In this week’s blog, we discuss the move to a mobile Christmas payments at markets and events this festive season around the UK.
As Christmas draws ever closer, the annual seasonal markets that take place across the country become a focal point for those looking to browse and buy the vast selection of festive gifts on offer. In recent years such trading has increased in popularity, and as a result stall, operators have looked at ways to maximise their takings and profit levels.
A change in attitude
Whereas in the past customers were happy to use cash for most purchases made at marketplaces and stalls, a change in attitude has taken place, led primarily by a rise in contactless payments. The option to pay for small priced items by methods other than cash has opened up a new mindset in people that have seen them frequently visiting shops with no cash whatsoever.
This attitude has spilled over into many other areas, as evidenced by moves into accepting contactless payment methods being made by such entities as carparks and bus companies. That Christmas markets should follow suit is perhaps inevitable as we move forward into an increasingly cashless age.
Why should market traders accept card payments?
Demand from customers has been enough to convince market stall holders that they need to accept card payments. In the world of the seasonal Christmas markets, impulse purchases are key; by their very nature stalls attract potential customers by them browsing and seeing items.
If these people are not able to act on their impulses purchases will be lost. Allowing customers to go away in search of cash to complete their transaction allows them time to talk themselves out of the item. If they are able to pay by card they can immediately complete the purchase.
Meeting consumer’s expectations is also important, in the same as it would be a traditional bricks and mortar shop. If customers feel they should be able to pay by card, giving them the option to do so helps meet these expectations. While the notion of ‘repeat custom’ is often not considered within Christmas markets that can come and go in area swiftly, it can, in fact, be of importance. Social media and word of mouth can quickly spread interest and generate not just the return of previous customers but also visits from new ones, meaning that providing excellent customer service is as important as it would be in any other shopping environment.
How has it become possible for Christmas markers to accept card payments?
Using a card machine at a market has never been easier. Card Cutters offer rentals on a seasonal basis, meaning that no matter how long the trading period, a stall can cover itself fully, without worrying about long-term contracts. Applying for a Merchant Account means that a trader can process a customer’s payments directly into their business bank account, making the process as streamlined and efficient as possible.
Many options exist in terms of the type of payment machine that a market stall may like. Countertop terminals, which remain fixed, are available and are best suited to larger stalls, or places which have a specialised payment area. For smaller operations or ones which prefer to take the payment solution to the customer, Mobile GPRS machines can be helpful. As these have extensive battery life periods, they can be easily be left overnight to charge and used all day on a stall that doesn’t have ready access to electricity.