If you are a small company, how you receive payments is a critical but often overlooked component of your business. Failing to take receipt of payments into account can slow down the speed at which your customers pay their bills, and seriously disrupt your cash flow. The perceived lack of convenience can also turn customers off, as can their belief that loyalty to your company (in the form of retuning business) is not worth very much. How you manage your merchant services is therefore critical to the success of your business. Here are some things to consider as you establish your merchant services so you can set your customers, as well as your company, up for success in the long run.

You MUST Accept Credit and Debit Cards

The majority of American consumers currently pay for the things they buy with cards, not cash. A recent survey indicated that over 78 percent of Americans’ daily financial transactions are handled with credit or debit cards, compared to only 9 percent with cash.  If you don’t afford potential customers the chance to pay for your goods or services with a card, chances are they are going to walk away from the transaction. As soon as you establish a viable business, you should immediately think about how you can accept credit cards in order to reach the widest number of people. Due offers credit card processing and support at highly competitive rates, so they are a great place to start.

Go Mobile

Another growing trend in financial transactions is mobile payments. More and more Americans are using digital wallets to pay or receive payment for goods and services, and this trend is even higher among millennials. Giving customers the option to pay for goods and services electronically is yet another way to broaden your opportunity to make sales and improve your cash flows. E-payments can also help you get paid faster, too. By testing invoices out at the point of sale, you can also give your customers a way to leverage their mobile technology to receive a bill, then immediately pay it as well. Due’s e-cash services are a great way to use mobile technology to increase options for your customers, and to facilitate safe, fast payments for goods and services rendered.

Reward Loyalty

All your customers are important, but returning customers are the most valuable of all. A recent survey indicated that businesses earn approximately 40 percent of their revenue from repeat customers. Keeping customers returning again and again is therefore critical to the success of your business, and you should take it into consideration with your merchant services as well. You should consider establishing a customer loyalty card program that provides customers discounts for varying levels of activity. The Safeway Club Card and Barnes and Noble membership cards are examples of these, which offer return customers discounted prices. You should also consider redeemable discounts, or coupons printed on receipts during a previous sale, as another service to keep good customers coming back for more.

Consider Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency, or digitally encrypted currency, has been in the news for the past few years; it has also been adopted widely as a form of payment for transactions. Bitcoin, one of the most popular forms of cryptocurrency in use, is increasing in popularity again, indicating that it is here to stay. As younger people, especially millennials, continue to embrace innovative forms of payment and even currency, businesses that adopt alternative payment forms like cryptocurrency stand to gain a competitive advantage over their rivals. Future cryptocurrency transactions may also be able to integrate discounts and coupon codes as well, and can be used to eliminate brokerage requirements people are seeking to avoid. These features will undoubtedly make these types of payment options even more attractive for your customers.

William Lipovsky owns the personal finance website First Quarter Finance. His most embarrassing moment was telling a Microsoft executive, "I'll just Google it."

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