The rise of digital wallets and online payment platforms has trained customers to expect convenience and customization when it comes to payment methods.

Cash, check, or credit card used to be the default. Now contactless cards, mobile tap-and-go capabilities, mobile wallets like Apple Pay, and other mobile payment apps with a scannable “digital card” offer a huge variety of options to customers. Online, customers increasingly expect full compatibility with their preferred format, including credit card quick-pass payment and digital wallets like Google Pay and PayPal, and a growing movement of Bitcoin and other blockchain-based payments users.

While it may be tempting to pick one payment method with which you are familiar and stick with it, customers tend to have a lower tolerance for inconvenience, and will often take their business elsewhere. Additionally, more people are cancelling their credit cards in order to have better control of their personal finances, getting paid online, and looking for ways to avoid or reduce payment and transfer fees.

Mobile peripherals such as card-scanners and iPad-based payment processing offer a wider variety of in-store solutions to business owners, and the online payments and security space continues to evolve with new offerings coming out all the time. In February 2018, eBay announced a move away from their longtime payment processing service, PayPal. It is also very likely that Blockchain-based payments will continue to grow and gain traction.

If you haven’t reviewed and refreshed your payment processing services in a few years, it’s well worth your time to make the effort. In your retail locations, you can increase convenience for yourself and customers by choosing a service that accommodates a wider range of payments, including traditional cash and card-based formats, as well as modern tap-and-go contactless card and mobile wallet-based payments. It’s in your best interest to reduce as many barriers as possible for customers to give you their money, after all, and if your current payment provider isn’t meeting their needs or yours, it’s time to think about a change.

Physical, in-store purchases generally only represent a fraction of the sums that change hands in many businesses. To avoid missing out, updating your online sales platform with newer, or more diverse payment options is something you should schedule in as part of an annual website refresh. Customers who are unhappy with your payment options are unlikely to bother getting in touch to express their displeasure or enquire about alternatives; they’ll just shop elsewhere.

Upgrade your website and server security to the latest best practices at the same time, including SSL encryption and secure storage of any customer data you collect or store. Passing payments through to an online payments processor can help reduce your risk by putting much of the security burden on that third-party.

A hidden benefit to expanding your knowledge of, and access to, a wider and more progressive range of payment processors is the overhead savings you could achieve. Your business could save significant sums on transaction fees, especially if you make sales or purchases across international borders. This can really add up in the case of B2B purchases. If you have a client in London making a large purchase, it’s in your best interest to know who offers the lowest fees to send money from the UK to US to keep your profit from getting chipped away at by international transaction fees.

Take the time to explore your options and expand your payment processing services. Customers won’t just thank you—they’ll spend more money with you.

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