We’re quickly travelling towards a future where the physical wallet may no longer exist. Thanks to improvements in fintech, we’re seeing mobile payment options evolve. Innovation in the payments sector mean that the customer experience is more seamless than ever, with some transactions taking place all without the customer lifting a finger.
As Xero President of the Americas, Russ Fujioka, wrote for Inc recently, the average person in the US makes more than 370 non-cash purchases every year. In order for small businesses to harness this spend, they need to offer traditional payment alternatives. Russ shared three non-cash payment options businesses can accept in order to boost sales.
For businesses looking to cut down on credit card processing fees, look no further than Bitcoin. Processing fees for the cryptocurrency range somewhere between zero and two percent, which is below the average credit card processing fee of two to three. More than 100,000 retailers are now accepting Bitcoin, joining the ranks of Microsoft, Dell and Expedia.
For the brick-and-mortar store, Bitcoin can be accepted through specialized point of sale terminals – or by simply displaying a QR code that can be scanned by the customer’s mobile phone for payment. Russ says the decision for a business to accept Bitcoin should be made on a case-by-case basis.
“Although bitcoin may not be as widely accepted as some forms of non-cash payment forms, it’s definitely proving itself as a viable option for some businesses and their customers,” Russ says.
The list of benefits for businesses that accept PayPal is nearly endless. To start with, there are more than 188 million active PayPal accounts. The customer pool here is huge. Businesses can offer an order-ahead service, eliminating lines at their brick-and-mortar stores, accept credit cards in-store and online and more.
Through Xero and PayPal’s improved integration, it’s easier than ever for small businesses to get paid on time. Businesses can use PayPal Express Checkout to accept payment on online invoices, smoothing out the checkout experience for customers. Payments and fees are automatically matched against an invoice, taking the pain out of bank reconciliation. Russ says by enabling customers to make credit card payments through PayPal, everyone can benefit from the added security.
“The advantage of having card transactions processed through PayPal is the layer of security and fraud protection offered as well as the eliminated need for PCI compliance, as customer credit card data is never exchanged,” Russ says.
While it’s still early days for operating system-based mobile wallets, their widespread use will continue to increase as consumers warm to the idea of this being the norm. Although 19 percent of US shoppers regularly pay using their mobile at brick-and-mortar locations, it’s clear how fast consumers are to adapt to new technology. Russ noted that, after only a year in the market, Apple Pay accounted for 68 percent of in-store mobile payments; adding that this is another instance where businesses and consumers stand to benefit by accepting a mobile payment option.
“While the ability to accept payments online through Apply Pay is limited to select retailers at this point, there are added security benefits for brick-and-mortar retailers and their customers,” Russ says.
“While some have labeled mobile wallets as a veneer over already-existing credit card processing methods, this extra layer means the collecting of customer information isn’t performed by the merchant, thereby decreasing their liability.”
The move to non-traditional payment methods will only continue as we see the experience streamlined through innovations in fintech. It’s up to the business owner to leverage these improvements in order to attract customers.