Welcome to our first of many “Smooth Operations” series. The primary goal of this series is to focus on helping you better run your business in all aspects, but there will certainly be a lot of talk about payment processing (because that’s what we know best). Some sessions will discuss all business types, others will be more specific, but all can be used to your benefit whether you run a storefront, online store only, bar/restaurant, etc.
3 Steps to Accept Payments and Boost Business: Step 1
This is part one of three to 3 steps to accept payments and boost business for your small-medium sized brick-and-mortar business…let’s get started!
If you’ve found your way here, it’s likely you are already accepting payments somehow, someway, but we are going to start from square one. You may even find out that you’re missing out on accepting certain payment types or equipment to make taking all payments simpler. Incorporating the below three steps will add convenience for both your business and the customer and can help your bottom line.
Step 1: In-store payment processing for all payment types.
Step 2: On-the-go payments/Mobile Payments
Step 3: Online store/gateway
Today we will focus on the first step: in-store payment processing for all payment types. Sure, you can check customers out if they have cash or a debit/credit card, but what if they prefer ApplePay/Android Pay? What happens when you have a customer that would rather pay by check? (Yes, these people still exist). Providing the ability to accept all forms of payment to your customers will not only make the process of checking out much faster, but it will offer a convenience that will encourage these people to return again and again to your establishment.
A study performed by PYMNTS and InfoScout determined that in March 2017, 20% of people used ApplePay and 9.7% Android Pay as often as possible for transactions.* With mobile wallets on the rise, these numbers are likely to keep climbing. Jumping ahead of the curve could be the best thing for your business, and it could entice a whole new clientele.
Take Ashley, for instance, she is a busy mom of two kids under two years old. When running errands with her littles, it can be tough to find her wallet in the bottom of the diaper bag. She chooses to use ApplePay as much as possible. “I can’t possibly spend time rummaging for my wallet. I always have my phone within reach in case I need it, and that’s why I choose to use ApplePay. That means I also try to choose businesses that accept ApplePay. I’ve switched grocery stores even for that very fact. Convenience means everything to me right now.” Ashley J., Southern Pines, NC
Convenience means everything to me right now.
Aside from mobile wallets, you still have your check writers to consider. So many businesses choose not to accept checks for various reasons, but we’ve found the reasoning typically comes down to time consumption and/or fees. The fact is, 20% of people are still using checks.** These people feel it’s safer or it’s a comfortable habit. Why make it difficult? You can easily electronically accept checks, satisfying your customers and avoiding bank runs and potential bounced checks on your end.
All Card Types
The best thing you can do when it comes to accepting storefront payments is be educated. While card brands do carry different costs associated with acceptance, no one brand is higher than another. This means that if you aren’t accepting American Express and/or Discover because you think their rates are too high, then your processor is doing you a huge disservice. Please don’t turn away Discover and American Express cardholders! These cardholders tend to be much more loyal to their card brands than you may realize, and they will find businesses aside from yours if you are not accommodating.
Natalie B., Charlotte, NC is a loyal American Express cardholder. “If I find out a store doesn’t accept American Express beforehand, then I’m not shopping there. Now, if I end up having to use another card type, I will, but it’s likely I won’t be back. It may sound silly, but I want my rewards.”
If I find out a store doesn’t accept American Express beforehand, then I’m not shopping there.
Added Convenience Makes Happy Customers. Happy Customers Come Back.
The customer is ALWAYS right, right? Make your customers happy with convenient payment processing in your small-medium sized business. Accepting all payment types at your check out is imperative. It’s also only step one in accepting payments for your business. Stay tuned to find out how on-the-go payments can add to your business in “3 Steps to Accept Payments and Boost Business: Step 2.”