyal customers, increase brand recognition, and enhance cash flow because payment is received before sales are made.
- ACH Payments: If your business operates in B2B or provides recurring services (e.g., weekly, monthly), it's worth considering accepting electronic transfers processed through the Automated Clearing House network. These payments are faster than checks, and often entail lower processing and accounting costs since there's no need to wait for mailing and clearing.
- Cryptocurrency: Crypto is a relatively new and occasionally unstable trend, and therefore small businesses should be cautious when dealing with it. However, allowing payments in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and other digital currencies could be a smart decision if your aim is to appeal to a younger and more technologically-inclined demographic.
Stay In Charge
Switching to an electronic payment processing system can propel your business forward. To discover more small business solutions, reach out to your financial institution.
|Mobile POS systems can transform any smartphone or tablet into a register.|