Anybody who has ever worked in retail will understand the frustration of customers when they get to the checkout point only to be told that the company does not accept the method of payment that they prefer to pay by. Although most customers are able to pay by a variety of different methods when buying goods and services, allowing customers a variety of options which include the most popular choices is one great way of ensuring customer satisfaction and making sure that your customer base continues to grow. If you’re just setting up a small business or have been running a business for a while and are considering adding more payment options for your customers, read on to find out about the most common payment options and why your business should accept them.
You’d think that every business – or at least physical ones – would accept cash payments as standard, however there are some that do not. Businesses may not accept cash for a number of reasons, from it being easier to calculate income, or even due to security issues. However, cash is still a popular payment option for the majority of customers, and many people prefer to pay by cash since it does not involve the use of entering security PIN details in a credit card machine.
Credit Card Payments
Credit cards are one of the most popular payment options chosen by customers, and businesses that do not yet accept credit cards are often selling themselves short. Not accepting credit card payments could put your business in a bad position or even cause you to lose custom, as customers will not always have cash on their person when shopping in your store, and in this case will need to leave their items since they do not have the means to pay for them. Accepting credit cards is also good for your business image, as it shows that you are up to date and a modern organization in the business world. In order to accept credit cards, you will need to set up a merchant account and have a credit card payment system.
Contactless payments are becoming more and more popular since they allow customers an easy, quick and convenient option of making payments for small transactions without the need to enter their credit card PIN. Customers simply swipe their card or tap it on the credit card payment machine, and the transaction is completed in seconds. When setting up a credit card payment system for your store, consider also allowing for contactless payments for optimal customer satisfaction.
Mobile payments are another option increasing in popularity, especially since the release of Apple Pay, which allows users with one of the latest Apple iPhone handsets to make payments simple using their smartphone. Since these smartphones are so popular you can expect many of your customers to be using them, so it’s a good idea to also allow the option for Apple Pay or other mobile payment solutions in your store in order to provide your customers with a variety of choice.
Online Payment Options
If your business is online or you have both a physical and an ecommerce store where customers can also buy their products online, you will need to also consider the options that you give your customers when it comes to making online payments. Paying online via a credit card comes as standard with an ecommerce store or online shop, however it’s good to keep in mind that filling out credit card details when making a transaction can often be time consuming for customers, and many customers worry about the safety and security of their details when shopping online. Allowing customers the option to pay via a secure online payment system as PayPal is sure to keep your online customers coming back for more.
Checks and Bank Transfers
Depending on the nature of your business, you may find that it is a good idea to allow your customers to make payments via check or bank transfer. If you run a physical store you might wish to allow customers to pay via check – yes, some people still do use this method – and mobile businesses providing services, for example a mobile hairdresser might find it useful to allow customers to pay via bank transfer, which most people can do through the use of an online banking site or app.
If you’d like to mention any other payment methods that you think businesses should accept, we’d love to hear from you in the comments.