The use of cards to make payments continues to rise. In fact, UK Finance reported that in 2017 alone, 13.2 billion debit card payments we made (an increase of 13% over 2016) as well as 3.1 billion credit card payments (an increase of 14% on the previous year).
And cash payments continued to fall in 2017 too. They declined to 13.1 billion payments, which is a 15% decline compared to 2016.
So, to help you keep up with your competitors, and to help keep your customers happy, you should consider accepting card payments if you’re not already.
It’s more convenient
These days, people expect to be able to pay by card. So, if they can’t do it in your store, they may take their business elsewhere.
With a card reader, you can accept payment from anyone who has a major credit or debit card, including Visa, Mastercard, Maestro or American Express.
Not to mention, you can display these logos in your store, which helps build trust with your customers as they can see you are associated with these well-thought-of brands.
It also increases the chance of your customers making impulse purchases in your store, as they’re not limited to the cash they have in their pocket.
There’s plenty of choice
There are a number of different card readers available, so whatever type of business you run, there will be one for you.
There are ones that let you take payments from a fixed point, like a till or reception.
You can also get a portable ones that allow you to take payments from around your premises – great for cafes, bars or restaurants.
Or, you can get card readers that allow you to take payments on the go through GPRS, such as taxi or delivery drivers.
We’ll go into more detail about these later on.
Taking a payment by card is quicker than cash in a number of different ways.
First of all, the customer just pops their card in, enters their PIN and that’s it.
Or, if they’re paying for something that’s less than £30, they can just tap their card on the machine (as long as both the card and machine are contactless enabled) and make a payment.
Quicker payments also mean shorter queues in your premises, so you can serve more people more quickly.
If you don’t have a fixed premises for your business, such as if you’re a mobile hairdresser or beautician, you won’t be reliant on your customers remembering to have cash ready.
You don’t have to wait to get paid either as you would if you invoiced or accepted cheques. And you’ll save time chasing payments too. You can take a card payment there and then instead.
If you take card payments, you will reduce the amount of cash you have on your premises or person, meaning there are less opportunities for theft or fraud.
Plus, it’ll save you on trips to the bank, and you can worry less about counterfeit notes or coins.
Card processing solutions all come equipped with the latest security levels, which includes Chip and PIN technology, 3D secure and Address Verification Service (AVS) for both you and your customers protection.
Choosing a card payment solution provider
There are a number of different companies out there who can get you up and running with card payments, but there are a few things to consider before choosing which one to go with.
For example, some companies will charge you a setup fee to cover the provision and set up of your card reader, whilst others won’t.
You will also be charged a fee for each transaction you put through the card reader and this can vary for each card type. Some companies, including Payzone, will create a bespoke pricing package for you based on your business needs, rather than a one-size-fits all offering.
Many providers also have lengthy contracts – some up to five years. Others, such as Payzone, offer shorter 12 month contracts, which give you flexibility and don’t tie you in.
The different types of card readers available
As we mentioned earlier, there are a number of different options to suit all business types, including:
Countertop card machine
These can be used from one fixed point in your premises, so they’re great for serving customers at a till or reception point.
Portable card machines
Ideal for bars, cafes or restaurants, with these, you can take card payments from around your premises. The machine comes in two parts – the base unit and a portable handset. They communicate to each other by Bluetooth and work within 50m of each other.
Mobile card machines
These are perfect if you want to take payments on the go. They use 3G to connect to a mobile network, so you can take payments almost anywhere.