Merchants know that customer experience is one of the most important factors to account for in a business strategy. According to a recent report by Multichannel Merchant, the payment methods presented to a customer upon checkout determine how the customer feels about the purchasing experience. Therefore, point-of-sale systems that accept multiple payment methods can be a crucial tool in giving customers a better experience and retaining their business for future transactions. 


Here are 3 important reasons merchants should offer multiple payment options to improve the customer experience:


People still write checks
Across the world, businesses are leaning more toward electronic payment methods, but some consumers are still writing checks. In a 2014 article on LinkedIn, Infosys principal consultant Prabhakar Vellaisamy cited data from 2013 bank reports that indicated checks are still a popular way to pay for goods and services. The Wall Street Journal reported that in 2012, U.S. companies wrote 21 billion checks, more than four times as many written by the 28 member countries of the EU.


Despite the decrease in check writing with the advent of online bill pay, a percentage of the population still prefers checks. This means merchants that want to provide the best customer experience for their shoppers need to incorporate methods to accommodate them. Physical checks need to be processed somehow and that's where electronic check processing equipment comes in. Merchants that have access to electronic check processing equipment will see higher satisfaction from those customers still attached to their checkbooks.


Mobile payments are going social
Forbes reported in 2014 that 68 percent of online shopping experiences end in abandonment - and businesses are struggling to address the issue. Customers shopping online continue to want a mobile payment solution. The growth in popularity of mobile payment solutions can be seen in the ways they talk about it on social media. Consumers are generally positive about mobile payment methods. The 2014 Mobile Payments Study conducted by MasterCard found that 94 percent of global conversations surrounding the concept were favorable, a 17 percent increase from 2013. 


Consumers are becoming more comfortable with making purchases on their mobile devices, which indicates a need for merchants to incorporate mobile payment solutions into their business operation. There are multiple applications of this kind of strategy. For instance, the growing popularity of social payments should be one driving factor in how merchants deal with mobile payments. Systems connected to social media applications like Twitter and Snapchat allow consumers to buy products directly from the network's partners or transfer money to friends.


According to PaymentsSource, social payments are becoming more common, leading to an increased demand for mobile payment solutions. For example, Facebook recently released a social payments solution where the over 500 million monthly users of the site can securely send money to each other over the company's Messenger app. Apple is also capitalizing on the imminent shift to EMV by using Near-Field Technology along with its Apple Pay platform, because new EMV-capable terminals come equipped with NFC. 


Global E-Commerce is expected to increase
A 2014 report from eMarketer stated e-commerce would account for 8.8 percent of total retail market worldwide in 2018 - That's almost $2.5 trillion spent online. As aresult, global customers continue to want multiple payment methods. Mobile will obviously continue to be relevant, but credit cards and checks are still used as well. 


According to the Multichannel Merchant report, the leading preferred payment method in the U.S. is credit card at 48 percent preference by online shoppers in 2014. The global market is expanding, and merchants want to maximize customer satisfaction. 


When considering global e-commerce, it's also important for merchants to offer local payment methods in order to retain critical groups of customers. Some methods only operate in certain countries. In order to give global customers the best experience, merchants should make sure their POS and e-commerce transaction processing systems meet localized needs, as well.


Do you want to improve and expand your payment processing capabilities? Learn how First American Payment Systems can help.