Electronic payment options to help your business thrive
Long gone are the days when many types of businesses could get by with running a “Cash Only” operation. Instead, today’s consumers expect a wide variety of electronic payment options wherever they shop. From the gas station to the florist, from the spa to the health club—and everywhere else in between—businesses poised to thrive and grow in 2017 must be on board with the latest electronic payment options.
Accepting credit and debit cards
When businesses decide to start accepting electronic payment types, debit and credit cards are often the first type they decide to accept. Magnetic stripe payment cards have been standard in the United States for decades, so you’ll need to be equipped to accept those. However, it’s important that you are aware of the latest generation of payment cards that will soon be in exclusive use in the U.S.: EMV chip cards.
EMV chip cards are the same size and shape as traditional magnetic stripe cards, but they contain an embedded computer chip as well as a magnetic stripe. The computer chip adds an important extra layer of security to payment transactions when processed with an EMV-enabled terminal. The chip creates unique authorization code for each transaction so if a fraudster intercepts the data, it cannot be used successfully to initiate another transaction. As of October 1, 2015, merchants are required to upgrade their terminals to accept EMV chip cards. If you fail to do so, you will still be able to process transactions the old way, by swiping the magnetic stripe, but you could be held financially and legally responsible for certain types of fraud that can be prevented with EMV technology.
Accepting mobile payments
The latest payments technology shouldn’t be intimidating. Your processor should help guide you through the setup and implementation process for new acceptance methods such as mobile payments. There are many benefits of accepting mobile payments from your customers, such as:
- Integrate and increase incentive programs. Your customers won’t have to worry about carrying and presenting a key tag or punch card to be rewarded for their loyalty to your business. Instead, all their loyalty program information is stored right alongside their payment data in their smartphone or smart device.
- Increase customer checkout speed. Your customers are busy people—and they really appreciate a speedy checkout experience. Once your customers and staff are used to the process, paying with a mobile device can be much quicker than having to fumble with a physical wallet to locate a payment card.
- Track customer trends and inventory. If you’re a small business, you might struggle with tracking your current inventory levels and customer buying behavior and trends. On top of everything else you have to handle on a day-to-day basis, these tasks can sometimes fall to the bottom of the barrel. With mobile payments, however, you’ll be able to easily retrieve this data since the processing platform automatically tracks and collates it for you.
- Ability to offer credit card payments. Small or mobile businesses that have been historically cash-only can benefit from the ease of accepting credit card payments via a mobile device. Doing so can help increase ticket amounts and attract new customers who prefer to pay with a card.
- Save money on processing fees. Believe it or not, processing fees associated with mobile payments may be less than those for processing card payments. Check with your processor to see if your business qualifies for a low rate for mobile payments acceptance.
Partnering with a reputable payments processor that enables your business to accept the latest electronic payment options, safely and securely, is critical to your business’s success. The payments industry is continually evolving with new technology both in terms of payment methods and security measures to better protect your and your customers’ data from fraudsters. Don’t miss out on sales—or risk your brand’s reputation—by not accepting a wide range of electronic payment options.