Today’s customers expect a smooth and stress-free payment experience. The payment option a business uses can influence user experiences and satisfaction and determine whether customers become repeat customers.
Providing customers with more than one secure and reliable payment option can help businesses attract repeat business by making it convenient for customers to pay using their preferred payment option. So, what are the best payment options for small businesses?
Although cash used to be king in the past and remains so in some places, “plastic” payments have become very popular in many parts of the world. Credit and debit cards are convenient for both in-store and online payments, and almost everyone with a bank account has one.
Because of how ubiquitous they have become, businesses risk losing sales and customers if they do not accept credit and debit card payments. Some benefits include fast checkout processes and payment processing, with customers able to finance large purchases using their credit cards. Accepting credit cards allows businesses to reach a wider demographic.
ACH (Automated Clearing House) payments are electronic payments made between bank accounts. They run through a batch processing system where the funds are debited from a customer’s account and debited to a business bank account at scheduled times.
ACH payments are perfectly suited for subscription fees and utility payments due to their automated nature. Once they are set up, they can run once or at predetermined periods. As the demand for immediate payments has increased, so has the demand for real-time ACH payments that complete within minutes.
ACH payments are secure and provide some protection against fraud and have low to no fees depending on the banks involved in the transaction. Businesses that want to start accepting ACH payments can learn more by going through this ACH primer. That ACH primer goes into more depth into what ACH payments are, how they work, and much more.
Digital wallets have become very popular in relevant years, especially with the increase in the number of people who own smartphones. Their popularity has also increased as mobile point-of-sale systems and technologies like near field communication (NFC) have matured.
Options like Google Pay and Apple Pay now allow customers to pay using their phones. The main downside for businesses is the different payment options available and the time and cost it takes to integrate them. However, because these payment options have become very popular, these investments are worth it.
Although the use of cash as a payment option is declining, it is still the best option for small businesses like mini-cabs, hairdressers and other service businesses. The biggest advantage of accepting cash is that there are no payment systems to integrate, and no payment processing fees and times to contend with. However, cash can make accounting processes more complicated, and it is not the best option from a hygiene standpoint.
Businesses now have multiple payment options to choose from depending on what they and their customers prefer. Each option has pros and cons, with some options being more convenient for customers. Assess your needs and requirements as well as your customers to know which of these options would work best for your business.