Small business survival guide: Choosing the right payment partner
As a small business owner, one of the most important aspects of running a successful operation is staying up-to-date with changing consumer preferences. According to a study from the Pew Research Center, Americans are heading swiftly toward a cashless economy. Mobile devices, the internet, and encryption technologies have paved the way for a wide range of cashless payment options, and business owners must provide as many of them as possible to avoid missing a potential sale.
However, the same study found that roughly 60 percent of Americans say that in a typical week, at least some of their purchases are paid for using cash. This means B2C establishments should still avoid turning card-only, despite its administrative benefits.
When it comes to selecting a payment partner, it is important to consider the range of payment types they accommodate. Ideally, the platform should accept credit cards, contactless payments, PIN debit, EBT, and cash to allow customers to pay however they please, be that in-store, online, or on the go. It should also connect seamlessly with card readers, payment terminals, and other point-of-sale hardware and software to ensure a smooth and efficient payment process.
Payanywhere, an all-in-one payment platform, was designed with this kind of flexibility in mind. The online portal can connect to an existing point of sale, including just a smartphone with the Tap to Pay on iPhone system. This, paired with the Payanywhere iOS app, means that all types of contactless payments can be accepted securely when you’re on the move, from physical debit and credit cards, Apple Pay, or other supported digital wallets, with no extra readers or hardware needed. Customers can also make payments online through a branded payment portal or directly from an email or SMS invoice.
Another thing to think about when choosing a payments platform is its data capabilities. There is a lot that can be learned from sales data, such as customer purchasing patterns, peak sales hours, and popular products or services. This information can inform marketing strategies, streamline inventory management, and drive overall business growth and profitability.
However, not all payment service providers offer the same level of data insights. Payanywhere, for instance, has partnered with the employee management platform Homebase to empower business owners with information on product and employee performance on top of payroll capabilities. The auto-scheduling feature also decreases the time required to create employee schedules and ensures the right staff are on hand during busy periods.
The Payanywhere Payments Hub portal uses transaction data to highlight the best sellers on the team as well as the most popular products, allowing for informed business decision-making and prompt restocking. It also provides real-time sales reporting with deposit and transaction insights, giving an immediate and comprehensive overview of financial performance at any time.
Employers can give team members different permissions in the portal by assigning them as Managers, Cashiers, or Reporters, ensuring everyone has access to the tools they need to keep business running smoothly.
But these features would be rendered useless if the customers were not coming through the door in the first place. Studies have found that 99.9 percent of online shoppers read reviews, and about 80 percent of in-store shoppers look up product reviews on their phones while browsing.
Reputation can be make-or-break for small businesses and it is particularly impacted by online reviews and social media posts. This is why the best payment partners will offer add-ons that allow sellers to enhance their online presence.
A prime example is Payanywhere’s suite of Reputation Management tools. These tools notify business owners when a new review is posted to their Google Business Profile, allowing them to stay up-to-date with their ratings and respond promptly to any feedback. Users can also follow up to three competitors and view their recent ratings and reviews, too. As well as providing a close eye on the opposition, it may spark ideas, and suggest changes in strategy or product lineups.
The last factor to consider when choosing a payments partner for a small business is the provided level of customer service. Having access to assistance as soon as issues arise, whether technical or related to payment processing, can significantly influence customer experiences and day-to-day operations in a company’s backend. However, large companies tend to forgo ongoing bespoke support in favor of cost-cutting measures and standardized, one-size-fits-all solutions.
On the other hand, very small payment partners may struggle to provide the necessary resources and reliability in customer service. Payanywhere, the sixth-largest non-bank merchant acquirer in the US, has a dedicated team of over 1,300 employees who provide world-class customer service and facilitate more than $100 billion in transactions every year.
See for yourself how Payanywhere can transform your payment processing experience by signing up for an account today.
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