1 in 5 small businesses doesn’t accept digital payments, despite the customer demand for this convenient form of payment. So if you’re still on the fence about whether or not to collect payments online, here are seven reasons that might just convince you.
75% of customers want the ease of online payments. That alone should be enough to convince you to start offering online payment options, but if it’s not, you should know it’s easier for your employees too.
For businesses offering “click and collect” services, knowing the customer has already paid means your employee can pass over the item and get back to serving in-store customers. Similarly, for service-based businesses, collecting payments online means your providers don’t have to worry about managing cash on the job site or bulky credit card machines.
When you collect payments from customers online, you speed up your processing times as the transaction happens instantly. It’s also more secure, as digital payment processors like Stripe use real-time card validation, fraud detection, and encryption to safely process and store customers’ payment details. By processing payments through reputable third-party software, you also don’t have to worry about complying with the industry or government regulations around payments, as the software takes care of it for you.
If your goal is to improve the customer experience (which it should be), collecting payments online is an easy step that makes a big difference for CX. From faster processing time and increased security to the convenience and flexibility that online payments provide, it’s easy to see how customer experience is improved.
Online payments make a huge difference for your office team by reducing admin and simplifying their workload. Because everything happens digitally, there’s an automatic record of every transaction, refund, sale, and coupon code used, which makes staying on top of business finances easy.
Some banks charge business accounts fees for depositing cash, physical credit card machines aren’t free, and you’ve got the time (and salary) of the people who have to keep track of the finances for your business. Taking payments online helps to avoid these fees and lower costs because now you just pay the processing fee the online payment processor charges.
Plus, the added convenience of online payments often sees sales increase, so not only are you lowering costs, but you’re increasing revenue at the same time.
Collecting payments online allows you to open your business up to a broader customer base — in theory, a global one! This might not be as beneficial for local service businesses as other points on this list. Still, if you can diversify into virtual services (like online tutoring), it could make a big difference to your sales figures.
Last on the list, and one of the most significant advantages of collecting payments from customers online, is that you eliminate the need to chase late payments. Whether you charge a customer’s card at the time of booking or take the payment details to be charged later, you don’t have to worry about late payments because charges can be applied instantly.
If you constantly find yourself chasing late invoices, or need more consistent cash flow, introducing online payments for your small business could make a big difference.
The best way to take credit card payments online is to use a third-party payment processor, like Stripe or Paypal. These tools are easy to integrate into your website, and if you’re already using online booking software, online payment options usually come as standard. (If you can’t collect customer payments, it might be time to shop around for a new online booking software!)
For more information on how to take payments online, check out our article “5 Ways to Collect Payments Online More Effectively”.
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