What accepting mobile payments means for small businesses
Smartphones are nearly indispensable as we’ve grown to rely on them for much more than making phone calls. In addition to surfing the web, managing calendars, playing games and more, today’s consumers are increasingly using their phones to pay for goods and services. As a business owner, if you haven’t yet begun accepting mobile payments, it’s worth considering doing so. Let’s take a closer look.
How mobile phones interact with small businesses
Nearly 70 percent of Americans own smartphones. You may not realize just how much your business depends on this fact. Your customers are likely using their smartphones to look up your phone number or address, as well as your offerings and reviews of your business. If you don’t have an online presence, you’re losing out on potential business. In addition to having an online presence, you should consider accepting mobile payments.
In 2015, $450 billion dollars was spent using mobile phones, and that number is expected to more than double in the next three years. Some of these purchases came from customers inputting credit card information on their mobile phone to buy from online sites, and some of these purchases were made using mobile payments in a brick-and-mortar stores. For example, Starbucks has implemented a loyalty program that allows customers to pay using an app on their phone– it’s become so popular that it’s used by one out of every four customers. A loyalty program that leverages mobile payments could have a similarly positive effect on your business.
Do your research
Before you invest in mobile payment acceptance, it’s worth considering whether or not this is a payment type your customers would be interested in. Research has shown that Millennials are adopting this technology at a faster pace than other groups, with 22 percent of this demographic reporting that they use their phone regularly to make purchases like fast food. Both men and women appear to use mobile payments equally, but women are more likely to become frustrated if there are problems with the checkout process. In addition to considering your customers’ preferences, you should also consider the time needed to train your staff to accept mobile payments.
The power of novelty
Mobile payments are still a novelty for many consumers. If you are among the first businesses to begin accepting mobile payments, you will be remembered by your customers as being on the cutting edge. Accepting this new payment type not only allows you to distinguish yourself from other small businesses, it sets you up for the future since all signs point to the continued adoption of mobile payment technology. If you are considering upgrading your POS systems, it’s worth looking into investing in mobile payment solutions.
Small businesses are often at a greater risk of being hacked than they think, simply because they often don’t have the resources to invest in IT infrastructure. Thieves look for the low hanging fruit and in many instances, it’s smaller merchants. If you are using outdated POS software or hardware, and aren’t keeping up on security patches and best practices, you are increasing your risk. Upgrading to POS software that facilitates mobile payments can be a boost to your payments security, helping defend your business against the latest security attacks.
Speeding up checkout
We all know how frustrating it can be to stand in a checkout line that is not moving, and the poor impression it can leave on you about the business. Whether you run a convenience store or a dental office, mobile payments can help speed up checkout– and this can make a big difference in customer satisfaction. Three out of every four consumers stated in a recent survey that the reason they use their phone to pay instead of another form of payment was due to the fact that it was faster.
Giving customers choices
A business that only accepts cash payments is at a disadvantage from the get-go because fewer consumers are using cash on a daily basis. Historically, the biggest reason why consumers have used cash is because they feel that using a payment card will set them up for becoming a victim of identity theft, but the convenience of card payments is becoming more and more attractive to most consumers. Giving your customers a choice of payment types sends a message that their needs and preferences matter to you. A recent survey revealed that three out of four consumers wished more merchants accepted mobile payments. It should also be noted that implementing mobile payment software influences more than half of people who use mobile payments to choose one business over another. Clearly, accepting a broad range of payment types can help you reach a broader range of consumers.
Communication is key
Explaining to your customers about their payment options presents an opportunity for you. It gives you the chance to build a relationship with them. You can ask about their preferred payment types and ways you can cultivate their loyalty. You can ask them about the kinds of rewards they want to receive from you, which gives you the opportunity to offer those rewards. You can also display signage at key points throughout your business (on table tops, if you run a restaurant, or near product displays if you run a retail establishment) as well as at checkout, that communicates that you accept mobile payments as well as other payment types your customers prefer.
Offering mobile payments holds a host of new opportunities for your business including increasing payment security, cultivating customer loyalty, and preparing your business for the future. Find out more by asking your trusted payments provider.