Most customers expect to be able to pay by card these days, even if it is for small purchases. In fact, merchant card systems are a very fast and efficient way for you to take payment as a business owner, and can significantly improve the customer experience.
Accepting payments by credit and debit card offers a number of benefits, not least of which is added credibility. With a range of card payment options on the market that can be tailored to your needs, merchant service providers take the hassle out of accepting payments in this way.
So how might debit and credit card payments transform your business? Here are seven reasons why your business should take payments by card.
1. Less cash on-site
When you consider that customers use cards for purchases of all sizes, taking payments by credit or debit card significantly reduces the amount of cash you hold on-site. This means fewer visits to the bank to pay in, reduced risk, increased security at your premises, and potentially a reduction in security-related costs.
2. Reduced queuing time
Taking card payments reduces queuing time and enables a speedier, more streamlined experience for your customers. The introduction of contactless cards also speeds up payment even further, thus allowing you to process transactions more efficiently and noticeably increase your turnover.
3. Improved cash flow and planning
Funds are generally cleared in a few days when you take card payments - this allows for greater certainty of income, better financial planning, and improved cash flow management. With less reliance on bank overdrafts and business loans, you can take firmer control of your cash flow. Accepting card payments by phone and online also expands your ‘reach’ and introduces greater flexibility for customers. Furthermore, you do not have to wait for customers to pay their invoices, and can reduce the considerable time spent on chasing payments.
4. Easier access to additional finance
Installing a card payment system could open up a flexible source of finance called a merchant cash advance. This type of alternative funding is based on an appraisal of your future card receipts. You are paid a cash lump sum, with repayment amounts being a percentage of your daily card takings – this makes them affordable, especially when contrasted with fixed loan repayments, with less financial pressure on your business over the long-term.
5. Customer data helps with marketing
The data generated by your card payment system reveals much about customer spending habits and general consumer trends. This information allows you to market more effectively and at a lower cost, as the marketing is targeted and has a specific result in mind. Marketing too widely uses up working capital unnecessarily, so you could potentially increase your customer base as well as saving on costs.
6. Simplified stock control and bookkeeping
Merchant payment systems not only simplify stock control, but also make bookkeeping quicker. Stock control takes place in real time, with easy-to-access reports and flexible features that make running your business easier. All the bookkeeping information you need is summarised and printable at the end of each day, with weekly, monthly, and annual figures all available at the touch of a button.
7. Encourages sales and impulse purchases
Offering card payment facilities encourages sales when your customers do not have quite enough cash, or see an extra item they want to buy. In fact, the convenience of being able to pay by card facilitates the impulse buying that can rapidly increase your turnover. Along with great customer service and the careful placement of goods, the tendency towards spontaneity when paying by card offers immediate benefits for retail businesses.
If you would like to discover more about how card payments can help your business, and to find out which card payment provider would be best based on your individual operational needs, we can put you in touch with a qualified accountant in your area.
Handpicked Accountants have developed long-term working relationships with accountants around the country. We will provide a shortlist of recommendations based on our knowledge of their experience and customer service. Call one of the team to find out more.