Check, Cash or Card? 3 Benefits to Processing Credit Cards
The way consumers purchase products and services has evolved over the years, and accepting a variety of payment types is a necessity for almost any type of business today. Cash dominated the payment industry until 1979, when credit unions and saving institutions began issuing checking accounts. By the year 2000, half of all retail transactions were paid with check. That all changed as debit and credit cards have become more prolific. To stay competitive, it’s important to not limit your payment acceptance types to cash or check. Here are three reasons to accept credit and debit cards at your business.
1. Check Payments are Down
Checks were once the second most used form of currency in the U.S.– with cash being the first. But over the past 10 years, paper check payments have been replaced with more efficient electronic processes and alternative payment methods. According to the Federal Reserve, in 2000, checks dominated noncash payments options. By 2003, the decline of checks was apparent. By 2006, two-thirds of all noncash payments were electronic. In 2009, checks fell to second place in terms of noncash payment value, behind electronic payments.
2. Most-Used Form of Cashless Payments
In addition to the decline of checks, payments studies conducted by the Federal Reserve indicate the rise in the use of debit and prepaid cards. The Federal Reserve reports that credit and debit cards significantly increased their share of total noncash payments, from 43 percent in 2003 to 67 percent in 2012. The total number of cashless payments rose nearly 5 percent from 2009-2012, to 122.8 billion. By accepting card payments, you are joining the vast majority of retailers that are making it easier for consumers to buy their products.
3. Few Carry Cash Anymore
According to a recent study, eight in 10 consumers carry less than $50 in cash. By not accepting credit cards, you are severely limiting your sales potential. Many consumers are trying to keep a tighter control on their expenditures, and cash is not as easy to keep track of as credit or debit cards. Many credit cards offer detailed expense tracking services that help customers budget their spending. By accepting credit cards, you are giving your business an opportunity to fit into a potential customer’s detailed budget.
The reality of a cashless society is becoming a very real thing, so investing in the technology to allow for processing credit card payments is important. A quality merchant services provider can guide you to the solutions that make accepting and processing cards simple and affordable.