The payments landscape and consumer preference is evolving, and you don’t want to be left behind. The use of cash and checks have declined drastically in recent years to make way for the rise of credit cards.
Cash and checks take up precious time that could be better spent growing your business. You waste time with trips to the bank and waiting for funds to clear.
More and more consumers prefer to pay with credit cards.
What this means for your business is that by not accepting credit cards, you are throwing away potential sales. This post will show how accepting credit cards eliminates friction in your customer’s experience and ultimately, helps you grow your business.
1. Improve Your Cash Flow
With credit cards, you get paid quicker because you don’t waste time sending invoices, tracking down NSF (non-sufficient funds) checks, and waiting for funds to clear (which can take up to 90 days).
When you accept credit cards, the process is automated and the money is deposited within 48 hours.
Tip to improve your cash flow: implement recurring billing.
Recurring billing allows your customers to set up automatic repeating payments. It’s great for businesses that offer subscription or monthly services.
Recurring billing helps you grow your business when you accept credit card payments. Credit cards allow you to get paid faster, so when you implement recurring billing, you are guaranteed a consistent and reliable flow of payments.
Many payment processors provide you with instant analytics on customer and credit card transaction data to help you make better business decisions, so recurring billing allows you to forecast payments and better predict future revenue. Manual entry errors are no longer an issue because with recurring billing, you simply input the credit card information once and subscribe customers to a payment plan.
To ensure that recurring billing works like a well-oiled machine, be sure to send:
- emails about updating information if the credit card is about to expire to avoid declines.
- promotions encouraging subscription renewals to avoid cancellations.
2. Provide Better Customer Service
Offering the option to pay by credit card enhances the purchasing experience for your customers. With credit cards, transactions are streamlined which means your customers enjoy a speedier and more convenient way to pay.
Faster transactions mean shorter line-ups and wait times, both of which deter customers from shopping at a store. 70% of consumers are less likely to return to a store if they experience long waiting times on one occasion.
With many incentives to sign up for a credit card, such as rewards or travel points, consumers will actively seek out businesses that accept credit cards. Credit cards also give you more credibility in the eyes of your customers when you display that your business accepts these trusted and reputable credit card brands.
Tip to provide better customer service: implement mobile payments.
Mobile payments allow you to easily pop a portable swiper on your mobile device to take payments on-the-go and get paid immediately. For seasonal or online-based businesses, this is especially convenient because you can use mobile payments to connect and interact with potential customers at:
- Pop-up shops
Mobile payments are not just for beyond brick-and-mortar locations; they’re beneficial for in-store use as well. You can enable salespeople to take credit cards on a mobile device, turning each employee into a mobile point of sale. By doing so, you can reduce the time consumers spend waiting in pesky line-ups.
Mobile payments in the form of mobile wallets are also increasing in popularity. These mobile payments are enabled by NFC(near field communication) which allows two devices to exchange data in close proximity.
Ensuring that your payment terminals are NFC-enabled allows you to accept payments made by consumers’ mobile phones, which speeds up transactions and increases convenience even further.
3. Increase Your Sales
Customers are more likely to spend larger amounts and buy impulsively with credit cards not only because it’s faster, but because the perceived pain of paying is less with credit cards than it is with physical cash. Accepting credit cards increases each transaction amount and number of transactions because your customer base is expanded to anyone with a credit card.
Tip to increase sales: implement an eCommerce store.
eCommerce is a massive market which lots of potential and by accepting credit cards, you can access that consumer base. An online store is essential these days because your customers are no longer buying in the traditional way; they’re researching, reviewing, and purchasing across many channels (in-store, online, on mobile), and expect an omnichannel experience (a holistic experience across a brand’s multiple channels.
Having an eCommerce store also provides enhanced customer experience. Instead of rushing to the store after work, the customer can avoid line-ups and browse at their leisure – anytime, anywhere – because business hours for your online store are 24/7.
Why businesses need to accept credit cards, especially if you want to expand, is twofold:
- For you, it allows you to run your business more efficiently by reducing administrative work, improving customer experience, and increasing your bottom line.
- For your customers, it provides convenience, speed, and choice.
In this day and age, more and more businesses are accepting credit cards. You’ll lose customers if you don’t adapt to the changing landscape.
How has accepting credit cards improved your business? Let us know in the comments.
about the author
This is a guest post for the FreshBooks blog. FreshBooks is the #1 accounting software in the cloud designed to make billing painless for small businesses and their teams. Today, over 10 million small businesses use FreshBooks to effortlessly send professional looking invoices, organize expenses and track their billable time.