A guide on everything you need to know about payment processing systems and how they can benefit a business.
As a business owner, you will be aware of just how important it is to keep up with trends within the industry. The personal care sector is amongst many which have seen a vast increase in card payments as opposed to customers using cash.
A payment system allows you to accept payments from your customers in your business through a range of different methods, meaning your customers can pay however and whenever they want. This can include paying in-store using a card terminal, on-the-go using a mobile app or online via a website. Different providers offer different payment solutions.
Andy White, President & General Manager EVO UK, reaffirmed the fact that using a payment processing system allows your business to accept a range of different payments from your customers: “Cash is no longer king when it comes to payments, and the pandemic has driven card and contactless adoption to new levels. Offering your customers card payment solutions can increase your revenue by boosting your customers’ purchasing power, and their satisfaction. Using a payment processing system will also ensure that all transactions are secure.
We asked Andywhich key things a business owner should bear in mind when choosing a payment system, to which he told us: “Look in to whether they offer 24/7 customer support and find out where the customer support team is located. Some providers offer limited support times, and many providers have customer support in Eastern Europe or elsewhere.
“Do they charge any Payment Card Industry fees? PCI is a mandatory requirement for card compliance. Confirm the card terminal is PCI compliant but then ask whether there are any fees for this. Many providers charge additional monthly fees for this.”
Four ways payment systems benefit a business:
Speed – Payment systems allow you to accept payments quickly and easily. They also allow you to accept payments in a number of locations which can reduce the queues in your salon.
Efficiency – Payment systems also allow your customers to pay the way they want, whether it is by card, contactless, online or through a mobile wallet.
Safety – Using a payment system ensures that your transactions will be safe and secure giving you and your customers peace of mind.
Customer satisfaction – Ensuring a fast and seamless payment process will increase the satisfaction of your customers.
Carl Churchill, Managing Director at NetPay Solutions Group explained the global payment system in use today is a mixture of technology, vendors, regulation and commerce, processing trillions of pounds worth of transactions every day. Carl revealed that card payments alone account for more than £70 billion and 1.75billion transactions per month.
These multiple stakeholders include card schemes like Visa and MasterCard, card issuers (these are typically High Street and challenger banks), acquiring banks (the businesses responsible for processing card payments), payment terminal manufacturers and vendors, payment service providers, smartphone vendors, domestic and continental regulators and lastly, merchants – the businesses processing the payments. This whole community is geared towards providing the consumer with a totally secure transaction, in milliseconds, every time.
“Not only is it easier and more convenient for customers, but there is also evidence to suggest that generally when paying by card, people tend to spend more as there are no restrictions or limitations by what cash they have on them at the time. This ultimately means there is a real opportunity to increase revenue.” Added Carl.
Through the use of payment systems, it is also much easier to analyse customer spending and to identify trends that can help business growth. Carl explained that selected card payment providers have free reporting tools and insights, which allows merchants to keep track of their transactions, and also allows them to reconcile receipts and better manage their cash flow.
As we all know, in this current climate it’s important to keep staff and customers safe. Having a wipe clean terminal is much more hygienic than handling cash, making this option much cleaner.
So, how do payment systems boost business efficiency? By automating certain business processes, using features such as online payments can save time and effort. Online payments can be used to capture deposits, send payment requests, get invoices paid quicker and manage recurring payments – all administered through a simple website. For face-to-face payments, the market has seen the introduction of smart terminals, which do more than just take payments. They also have the functionality of business apps, which can help with stock management, customer loyalty and transaction reporting.
Carl revealed the benefits of taking digital payments over cash are as follows: “Businesses are able to gets their funds into their accounts quicker, without having to deal with trips to the bank or days of waiting to see if a cheque clears. Cashing up is faster and allows businesses to reconcile receipts and record their transactions automatically, making cash flow more seamless than ever for businesses in all industries. Not only that but it saves time and is also more secure as there is less risk of fraud with less cash on the premises.”
Key factors a business owner should bear in mind when choosing a payment processing system – By Carl Chruchill, Managing Director at NetPay:
- Fees and charges feature highly in order of priority. Payments are seen as a commodity and business owners want the best value that they can get, be wary of hidden charges and always ensure you have absolute visibility of the total cost to you.
- Is the requirement for a physical terminal or online payments? Assess your payment’s needs and consider what’s best for your business.
- Terminal type, i.e. mobile (using the mobile networks), portable (using WiFi or Bluetooth) or counter-top (using broadband and occasionally even dialling through a phone line).
- Dependability, both with the terminal hardware provided, and also the customer support available from the payment provider. Make sure your payment provider can support you during your extended opening hours and over the weekend. Also consider the worst-case scenario and how they can help if things go wrong.
- Contract type and length, i.e., monthly rental, duration (12-36 months). Watch out for auto-renewing contracts that provide only a very small window for cancellation as well as cancellation fees at the end of the agreement.
- PCI compliance. This is important to ensure you can minimise payment risk and fraud, and also helps reduce the fees you may need to pay.
- Ability to easily handle sales, process returns and refunds.
- Reporting functionality – confirm how reports are delivered to you and how they can be used to help your business.
Over the last few years technology has taken the world by storm, especially within the hair and beauty industry, giving clients and business owners a whole range of greater opportunity for increased control. We’ve established that not only can payment systems work in line with this, but they can also save you time and contribute to improved hygiene in a period where it really matters. For more information or advice surrounding this topic, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org