An effective payment process is essential for every type of small business. Obviously, in today’s world, sticking to a “nothing but cash” principle is no longer realistic. When it comes to charging for your goods or services, you need to find the solution that works best for your company.
The payment methods that you have implemented are just as important to your customers as they are to you. These final stages of the customer experience, more specifically, the payment process, greatly shapes their overall opinion of your business.
For this reason, ensuring your company has a smooth and efficient process in place for paying means you won’t lose points with them. After all, your service and product should be what’s important, paying for them should be nothing more than an afterthought for customers.
As global technology continues to advance, the payment methods available to every business are increasing. No longer are cash and cheque the most popular choices when paying for a meal, a new pair of jeans or anything else for that matter.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and effective payment technologies that small businesses can use to improve their process.
As more and more people prefer to pay using plastic, card terminals have become present in almost every type of business. From restaurants to retail, there are very few places that don’t allow customers to pay using a credit card.
Businesses that offer very personal and face-to-face services like retail stores and restaurants should all have some type of payment terminal installed.
Countertop payment terminals are some of the most reliable options as they are plugged in are always in function.
This makes them great for places that are open 24/7, like gas stations for example. Countertop terminals are probably your safest best if you are looking for a steady and reliable payment terminal.
The all accept just about any type of electronic card payment from most providers and the interface is usually very simple, so the cashier and customer can process payments quickly.
The popularity of contactless card payments has increased dramatically in recent years as more and more banks install contactless chips in their credit and debit cards. Today, over 100 million contactless transactions are made each month.
The technology offers an incredibly quick and easy way to pay for anything. And while more and more business are adopting them, there are still businesses that stick to more traditional payment terminals.
However, it should be mentioned that there are some providers that put a cap on how large of a sum can be paid using a contactless terminal per transaction. But if you run a business that regularly processes smaller transactions, a contactless terminal could be an excellent investment that will save you tons of time.
Mobile Card Machines
Depending on the type of business you are running, having the payment terminal in one fixed place may not be the best option. For restaurants, it is often better to take the payment machine to the table rather than ask guests to get up and go to the cash register.
Mobile card machines are perfect for these situations. They are lightweight and GPRS technology, which allows them to be used all around your establishment to process payments securely.
There are many different options out there when it comes to mobile card machines. Some use GPRS while others use Bluetooth technology, for example. Many include a high-speed printer for printing out receipts and an extended battery life which allows up to 650 transactions to be made on one charge.
Mobile card machines are also a great option because most of them offer contactless payment options as well.
Depending on the type of business you run, an online payment process could be even more important than a physical one.
If you run an online retail shop or accept online payment for deliveries for your restaurant, for example, having a reliable online payment process is paramount.
Credit and Direct Debit Card
Paying by credit and debit card is the most popular choice for many.
If you are running a business that both relies on online payments and accepts orders from all over the world, your system must be able to accommodate payments from a variety of cards, both foreign and domestic.
For the most part, every country in the world as at least slightly different online banking policies and services, so you really need to do a lot of research to make sure that the option you choose is able to support as many options as possible if you are running a truly international business.
PayPal is probably the single most trusted online payment service today. It is loved by both the people sending and accepting payments because it’s a much quicker, card-free method.
The chances of getting customers to buy from you online increase drastically if you offer PayPal as an option.
According to a recent study, almost 50 percent of online shoppers trust PayPal and more than 75% of shoppers are dissatisfied with the level of security that comes with using credit cards to pay online.
The mobile payment market is one that’s growing by leaps and bounds every year.
According to a survey conducted by Walker Sands Communications in late 2014, 40% of consumers have used a mobile payment application in the past year, which is an increase of almost ten percent in comparison to 2013.
Judging by these statistics, it’s only a matter of time before paying for just about anything from bills to good using your smartphone will become the rule, not the exception.
That’s why it is recommended that small businesses start looking into these types of mobile payment options soon than later.
In the end, the type of payment process you introduce to your small business needs to depend on your needs.
Before picking a solution, be sure to analyze your needs and recognize the type of payment process that best fits the payment habits of your customers.