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How to Keep Up With Your Customers When It Comes to Payment Innovation

Being able to readily accept payment from customers via whatever means they prefer to use is becoming an important way to build customer loyalty.

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iStock/sorbetto

What do you, a merchant or small business owner, need to know about Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, contactless payment, peer-to-peer, payment via messaging app, social commerce via Facebook Messenger, and all of the other new and emerging means of payment?

First and foremost, you should know that being able to readily accept payment from customers via whatever means they prefer to use is becoming an important way to build customer loyalty. In fact, as payment options multiply, failing to keep pace could prove disastrous: Businesses that fail to offer the latest payment types stand to lose customers, a growing number of whom want to pay with the latest technologies.

According to Sage Payment Solutions research, even customers who don’t plan to pay by new and emerging methods take note of the options a business offers: 87% of the consumers we surveyed said having a range of ways to receive money was important in making a business seem up to date. Read Sage’s exclusive 2017 Payments Landscape Report for the full story.

Making the Business Case

It’s important to remember that a growing share of your customers expect a click-to-pay experience wherever they shop or do busi­ness, so small businesses that innovate in payments have a great chance to capture consumers in that buying mode. Your custom­ers are busier than ever, and you don’t want to give them any reason not to do business with you.

What’s more, you should ask yourself if you can afford to lag behind your competition. According to the 2017 Payments Landscape Report, 77% of businesses plan to spend money on new payment methods in 2017, with 20% investing in Apple Pay and 17% in Samsung Pay.

For entrepreneurs who are behind the curve, staying wedded to traditional payment methods can result in losing existing cus­tomers and potentially turning off new ones. Nothing should come between the decision to buy and executing the sale. Payments are part of the custom­er experience, and customers are getting used to being able to buy and pay quickly and conveniently. If you don’t provide that experience, they may go elsewhere.

Know Your Customers

Given how quickly the payments universe is expanding, keeping up with all the new options may seem like a daunting proposition; however, if you know your customers and your business, it’s not so hard to whittle down all the options to a manageable few.

The best payment system for your business depends on what type of busi­ness you have and your customer base. Here are a few examples:

  • For a local pizzeria: Embedding an online payment solution in an online ordering system and equipping your delivery team with mobile card readers that attach to their phones could represent a state-of-the-art solution.
  • For a professional services firm: Embedding a link to an online payments portal or PayPal within electronic invoices could expedite payments.
  • For a hip downtown coffee shop: A mobile wallet reader that accepts Android Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay will resonate with millennials, since they have a device in hand at all times and are comfortable with contactless payment technologies.

These are just a few examples, but you get the picture. Your payment-processing provider should be ready and eager to help you determine the best route for your business to take; if your provider isn’t able to do so, that’s a good sign it’s probably time to select a new partner.

Visit Sage Payment Solutions’ site to learn more.

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