Downtown Vision Benefactor Members
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By Richard Harp, CFP®
Commerce Bank, Garden City
Payment technology you (and your customers) deserve.
It can be hard for small businesses to keep up with continuously changing payment trends. Things were relatively predictable before the pandemic, but now it’s almost a necessity for small businesses to offer multiple payment types for their ever-evolving customers. If you’re not already providing convenient options for your customers to pay you in-person and online, you may begin to lag behind the industry.
The good news is, that diversifying your payment acceptance offers incredible benefits for both you and your customers.
Making it easy to get paid improves your bottom line and can help you retain customers in a competitive world. It also allows your customers to maximize their own savings and rewards because they get to choose their favorite, or most convenient, way to pay.
Let’s look at the must-have payment capabilities for any business.
Credit card acceptance
This one might sound obvious, but there’s more to credit card acceptance than you may think.
Accepting credit cards at your small business allows you to get your money faster than most other methods. You get to count that money toward your cash flow immediately, even though your customer doesn’t have to pay their card until the due date. You don’t have to wait to make bank deposits or for checks to clear in order to count those funds either – this means faster payment cycles. Plus, you automatically get an electronic transaction history for auditing later.
Accepting credit cards also opens you up for more sales opportunities. The majority of consumers are ditching cash - even more so after the pandemic. And carrying a checkbook has its own set of security risks. Credit cards allow customers to keep their bank details secure and offer protection against loss or theft. Plus, cards are versatile and can be used in-person and online.
Many consumers also work to maximize their savings through credit card rewards and perks. They may get cash back or rewards points on their purchases. By accepting credit cards, you get your funds sooner and your customers get to reap rewards however they wish. It’s a win-win!
Online and in-person sales
The pandemic also forced many small businesses to re-think their business models. For many, that meant moving their products and services online. This a great idea, as it allows you to make money anytime and anywhere. For businesses that do not ship physical products, e-commerce has opened up a previously untapped market. Curbside pickup, remote meetings and virtual workshops are just a few ways we’ve witnessed the ingenuity of small business owners.
Of course, in order to offer online shopping and services, you need a robust payment portal to manage everything. Whether a customer is paying by card, automatic withdrawal or a contactless method, small businesses need to be able to process all payments efficiently.
Plus, in an increasingly digital world, your website cannot be an afterthought. A website that incorporates branding, marketing and online services is a great way to add legitimacy to your business and keep a leg up on the competition. Make sure your customers keep returning by providing clear, thoughtful insights through your brand, backed by efficient technology.
Speaking of technology, it is the backbone of your payment capabilities. But more than that, the right payment technology can help you optimize your efforts and get the most out of your small business.
Technology suites like Clover allow you to do much more than just accept payments. You can track inventory, order supplies, start a rewards program, streamline your marketing efforts and much more. Best of all, it’s highly scalable, meaning you won’t have to replace it when you want to make a change – it will grow with your ever-changing needs.
Another thing that is ever-changing: payment fraud. To combat this, make sure that your technology is always up-to-date. Commerce Bank can help you navigate this area with training and best practices. Plus, we’ll work with you to ensure that you’re compliant with federal regulations to protect yourself and your customers from theft.
For more information on Commerce Bank’s payment solutions, contact Rich Harp @ Richard.Harp@commercebank.com or call 620.276.5700.