As the world of technology continues to evolve, many business owners are taking the plunge into “cashless” payments.
Taking note of the surge in contactless payments in 2020, the UK government increased the upper limit on contactless payments to £45 – a whopping 50% increase from £30. And now it’s going up to £100.
You might be wondering why you should make this change to your payment system, and here are 10 reasons you should get a card machine for your business!
- Speed /Reducing Queues: Paying by card is faster – be it by swiping or tapping the card. This will not only reduce queues but also improve customer response times for your business.
This is the age of digitalization. Millennials and Gen Z are constantly on the go. They like things done quick and fast. Therefore, it is only justified that their payment options are speedy!
Chip and pin payments are usually quicker than cash payments. It may take the cashier a long time to count and reconcile notes with the invoice. Contactless payments are even faster. You are just a tap away from having your payment processed in a matter of seconds!
- Ease / Convenience: The world is going ‘cashless’. Most people do not carry cash and expect to be able to pay by card or other contactless payment methods. If you do not give them what they want, they will take their business elsewhere! Not only do you lose sales, but also credibility in the eyes of your customers.
Even before the pandemic, card payments accounted for 51% of all UK payments in 2019.
Source – ukfinance.org
The shift to cashless was accelerated by Covid-19 and the lockdowns that followed. According to the 2021 Payment Markets Report by UK Finance, the number of contactless payments accounted for more than a quarter of all UK payments in 2020. This had increased to 27% from just 7% in the last 4 years. Further, 83% of individuals in the UK no longer used cash in 2020.
Source – ukfinance.org
- Improved Security: Card and contactless payments reduce cash-on-site. Cash payments increase the risk of counterfeit money and theft/robbery. Therefore, your insurance will also be cheaper if there is less cash on your premises.There is also no risk of bounced or bad cheques. You can be sure of receiving of your money even in case of credit cards. You do not have to waste time or money to recover payment from a customer whose cheque has bounced.
In fact, card payments can be made more secure with additional measures like Chip & PIN, Address Verification System (AVS), Card Verification Value (CVV) checks, 3D Secure, PCI DSS Compliance to name a few. These measures protect consumer/transaction information and prevent sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands.
The best card and virtual terminals also use cutting edge cryptographic technology which authenticates card information and validates payment legitimacy.
On the whole, a cashless world is more secure!
- Trust and Reliability: Embracing technology improves the image and reputation of your business. If a business deals only in cash, people might view it with suspicion.
Logos of card companies or banks provide assurance to clients and also instil trust in them with regard to your operations. The business will gain credibility and will be seen as legitimate in the market/industry.
- Progressive and Modern: A business that adopts modern technology indicates that it is progressive and is willing to adapt to changing times for the ease of its customers. For example, businesses that accept modern payment methods like ApplePay and GooglePay are seen as progressive and forward-looking by customers who do not carry their cash or card and want to be able to make payments conveniently with their phone!
- Increased Sales: As stated above, the world is moving to a cashless Most individuals expect to be able to pay by card. If you do not give them this option, they will go to your competitor who accepts card and contactless payments. Therefore, by accepting card and contactless payments, you avoid the possibility of losing hundreds of potential customers.
You also have a wider customer base to serve.
- There are people who are using carrying cards to make payments;
- There are individuals who like to make mobile payments via ApplePay or GooglePay;
- There are people who like to make online purchases;
- There are people who can only use credit cards because they have run out of cash at the end of the month.
This wider customer base offers you the opportunity to make more sales – and hence increased profit!
Further, your business can liaise with banks or card companies to run promotional offers. Good promotional offers will encourage your customers to spend on your products in return for a discount or another free product.
- Impulsive Buying: Contactless payments also encourage impulsive buying. If a business only accepts cash payments, a customer’s spending will be limited to the amount of cash they have at that moment. If they see something that they want to buy but are unable to do so because of lack of cash, your business would have lost a potential sale! A card payment may have allowed them to spend more and buy your product or service. It could get worse if they decide to go home or to the ATM to get some cash and decide not to buy anything from your shop at all – you will lose your original sale as well!
- Improved Cashflow: Card and contactless payments are electronically processed and usually settled earlier than cheque payments. You also do not have to worry about bounced cheques, billing issues, invoice, collection, etc. Managing cash on premises can also be complicated as there is always a risk of counterfeit notes or theft.
With card and contactless payments, your operations are pretty much streamlined and your cashflow runs smoothly.
- Choice of Card Machines: There is a variety of card machines available in the market. Depending on the type of business you run, you can choose the one that works for you.
- You can choose a fixed terminal which will require customers to come to the till to present their cards.
- You can go for a portable card machine which you can move around within your premises to accept payments from your customers.
- You can opt for a mobile terminal which allows you to take payments on the go – the mobile card machine does not need to be confined to the premises and you can go to the customer’s home to receive payment.
- You may also go for a touchscreen card machine which functions as an all-in-one POS device – it can manage the till point, take payments and print receipts and eliminates the need for clunky, bulky cash registers.
- You may also go for a touchscreen card machine which functions as an all-in-one POS device – it can manage the till point, take payments and print receipts and eliminates the need for clunky, bulky cash registers
We will discuss these different types of card machines some other time.
- Recordkeeping & Reporting: Card and contactless payments allow you to maintain a record of these transactions with your acquiring bank that is maintaining your merchant account. Good card machines and virtual terminals also record transactions in such a way that they can be tracked and retrieved. This allows your business to maintain an additional layer of recording and bookkeeping which can be referred to in case your internal records fail to detect potential fraud or provide you the right information. Also, a record of card and contactless transactions is easier to maintain and reconcile than numerous notes and coins.
So here is the verdict: Card and contactless payments are here to stay. Adopting these payment methods will not only improve customer experience but also improve the credibility of your business.