Your business should offer you as many chances as possible to succeed. You can do this by staying up-to-date on the preferred payment methods for your customers. Accepting cash or credit card payments is common. If you only accept credit card payments […]
Your business should offer you as many chances as possible to succeed. You can do this by staying up-to-date on the preferred payment methods for your customers.
Accepting cash or credit card payments is common. If you only accept credit card payments from customers, you may be disallowing new customers or limiting the opportunities to build relationships with them.
Understanding the advantages of each payment option will help you decide which one is best for your business and your customers. With Shopify POS, a flexible POS system, you can accept most payment options quickly, creating better customer experiences, and encouraging repeat business.
Different payment options
CustomerThink estimates that almost 50% of customers won’t be able to use their preferred payment method and will abandon the purchase. What about the 50% of customers who do buy from you? They don’t get the best customer experience possible.
This large amount of unrealized revenue is due to the fact that you don’t accept as many payments methods as you should.
So, retailers should accept as many payment options as possible. Let’s take a look at all payment options.
- Checks and checks
- Debit and credit cards
- Mobile payments
- Store credit and gift cards
- Custom payments
Cash is the most common payment option you can accept. Cash is also easy to accept, and you don’t have to do any research on payment processors.
The pandemic had a slight impact on payment behavior. McKinsey reported that worldwide cash transactions fell 16% in 2020. The US saw a 24% drop in cash payments. McKinsey predicts that cash payments will rebound depending on how the economy recovers after COVID-19.
There are some complexities in handling cash transactions and accounting, but there are few disadvantages to letting customers pay cash. There are many benefits both for you and your customers.
- Cash is simple and convenient. This is particularly true for customers who like to carry it often.
- Speed Customers who pay cash immediately receive their money (but not in your bank account).
- There are no transaction fees. Cash payments allow you to keep more money. You don’t need to pay processing fees or other fees like credit cards.
Accepting cash payments in retail is still a common practice, with almost no drawbacks.
Checks and electronic checks
Paper checks are the simplest form of payment, next to cash. This form, like cash, doesn’t require that you research merchant fees or payment processors.
While the number of checks being written is dropping by 1.8 billion a year, the Federal Reserve of Atlanta reported that 25% consumers aged 65 and over still prefer to write paper checks. Accepting paper checks for your business might seem old-fashioned, but there are still some benefits to it.
- There are no transaction fees: When you accept a paper cheque, you don’t need to worry about merchant fees or processing fees. You can keep the majority, if not all of the payment.
- People tend to use checks for larger purchases: On average, check payments tend to have a higher value amount ($300 versus other forms payment at $87).
An echeck can be described as a digital copy of a paper-check. Echecks make use of the Automated clearing House (ACH) to withdraw money from a customer’s checking accounts and deposit it into the merchant bank account. Echecks act more like direct bank funds transfers, so there will be a fee when using echecks, but they are amongst Federal Reserve Payment Study shows that ACH was the only core payment system to grow in numbers in 2020. This could be due to the significant rise in e-commerce revenues. Echecks are becoming more popular as people move from paper checks to electronic ones. Even though there are some fees involved, it is worth offering this option to your customers.
- There are no transaction limits for Bank to bank transfers of funds have very few or no limits on amounts. You don’t need to worry about customers reaching their credit limit or exceeding their debit card limit.
- Lower fees In comparison to debit cards and credit cards, echecks have lower fees than other electronic payment services.
Echecks and paper checks are both payment options that you can accept in your business. Accepting them as a payment option for your business will increase its profitability without incurring any additional costs.
Debit and credit cards
Although credit and debit cards (bank-issued) have been around for some time, their popularity is not declining. Hitachi Consulting and BAI Research found that 41% consumers use debit cards less often and 97% of respondents turn to credit and debit instead.
Accepting credit/debit cards is now the norm partly because of these numbers. This is the minimum that retailers must do in order to keep up with their customers and rivals.
This is good news both for retailers and consumers, as there are many pros to debit and credit card payments. Consumers spend more when they pay with credit cards than cash. This is what the Girls Scouts of America discovered when it quadrupled its annual cookie sales by simply implementing mobile credit cards swipers.
You can also get credit and bank cards
- Give Stores authenticity. Accepting credit cards (specifically Visa Mastercard, Discover, American Express, and Visa) is so common, that stores that are not able to take card payments might be considered “out of date.”
- Increase overall sales. Credit card payments can help you avoid losing sales to customers who don’t have cash.
- Get cashflow benefits . Credit cards payments, unlike cash, are usually deposited directly into your bank account. Although the timing of the funds arriving in your bank account can vary depending on the payment processor, you can usually expect it to arrive within a few hours after the sale has been completed.
One caveat: Fees. You will have to pay transaction fees when you process credit cards. These fees can vary but they usually range between 1.5% to 3% of total sales.
Another payment method that has seen rapid growth in the past few years is mobile and smartphone payments. Also known as contactless payments, it’s also a popular option. These payment options include the most common ones like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
In 2021, more that four out of ten US smartphone users used contactless payments at least once. The use of mobile payment apps such as Apple Pay or Google Pay is predicted to increase by between 2020 and 2025 . Mobile payments have been gaining popularity for many reasons. The most important is that mobile payments are quicker and more convenient for consumers who usually keep their phones handy.
Retailers who accept smartphone and mobile payments have additional benefits:
- Customer convenience. It’s faster and easier for customers to pay you that way.
- Cash flow. Payments via mobile, which are similar to debit and credit cards, usually reach your bank account within three days of the sale.
- Data availability. Customers can pay with their phones and receive customer data. This includes how often they shop with you, how much they spend and what they do. You can also engage with them throughout the in-store journey by sending location-based updates about sales, discounts and other information.
You can also integrate alternative payment methods like mobile transfers, digital wallets, and bank transfers. These options increase customer loyalty and purchase rate because customers are more likely to shop where it’s most convenient.
Gift cards and store credit
Store credit and gift cards are two payment methods you might not be familiar with, but they can be one of the most effective tools a retailer has in building long-term customer loyalty. Store credit allows retailers to deepen, and maintain existing customer relationships while gift cards allow them to introduce new customers to your store in an easy-to-use way.
You can use discounts, gift cards, and store credit to increase customer retention and loyalty . There are many other benefits that retailers can enjoy:
- One, store credit and gift cards encourage customers to spend more. This is because they are more likely to spend than the credit or gift card is worth. Customers will feel more comfortable spending money in your store if you have a great return policy. It’s like a safety blanket.
- You can be more creative and flexible when it comes to refunds and exchanges. Gift cards and store credit are an option instead of cash refunds. Marketer Kaleigh Moore shared a story about a retail return. A company offered store credit for 120% of her original purchase price, if she chose store credit over a refund.
All benefits aside, store credit and gift certificates allow you to keep money within your ecosystem. The sale remains with your company, even if the gift certificate is never used or returned/exchanged.
FURTHER READING How store credit can reduce returns and help you sell more
Payments made to you
A good POS system allows you to accept multiple payment methods, as your customers and you need. This includes custom payments like:
- Split payments. This is where a group of people wants to split their restaurant bills between multiple credit cards. This could look like two people buying a gift together with their credit/debit cards in a retail setting.
- Split tender. To be flexible, customers may prefer to pay a portion of their order in cash and then use the balance on a credit or debit card.
- Partial payments. Some retailers may accept a partial payment upfront, and then offer credit or other payment options (such as layaway) to collect any remaining balance. Alternately, the retailer can take a partial payment upfront and then have the customer pay the balance online. This can increase order sizes.
- No upfront payments or IOU. These transactions should be accounted for by your POS.
Customer payments such as the ones above have the principal benefit that they allow retailers to be more flexible and often to the advantage of both the customer and the store.
Split payments and split tender can be a necessity for brick-and-mortar merchants in order to keep up with their customers and cater to their needs. Split payments between multiple credit cards can lead to higher credit-card processing fees for your store. It’s important to consider the cost of these custom payment options.
You have the option to either pay in full or in monthly installments. Our customers will find our mattresses more affordable and accessible by choosing the monthly payment option.
Cryptocurrency – This digital currency is protected by cryptography. It is a secure communication method that transmits encrypted information. Because it is a part of a decentralized network, called a Blockchain, it’s almost impossible to counterfeit. It can’t be altered by any government or other organization.
More people are adopting cryptocurrencies. The global user base for all cryptocurrency increased by almost 190% between 2018 and 2020. Even retailers like Whole Foods and Home Depot now accept cryptocurrency payments.
Although crypto is a relatively new type of payment option but there are many benefits to using it.
- Securer than credit cards FTC reported that 4.7 million identity theft and credit card reports were filed in 2020. Three quarters of all those who filed reports suffered losses. Because cryptocurrencies don’t store customer information in a central location, you won’t have to worry about identity theft or data breaches. All of it is stored on the cryptocurrency wallet.
- No international fees and lower fees. The fees for cryptocurrency exchanges are much lower than other merchant fees. PayPal, for example, charges close to 4% per transaction while bitcoin exchanges charge less than 1%. Because cryptocurrencies are not tied to any country, they don’t charge international currency payment fees.
- The business is responsible for all refunds. Payments made with cryptocurrency can only be returned by the recipient. Customers can’t cancel payments or change credit card numbers, making it easier for businesses to track their cash flow.
There was a 13% rise in Bitcoin-buying interest among people aged 18 to 34 in 2020. These people will be your customers in the future. Staying ahead of the curve is a key part of building a lasting and successful business. It is important to offer a payment solution such as cryptocurrency that can be used for future customer needs.