In this week’s blog, we discuss why the decision to accept card payments has already been made by vast amounts of businesses, small and large, with increasing amounts of different forms of businesses branching out and doing so all the time. For those that haven’t, many reasons to think about accepting cards exist.
When looking at the benefits to business that stem from accepting card payments, it is important to look at national statistics and trends.
The June 2017 Card Expenditure Statistics report by UK Finance, the latest available at the time of writing, shows continued growth in the number of card payments conducted. A new monthly record was set in June, which saw transactions rising by 9 million from May’s figures to just below 1.4 billion. Of the card payments conducted, 34 percent of these had taken place via contactless methods, with £57.1 billion being the total amount spent using cards. Card spending was recorded to be growing at an annual rate of 7.2 percent, up from 6.9 percent in the month previous.
When looking at the figures, it is clear that accepting card payments is no longer an option for a business looking to the future, but a necessity borne out of an industry trend that continues to gain pace month by month.
Broadening of appeal and appearance
The acceptance of card payments is something which customers now expect and demand when looking to buy a product. If a business does not have the option in place, an amateur and unprofessional image are often presented. The reverse of this is of course that offering card transactions have presented even very small businesses as keen, stable and reliable.
If a customer usually pays everywhere they go by card, when faced with a purchase they have to break from their usual habit to make, it may well cause a questioning of why they are making the transaction at all. Huge leaps have also been made by businesses accepting cards in the areas of taking telephone or online orders; an area they might not have previously broached, now made entirely possible, and bringing with it a whole new demographic of customers.
A key area in which card payments have made life easier for businesses is that of general security, significantly reducing the amount of cash an establishment may have on the premises. Alongside any theft and loss that may have occurred, trips to banking institutions with large amounts of money have been reduced. The various rigid security measures and checks that are involved with card transactions have also been of benefit to businesses.
With card payments being quick and reliable, a huge amount of time has been saved over constantly dealing with cash transactions. The ease in which someone can pay, especially using contactless, has meant time savings for both customer and business, and in a rapid-paced environment where trade had been restricted by transaction times, this has meant increased turnover.
The time it takes to count and store cash taken has been reduced significantly, and accounting has been made far easier. Refunds have also become easier, with funds quickly transferred between accounts, something which businesses dealing with high-priced items have found especially helpful.
Increased and repeat custom
The speed and ease of which a customer can complete their payment are often critical to their decision to make a purchase, especially for items that focus on the ‘impulse buy’ mentality. Card payments have proved the ideal way for businesses to make the most of this, and capitalise on purchases made by those that had not planned on making one.
Removing the need for someone to have cash means they do not have to go in search of it; a time when they are likely to reconsider completing the transaction. Increased custom has also been encouraged via card payments. Customers will remember an environment in which payment was hassle-free, and return to other places that may have taken more of their time and effort.