The next logical step after standard credit cards is the digital wallet. A customer sets it up in their mobile phone, inputting all of their credit card and payment information and storing it securely in the app. When it comes time to pay, even the physical credit card is no longer necessary. The customer simply places their phone near the merchant’s contactless reader, verifies their identity with a password, fingerprint or facial recognition and the payment is encrypted and processed within seconds. In an era when most people are never separated from their mobile devices, digital wallets make it possible for them to purchase goods and services even when they have no cash or cards at hand.
PAYMENT TECHNOLOGY AND CUSTOMER RELATIONS
The same point-of-sale system that functions as your payment processing center also has the capability to enhance the relationships you have with your loyal patrons. It allows you to do the following tasks:
- Set up loyalty programs to encourage repeat visits;
- Store personal customer information in a database;
- Send targeted emails and coupons;
- Use location-based technology to alert customers to special promotions when they get within close proximity of your store.
In other words, technology, which is often saddled with the reputation for bringing about impersonal treatment, can actually do just the opposite. You can use it to tailor the newsletters and other communications you send to each person in your database. Your POS solution can show each customer that they are not simply a faceless buyer; instead, you are aware of and care about their unique needs and preferences.
Embracing change is challenging for individuals and entrepreneurs alike, but taking the plunge can be exactly what you need to enhance your operations and advance to the next level. Far from removing you from the people you serve, these innovations can help you to personalize your relationships and streamline many processes that may currently rob you of hours of precious time each week. Wouldn’t you rather be using those minutes to improve your products and services? If your answer is “yes”, embrace modern payment technologies today.
Although it’s hard to believe, ways to pay for goods and services other than cash have only been popularly used since the 1970s when paying with plastic came to the fore. Back then, if you didn’t have the actual dollars in your pocket, you simply didn’t make the purchase. These days, however, credit cards seem almost antiquated when compared to some of the newer methods. As a small business owner, it’s important that you remain ahead of the curve.
A WORD ABOUT CREDIT CARDS
We can’t move on to the trending methods until we give a nod to credit cards. If you aren’t accepting them at your business location or online, you are depriving yourself of a large chunk of your potential client base. While some entrepreneurs once resisted accepting plastic because of the cost and for security reasons, these objections carry little weight these days. For one thing, chances are excellent that you will earn more in profits from the goods and services purchased with plastic than you will lose in setup costs and transaction fees. Furthermore, today’s EMV technology enables a customer to “dip” their card directly into the credit card reader, which processes the transaction securely without the card ever leaving the buyer’s possession. While data breaches do still sometimes occur, they are far less likely now that the old-fashioned and highly replicable magnetic stripe cards have fallen out of use.