Cash-only operations hinder business sales and potentially make the business lose hundreds of prospective customers. Here are some of the ways that accepting card payments increase revenue and cuts costs.
Businesses that accept card transactions are viewed as more legitimate than those that don’t. Displaying credit and debit card symbols at your point of sale or on your website will create a positive image and build a trustworthy relationship with your customers. When a customer trusts you, they’ll do business with you.
Increases Sales Volume
By accepting cards as one of your payment options, consumers are more likely to buy your products and services. It can even encourage higher value purchases because paying by card is often more convenient and secure than having a large amount of cash on hand. Furthermore, your customers will have the popular option to pay by credit card to build up their loyalty points or air miles.
Increases Cash Flow
Funds deposit directly into your bank account with no extra time involved.
Makes Payment Convenient
For most of us, paying by debit or credit card is more convenient. It’s quick and easy to use, especially since the introduction of contactless payment. A lot of people don’t carry cash anymore, and you never know when you’ll see something you want to buy on the spot. Even if there’s an ATM nearby, customers don’t always come back once they’ve left your premises. When someone is in a position to buy, you need to be ready to sell and take the payment without delay.
Encourages Impulse Purchases
For many people, if they’ve got available funds in their current account or on their credit card, they’re more likely to buy something on impulse. However, if the potential customer has to go away to think about it, or take cash out of an ATM, they will have time to reflect and weigh up their decision.
Another limiting factor is that many people don’t think of it like spending money. When you hand over plastic as payment, it feels like you’re getting something for free. Maximize this psychological mindset.
Cardholders Spend More
Studies show that the average order of someone paying with plastic tends to be larger than someone paying with cash or a check. Larger orders mean more profit for you.
Caters to Sales from other Businesses
Accepting credit cards allows other businesses to purchase from your business with their business credit card accounts.
Streamlines your Payment Processing
Processing a card payment can be much more convenient and efficient for your business because transactions can be completed in a matter of seconds, you’ll need less change for your till and fewer trips to the bank, you won’t have to waste time counting out someone’s change, and the closing process at the end of the day will be much quicker and more streamlined.
Decreases Administration and Accounting Effort
Card transactions and reports are easier to calculate, track, trace and manage than cash. If you use a card machine, your end-of-day sales will be added up automatically and recorded in one receipt. If any anomalies crop up, or you’re getting audited, it’s much easier to find information about card payments in your transaction reports.
Protects your Business Against Payment Disputes
Card payments offer security against fraud and theft. There’s fewer opportunities to make mistakes, such as taking the wrong amount of money or short-changing a customer (or being tricked into thinking you have). It’s also safer than keeping large sums of money on the premises or having to transport your takings to the bank.
Card payments are authorized instantly so there’s no risk of accepting counterfeit notes or bounced cheques. You can be confident that you’ve been paid what you are owed and that the money is safe in the bank. When your business processes a credit card payment, you will receive an automatic response, known as an authorization, which indicates whether or not the payment will be successful.
Suppose a customer disputes a credit card change. In that case, Punchey offers a concierge chargeback service that will automatically gather all recorded information, receipts and other supporting documentation to fight and win the dispute for you.
Improves your Customers’ Experience
Think about how you, as a consumer, prefer to pay for everyday items or services you receive. Likely, it’s online with your credit or debit card. Most consumers expect to be able to pay by card. They’ll be surprised, and most likely disappointed, if you don’t accept card payments. It’s much easier than remembering your routing and account number or carrying around cash or checks. Swiping a card is also much faster than check writing or counting back change during a transaction.
Helps to Rival Your Competition
Look around — your competition is already accepting credit cards. You need to accept cards to compete and survive. Consumers may choose to purchase goods or services from your competitors, even if they’re not as good, simply because they provide the option to pay by card. However, don’t put yourself at risk of losing customers. The amount of market share of consumers that pay with cash is dwindling. Therefore, it is important to adapt to be able to accommodate your customers.
A lot of small and medium sized businesses that do not accept credit cards as a form of payment note that they do so because it is expensive and that it eats into their profit. The truth is, it is not very expensive at all once you consider what it delivers. The increase in sales that a business realizes when they start accepting credit cards will typically more than make up for their processing fees, so they come out ahead. In addition with any of the Punchey suite of apps you can also cover the complete cost of the transaction by adding a credit card surcharge to be paid by your customer.
Disadvantages of Accepting Card Payments
There are a few disadvantages, of course. But these pale in comparison to the benefits for the majority of businesses:
You’ll have to set up an account with a payment provider and install a payment gateway and/or card terminal. You will be charged for this service but most providers offer a number of plans depending on your needs and frequency of sales. In most cases, there will be a monthly fee and a small percentage charge per transaction. Weigh this up against the potential increase in sales and it may not be a disadvantage.
If you have to refund money to a customer, you may have to pay an administrative fee to the processor. You’ll also be subject to chargeback fees on credit card payments up to 6 months after a sale if a customer is unhappy with their purchase.
Finally, although cards are the most secure form of payment, there’s still the danger of fraudulent activity taking place if credit or debit card information is stolen. Card companies tend to absorb the costs but your business may have to pay fees to refund the money. There’s also no chance you’ll get the goods back from the card thief so you’ll be out of pocket for that.