03 Nov 3 reasons why businesses offer card payment options
The benefits of accepting card payments has never been clearer with 97% of Irish consumers now using some form of digital payments. This statistic highlights the need for businesses to accept card as well as cash payments in-store to remain competitive and ensure sales are not impacted.
Accepting card payments in-store requires point-of-sale (POS) equipment like an easy to install card terminal allowing business owners and their staff accept chip and pin, digital wallet and contactless card transactions as soon as the card terminal is set up.
The benefits of giving customers modern and efficient cash and cheque alternatives will help support your business with increased customer satisfaction and better business processes.
Here’s some of the key business advantages associated with taking card payments and how it adds value to businesses.
Customers expect card payment options
Customers view businesses with card acceptance as being “customer-centric”
If you don’t accept card payments it heightens the probability of customers choosing to shop elsewhere with payments now impacting customer perception. The majority of customers believe businesses offering cash alternative transactions are customer-centric and modern. If customers don’t have cash on them, it is more probable that they will choose to shop elsewhere rather than return to your shop after a visit to the nearest ATM.
Shoppers are now more accustomed to the probability of quick, frictionless transactions, particularly with the ease of tap and go, contactless payments. This customer expectation has been heightened with digital payment advances over the past decade. The ability to accept over the phone card payments, the contactless limit increase to €50 as well as the growing uptake of digital wallets and use of Google Pay and Apple Pay, (with no limits on digital wallet payments given the built-in security features on these devices) has accelerated the trend towards digital payments.
Card payments support additional consumer spending
Cash and digital payments, as two alternative transaction options, define different payment mind-sets and spending approaches for customers. With consumers generally choosing cash as a way of budgeting their everyday expenses, card payments allow for additional spending opportunities, with customers generally preferring to pay with card for larger transactions. Not having the option to pay through a card terminal can damage your customers’ ability to spend more in store when they would prefer to do so.
Card terminals offer loyalty schemes, gift cards and currency preference
More merchants are now utilizing customer gift card options like Savvy to grow customer loyalty. Accepting gift cards offers another route for your business to boost its bottom line while also demonstrating to customers your company’s flexibility in accepting payments with the option that suits them. Through the Dynamic Currency Conversion functionality on card terminals, customers are also able to pay through their own currency if they wish and earn the merchant a rebate.
Supports business processes
Less cash onsite
In our 2022 Merchant Insight survey most businesses agreed that the general move away from cash to card payments had helped the running of their business with less cash in their business premises reducing a security risk and the administrative hassle associated with storing and lodging cash payments.
The fees associated with lodging money into a bank is reduced when card payments are an option for customers and it also reduces another job for time-poor business owners.
Better bookkeeping and next day settlement
Taking card payments also helps keep bookkeeping accurate and easier to keep on top of with funds processed digitally and settled into your bank account the next day with up to date reporting coming from card terminals to a business resource centre. The benefits of next day settlement also ensures money is in business accounts more quickly to cover any direct debits or recurring bills connected to your business bank account, offering improved financial piece of mind.
Supports business planning
Data & Insights
Transactions processed through your card terminal allows merchants to spot potential trends to help them maximise profit and better support their customer. This isn’t as easy do when just accepting cash payments. The time stamp associated with each purchase can help businesses gain insight into when customers prefer to shop at your store and also gives a better sense of what the value of customers’ average transaction is. Merchants can also compare months and specific periods to see if sales increased or decreased in your store and when may be the best time to promote special offers and sales.
Finding the best merchant services provider to support your business
Your specific business requirements will dictate what card terminal is the best fit for you, as well as what payment package you should avail of from a merchant services provider.
To help business owners or managers who are new to card payments or considering switching provider, we have detailed four key questions to ask any payment services provider HERE when choosing a card terminal and card payments provider.