Today’s world offers numerous payment options. You don’t need to carry cash anymore to make payments. In many stories, you don’t even need a wallet. Just wave your phone in front of a terminal and you can pay that way.
As a business owner, it’s important to understand that your clients and customers probably have many different ways to pay. As a result, you need to be sure that you offer enough payment options.
Why You Should Offer Multiple Payment Options
There’s a restaurant in my town that doesn’t take any form of payment other than cash. If I want to eat there, I have to double-check to see if I have enough cash. If I don’t have the cash, then I need to decide if I want to go to the bank and get cash. Some days, I don’t want to bother with it, so I just go to another restaurant instead.
A few months ago, the restaurant added an ATM so that customers could get cash on the premises. However, then you have to decide if it’s worth it to pay an extra fee to get cash out of the ATM.
When you limit payment choices for your customers, you make it more likely that they will go elsewhere, especially if they are looking for convenience. If they have preferred payment options, they will want to do business with someone who makes it easy for them.
The more payment options you offer, the more likely you are to appeal to a wider audience. You will have more business because your customers will find it convenient to work with you. The easier you make it for people to pay you, the more likely it is that you will have more money coming in.
Use a Payment Processor that Offers Multiple Options
Today, it’s possible to use payment processors that allow you to offer multiple payment options. I started using Due a few months ago, and it’s been great. My clients can easily pay me using the method of their choice. They can use a credit card or send money through PayPal. It’s also possible for them to mail me a check if they want. I will even set up ACH transfer with my clients who want to directly deposit money into my account.
It’s a great way to ensure that my clients are comfortable paying me in any way they want. I even have a Bitcoin wallet. That means that if someone wants to pay me using cryptocurrency, they can.
While a single payment processor may not be able to cover everything, it can easily facilitate credit cards and online payments at once, so you don’t need a separate merchant account. In today’s landscape, that makes a lot of good sense.
Finally, don’t forget about accepting physical credit cards. You can use payment systems that offer attachments to your mobile device so that you can swipe, even if you don’t have a set location for your business.
If you do have a brick and mortar store, don’t forget to consider terminals that allow your customers to wave their phones in front of the terminal. There are even stores that let you use PayPal at checkout now. This variety means that your customers can find that works for them, whether or not they have cash or card on them at the time.
What About P2P Payments?
Increasingly, businesses are also adding P2P payment options to their capabilities. Allowing someone to pay you with Venmo can make a lot of sense, especially if you want instant payment and you don’t want to have to worry about the equipment that comes with swiping.
PopMoney and Venmo can make accepting payments easy. All your customer needs to do is send the money right to you. It’s even possible for people to pay you through Facebook now. P2P payments are popular because they are relatively frictionless and you get paid instantly.
In some ways, cryptocurrencies can be considered P2P payments. You receive the currency directly from someone else for your services. The nice thing about accepting cryptocurrencies is that you can do it cheaply, and you don’t have to worry about exchange rates. If you do business around the world, this might be worth looking into.
Even just using a cryptocurrency as a payment rail can be useful. Even if all you do is “cash out” your cryptocurrency when you receive it, it can still be cheaper than the credit card transaction fees you pay, not to mention the exchange rate premium that might come with those credit cards.
Can You Offer Too Many Payment Options?
You do need to be careful that you aren’t overdoing it with payment options. When trying to decide which options to offer your customers, you need to think about whether or not it makes sense in terms of your cost.
I like Due because I can accept credit cards with a flat percentage rate for a transaction fee — and I don’t need to worry about setting up a separate merchant account. It doesn’t stop my clients from paying in other ways, and it isn’t too expensive. The cost is worth what I pay because it means more clients can work with me, paying in a way that’s convenient for them.
However, you might not be able to attract enough customers to make up for the increased costs. If that’s the case, you might need to limit the types of payment you accept. When you have too many systems and the fees are adding up, it might be time to change things up a little bit and limit payment options.
Before you make a move, though, it can make sense to talk to your customers to see what they prefer. You don’t want to remove a payment option that a significant amount of customers use. Likewise, if you feel like a fair number of clients or customers are asking for a specific payment option, it can make sense to add it.
Don’t run out and get a Bitcoin wallet just because cryptocurrencies are hot right now. Instead, find out if your customers want to pay using cryptocurrencies. If they do, it’s time to figure out how you can accept that form of payment.
In the end, it’s all about making sure that you can get paid. You want to be paid faster and you want more customers to be able to pay you. Even if you can’t add a lot of payment options at first, you can start by making it as easy as possible.
Think about what most of your customers and clients are likely to want in terms of payment options. As your business expands, continue to stay connected with your customers, learning what they prefer and making sure you allow them to pay in ways that are convenient for them.
With so many changes coming to the world of payments, and with so many options available, it’s no wonder that customers feel like they can handle money their way. Empower them to give you money in a way that makes it easy for them, and you might be surprised at how much business you end up with.