Is your business using digital electronic payments more today?
As a small business there are so many variables and unpredictable events that you are faced with. Nothing has shown us that more than 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic. Safety concerns stepped up front and center and the desire for convenience increased all across the country. As a result, many small businesses embraced digital and contactless payment solutions. These payment solutions became vital business tools today and they will continue to be so, post-pandemic.
We've all learned that touching contaminated cash and payment processing equipment can mean the difference between good health and serious illness. It'se no wonder that shoppers are putting aside their hesitancy and comfort with the old way of doing things and are choosing instead to patronize businesses where digital and even contactless payment choices are available.
Digital payments are more protected than ever before against hacking and identity theft. Whereas old-school magnetic stripe cards could be quickly cloned, today's EMV chip-enabled cards encrypt all transactions. In addition, customers' sensitive information is not available for all to see and steal. By accepting EMV chip cards, merchants are not held liable in the rare cases that identity theft or other types of fraud occur.
Payments can also be made via digital wallets, like Apply Pay, Google Pay or other wallets built into applications on smartphones, tablets, and wearable watches/fitness devices. If you've invested in contactless payment solutions for your business, you already know how easy "tap-and-go" payments are. These types of transactions offer a high level of security. Each time a customer purchases an item using their smart device, a unique token that represents their stored digital credit card information is created and shared among the various players involved in the process. Because the token is single-use, any replication by hackers is totally ineffectual.
Even if your foot or web traffic may have slowed over the last year due to economic conditions, as well as the pandemic-related changes in consumer shopping behaviors, you have still likely seen how digital payments have helped your retail business function more smoothly. For one thing, digital credit card and contactless wallet payments are completed more quickly, as customers are not digging through their billfolds or scrambling for cash. With this added speed comes checkout lines that move faster, leading to both happy customers, and more efficient employees who can make better use of their time. That translates into more cash in your books at the end of the day.
When buyers pay with plastic, or with their smartphones or other devices, there is a layer of separation between them and their money. The feeling of spending dollars with plastic or by waving a phone next to a near-field communications-equipped (NFC) reader is much different from the tangible loss a person feels when they hand over actual bills and coins to a merchant.
As of now, many small businesses have already given up cash as their main payment source, upgraded their systems, and taken the plunge to not only take credit and debit cards, but also to process contactless payments and even offer online invoicing or recurring billing options. Even after the economy has rebounded and the pandemic is relegated to a dark page in our history books, it seems almost certain that electronic and contactless payments will remain for all consumers. If you have already joined the digital revolution, congratulations. If you are on the fence, consider all of the advantages that embracing digital payments and the business management technology that accompanies them will bring to you and to your loyal customers. Once you do, we think you'll agree it's a win-win proposition for everyone involved.