The true measure of success for a thriving business is their customers. Therefore, it’s important to be in tune with your customers to offer the right products, services, location, and yes, payment options. Customers may want your product, but they are more apt to buy it on their terms. Meeting them at this point increases the likelihood of the sale and increases the sale amount.
Do you have a physical terminal with the latest technology? The traditional consumer has their credit card ready to pull out to swipe or ‘dip the chip’. Younger generations are more likely to pay using their mobile wallet. The physical terminal should have the capability for EMV chip processing as well as NFC (near field communication) such as Apple Pay, Android Pay, or Google Wallet. These features not only allow convenience but also speed and PCI (payment card industry) compliance to limit fraud.
Recurring and/or Installment Payments:
Larger purchases require more flexible payment solutions. Today’s consumers want to buy now and pay later. By allowing the customer the instant gratification they desire, merchants meet their customer’s desire and make the sale. Setting up recurring or installment payments through a virtual terminal is a simple process to capture the sale. Virtual terminals offer flexible options to collect payments weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, and more. So, payments can be captured after customers are paid or in-between other bill periods.
Through recurring processing or installment payments, merchants can also extend their relationship. Customers don’t visit just once, they return and build loyalty. Using a subscription model for services, such as monthly lawn service or unlimited treatments for a monthly fee, merchants can collect payment before providing their services. It creates a predictable cash flow and higher customer retention. Additionally, merchants reduce late payments or chasing down outstanding balances.
Electronic Invoicing and Web Payments:
Electronic invoicing is a hassle free way for merchants to collect outstanding payments. Sending an invoice via email or text where the customer can simply click, enter their card information on a secure server, and payment complete. It’s convenience for your customers and faster payments for the merchant. No more sending paper statements every 30 days waiting for the customer to send in their payment. Customers can click and pay when they first see the invoice, whether that be 9am or 2am. The merchant can receive an email when payment complete or review reports.
Similar to electronic invoicing, the merchant can have a ‘Make Payment’ button on their website to collect payments from customers. The button brings the customer to a secure payment server hosted by the processor gateway to ensure proper encryption. The customer enters their payment amount, invoice number or other custom fields, and card information to complete the payment.
If your business takes you away from the office, you can collect payments on your smart phone or tablet. An app from the payment processor provides easy to use and secure payment collection on the go. Bluetooth devices can be added to utilize EMV, swipe, and/or NFC payments similar to the physical terminal. Being ready to take payments when away from the office help to secure the sale as well as meet the customer where they are.
By utilizing a suite of payment options, your business will be ready for the various types of customers.
Jennifer Autian is the founder of TCA Business Solutions and an independent representative of merchant services. To learn more about expanding your payment processing options, connect with her at 678-523-8760 or by email at Jennifer@tcabiz.com.