Whether you’re running a retail or a service-based business, your customers expect to be able to use a range of payment options. So when you’re setting up your bank accounts, take some time to become familiar with all the payment solutions your bank has to offer.
Most retail businesses offer debit and credit card options, as well as digital payment options like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay, in addition to cash. If your business sells products online, then online payments, credit cards and third party payment options should also be included.
Until recently, most service-based businesses were paid by invoicing and checks, but payment technology has evolved with the times. For example, if you provide gardening services, you can use mobile credit card technology, or give your customers the option of transferring a payment to your account online. Most customers actually want to pay on the spot for a job well done, and multiple payment options give customers control to pay the way they prefer. Anything you can do to improve your customer experience means your customers are more likely to come back – and to tell their friends about you.
Improved Cash Flow
Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business. Without it, you can’t function properly. Up-to-date payment technology means the money is in your account sooner - sometimes immediately. More cash running through your business means you’re in a better position to make decisions.
Businesses that rely on invoicing and checks often experience a slow-down of their cash flow cycles, because they’re waiting for payments to be processed. That means more time with less money in your account, and time that could be spent growing the business instead of creating and chasing invoices.
When you’re setting up your payment options keep the following in mind:
- Cash – as old fashioned as it may seem, it’s still immediate, and customers like the option of paying with cash, especially for small items. But remember, keeping a lot of cash on your business premises requires security planning.
- Debit cards – you're probably familiar with these; like a credit card, they’re swiped through a machine and the money is transferred from your customer’s account to your account.
- Credit cards – these are a convenient way for your customers to pay, and for you to be paid. But, it's important to work with a partner who helps you understand all of the requirements and fees that come with accepting credit cards. (Our Treasury Solutions team will be glad to sit down and discuss your options!)
- Online payments – if you accept and make payments online, you’re making the whole process easier on your customers and suppliers. It also opens up the possibility of expanding your sales into an online store, and it's usually an immediate transfer of funds to your operations.
- Mobile payments – this option allows customers to pay using their mobile phone. And since people are using their smartphones for almost everything these days, it’s hardly surprising they’ve become a wallet as well!
- Invoicing and checks – many service-based businesses still offer this option, and although it means you don’t see the money in your account right away, your customers still prefer this payment method. (If your business is still accepting checks, Remote Deposit Capture or Mobile Deposit may be a great option to process your checks faster.)
Increased Credibility and Professionalism
If you offer your customers not only multiple payment options, but the latest payment technology, you’re positioning yourself as someone who understands that business is not just the traditional 9-5 anymore. You’re also demonstrating that your business is flexible and up-to-date, which can only improve your credibility in the eyes of your customers and suppliers.
Your Business Banking Partner
You don't have to go it alone. Bank Independent offers many solutions to complement your business. Our Treasury Solutions Team will meet with you when and where it is convenient for your business. They will listen closely and observe your business to help you determine the right balance of products and services to meet your banking needs, including:
- Checking, savings and other deposit accounts
- Loans and credit cards
- Cash management solutions
- Online and mobile banking tools
- Merchant Services, and more
Merchant Services include cutting-edge technology to help your business offer more payment options to your customers. Our card readers ensure that you're ready to accept all types of payments from your customers, even when you're away from your store.
Standard Terminals accept
- Widely-used credit and debit cards, including Visa®, MasterCard®, Discover®, and American Express®,
- Contactless/Digital Wallet payments (including Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay), and
- EMV or "chip" cards for secure, encrypted transactions.
Mobile Card Readers offer the ultimate in payment mobility and convenience. Just attach the card reader to your mobile device and go!
Bluetooth and Wireless Terminals like our sleek and smart Poynt handheld payment terminal connect to 4G, WiFi and/or Bluetooth and don't require plug-in.