Your customers are all unique, so you cannot put them all in the same payment box. Not every customer wants to use a credit card, especially as new types of payment options appear thanks to an ever-evolving technology environment.
Those new payment options are also of value to you. Not only do these new ways of pay attract and retain more customers for your small business, but they also may lower your overall cost of accepting payments, speed funds settlement to your business bank account, and increase the cash flow you need to scale your business.
Not familiar with some of the new payment options? Here are some of the payment methods you should be considering for your small business and why:
Mobile and Contactless Payments
Customers want to use their mobile phones for everything. Their life can be found on those devices, so it makes sense that they will expect it to become their way to pay. Research indicates that mobile payments are rising year over year. The estimates also include the fact that U.S. mobile payments will exceed $60 billion in 2017. Even those consumers that are not upgrading to the next mobile phone version available can take advantage of paying this way because they can put a contactless payment sticker on their mobile device.
To take advantage of this growth means getting your small business on board to be able to accept payments through mobile phones and smart wearable technology. These devices connect with payment terminals through near field communication (NFC) to transfer data between the mobile device and terminal.
As a small business owner, you'll be able to offer an enhanced experience for your customers because this option is quick, convenient, and highly secure. By speeding customers through their purchases, they will be more satisfied and you will be able to process more sales on a daily basis. Offering this payment option can also assist in leveraging the growing trend of on-demand purchases that consumers like, because they can order in advance and pick up when it's convenient without having to deal with long lines to pay.
You'll have to make the switch to payment machines that accept digital wallets and allow for contactless payments. With a wide range of mobile payment options to consider, it's important that you research the various types of software and hardware required to offer mobile and contactless payments in your business, including any fees and costs associated with setup and management of this payment option. Examples of contactless payment systems that consumers now use are Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay, just to name a few.
Another contactless way to pay is new technology that allows you to take a picture of a customer's card and process it from that visual image. Once the payment is processed, which is almost immediately, the visual data is erased so the information is not stored and vulnerable to a breach by a hacker. The customer can also enjoy a secure, fast way to pay using this contactless payment option.
Email and Phone Number Payments
Another option that keeps processing costs low and speeds transaction and settlement time is to use what is referred to as peer-to-peer payment methods. All that's required is an email address or mobile phone number to request, transfer, and receive payment. Customers will enjoy how fast and easy it is to pay you for what they want while you get the money in your account almost instantaneously rather than a few days later. Imagine how much faster you can expand your business with that cash flow.
Cryptocurrency, also known as digital currency like Bitcoin, has now been around for a few years but is only now gaining in adoption by businesses and consumers who understand the value it holds in terms of the payment option benefits. As a completely electronic form of payment, cryptocurrency has advantages like instant transactions and settlement, highly secure data transfer, and completely anonymous payments.
Cryptocurrency also serves as a way to circumvent working with various currencies around the world, avoiding currency exchange fees and the time it typically takes when processing international transactions. This offers an opportunity to also work with customers that do not have bank accounts or other traditional forms of payment, allowing them a way to shop online. This can also incrementally increase your revenue.
Biometrics is becoming an increasingly common way to secure transactions, so many believe it could be the way to pay in the near future. The benefit is that biometrics, which involves biologically unique identification features, cannot yet be replicated in any way, such as voice, face, and fingerprint recognition. This payment option can speed up the transaction because there is instant validation that the person paying is who they say they are. In exchange for this validation, you are able to reduce or even eliminate fraudulent transactions that may have been impacting your bottom line.
While biometric payments have a ways to go for acceptance, the biometric technology is currently used by many businesses to increase their overall payment security. This paves the way for some exciting new payment options in the near future.
Continued Payment Option Revolution
There's no stopping the momentum that payment and security technology is now experiencing. New payment options will continue to appear, so it's important to stay on top of these changes so you can consider these options as they emerge in order to maintain that competitive advantage and stimulate the opportunities for small business growth.
Do You Accept American Express?
Another way to attract new customers and increase sales is to offer American Express. With the OptBlue program, it's now easier than ever to accept American Express payments at your business.