In today’s competitive market, small businesses need to always be on the lookout for new and innovative forms of technology to stay competitive and to satisfy consumer’s needs. Instead of using checks or cash at checkout, consumers are instead using alternative forms of payment that have become popular. These modern forms of payment help expedite the transaction time and are more convenient for a consumer to pay with.
Payments on the Go
Small businesses that do not own a brick and mortar store would benefit from using a mobile payment solution to accept payments. A mobile payment solution has many of the same features that a normal point-of-sale solution has, including the ability to swipe cards, receive authorizations, capture signatures for purchases, and e-mail receipts to the consumer. One major advantage of a mobile payment device is they are considerably cheaper than a countertop solution and can be used to accept payments anywhere on the go. Some industries that use mobile payments as their preferred method of payment include marketplaces, food trucks, and tradeshows.
One form of technology that aims to protect merchants, issuers, and consumers against fraud is EMV. The EMV® liability shift occurred last fall and EMV terminals have slowly begun to emerge at both large and small businesses to accept chip cards. With EMV technology, a cardholder’s personal information is stored within a chip that is embedded on the front of a card. Instead of swiping the card at a terminal, customers will now insert their chip card at the bottom of the terminal. Once this occurs, a one-time-use code is generated for that transaction.
Small businesses that have delayed implementation should consider switching to EMV products as soon as possible. Merchants that do not currently have EMV-compliant terminals are now fully liable for any counterfeit fraud charges, until they upgrade their solutions to accept EMV.
Since many consumers are now making purchases online, it would be wise for small businesses to take advantage of having both an e-commerce website and a brick-and-mortar store. Consumers rely on online shopping to buy items after hours and additionally enjoy the benefit of not having to deal with long lines. Having the additional opportunity to buy products online will allow small businesses to gain additional revenue beyond shopping in-stores.
Near-Field Communication (NFC) is the latest form of technology many small businesses are integrating within their payments capabilities with the rise of mobile wallets. Android Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay are the main mobile wallets that consumers use in-stores and all work using NFCtechnology. NFC is a method of contactless communication and data exchange between two electronic devices. In order to make a payment, consumers hold their smartphone device a few centimeters away from an NFC-enabled terminal and the payment is processed. For those small businesses lacking NFC-enabled terminals, they will need to upgrade their terminals in order to accept NFC payments. NFC is a great form of technology for brick-and-mortar stores, since it is a quick and easy way for consumers to check out.
With the rise of various payment options becoming more pronounced, small businesses should implement the most recent forms of technology. By incorporating mobile payments, upgrading to EMV-capable solutions, using an e-commerce website, and accepting NFC payments, small businesses will be able to successfully remain competitive and gain new consumers in the process.