Just accepting cash won't cut it for small and midsized businesses
February 28, 2014
SMBs that deal in certain fields - low-price goods or coffee and inexpensive foods, for example - may think that accepting cash is enough of a strategy to successfully compete in their local markets.
Only accepting cash will harm businesses in the long run, especially if competitors offering a similar range of goods and services open up nearby and provide more comprehensive payment processing solutions. The rising use of credit and debit cards means that businesses currently without this capacity should seek out a provider that can give them credit card processing tools.
IT BusinessEdge points out that it's becoming less common for customers to carry appreciable amounts of cash. And while checks should be one component of an overall payment acceptance strategy, the advantages offered by taking debit and credit payments should be foremost in such plans.
Have a complete understanding of the market
Companies should have a strong grasp of their customer base, market segment and related payment needs when they begin discussions with a payment solutions provider. For retailers of low price-point items, this may mean a focus on facilitating many quick transactions per day. Organizations dealing with larger transactions and business-to-business sales may be more interested in electronic check and ACH processing if this is a customary form of payments for their markets.
Understanding cost versus reward is also important. While utilizing more payment processing options - for example, enabling payments via phone or through a website shopping cart - may increase monthly payments to processors for the additional service, the additional purchasing avenue can easily make up for the cost. Although not all businesses may benefit from utilizing every transaction method, there are likely a few that will improve overall business.
A secure system is a successful system
Security should be a focus for small and midsized businesses establishing their payment strategy. Reputable payment providers will be up-front about discussing encryption. These concerns are especially significant if payment systems are connected to a business computer or to a smartphone or tablet, as is used for mobile credit card payments.
The Small Business Blog points out that security is critical to overall operations and business success. Different technologies require different protection and encryption plans. Good payment processors will provide secure channels for the transmission of sensitive payment data and bank information, as well as discuss these tools in clear terms with their clients.