cash only

Any business, in any environment, needs to evolve with the technology and trends that dominate the era.  Otherwise, they’ll end up like the dozens of national retailers who’s name and logo our parents and grandparents can only recognize.  Your business’s payment solutions are not exempt from this process.

While the neighborhood pizza parlor may still have the “cash only” sign on the door, they would be best served to jump on the digital payment bandwagon.  Only then will you be providing the highest quality customer experience.

Due’s Payment Solutions

Due’s debit and credit card payment processing solutions have simplified invoicing.  This comes to the rescue of the average small business owner who is wearing the proverbial 5 hats at a time.

Not only does it provide a platform of digital payment for you and your clients, its ease of use is the real takeaway.  It will take you all of just a few minutes to get up and going.

They are currently offering a 2.8% processing fee, as well as a price match if you can find a better deal.  Due even offers incentives as your small business isn’t so small anymore.

If your annual revenues exceed $250,000, custom rates can apply.  In addition to these benefits, Due also offers the following perks with no additional fees:

  • Offline and online processing
  • Gift-card processing
  • Reports and analytics
  • Fraud prevention
  • Live account monitoring
  • Instant deposit
  • Deposits on demand
  • Chargeback protection

As noted on their website, research has shown that invoices get paid up to 11 times faster when using credit cards.  Any accountant will tell you that a speedy turnaround of accounts receivable is the lifeblood of any business.

Anything that improves cash flow will improve the health of your company.  One of the main reasons business failure rates are so high is because many entrepreneurs mismanage their cash flow.  Keep that in mind if you’re thinking about payment and invoice solutions.

PayPal

With an active user base of 192 million, PayPal is the O.G. of Fintech.  They were the first to make it that we can easily transfer money in digital form. PayPal is a true pioneer of the industry, which is why millennials may laugh at you if you don’t offer it as a payment option.

After all, the only thing you need to get started is an email address.

Each step in the transaction process will prompt an email notification.  As soon as the payment has been credited to your PayPal account, you will be notified by email.  Normal transactions will take about 1 business day to transfer to your bank if that’s what you’d like to do.

Otherwise, you may leave it in your PayPal account for future use.  All your transactions are stored in your account History, so you can keep track of them.

The processing cost is currently 2.9% plus other additional fees.  Point of sale (POS) processing is now at 2.7%

Click here for further information on setting up and managing your PayPal account.

Bitcoin

Though a bit futuristic to some, Bitcoin is a very real option being utilized right now.  With the world’s Libertarian trend growing stronger by the day, its anonymity alone may increase your bottom line.

Since Bitcoin is not tied to any government or regulation, its cost to use is very cheap.  Furthermore, it doesn’t discriminate per domestic or international transaction. That is one of its most attractive characteristics, in and of itself.

One of the more popular places to get started with Bitcoin is the CoinBase exchange.  There, is where you’ll set up your digital wallet.

There are apps, special bitcoin wallets, and bitcoin cards where your customers can spend in USD currency.  Regarding Bitcoin cards, you must be wary of online scams targeting your personal information.

According to Weusecoins.com, below are the five Bitcoin Debit Cards you can suggest for your clients to use:

  1. SpectroCoin Visa Debit Card
  2. BitPay Visa Debit Card
  3. Xapo Debit Card
  4. Coinbase Shift Card
  5. Bitwala Visa Debit Card

On the business end of things, there are POS programs, QRcodes, touch screen apps, and even some payment processors for payment solutions.  To process with POS hardware, the following list shows 2 viable options where you can find custom integrated hardware that can use Bitcoin:

  1. Coinkite
  2. XBTerminal

At this moment, don’t get too caught up into the logistics of how Bitcoin itself works, that may take months.  In short, it is a currency backed by an algorithm rather than a government.

Click here for accounting considerations when accepting Bitcoin as payment.

Google/Apple Wallet

Google/Apple Wallet are both touted for ease of use.  While customers simply scan or type their card information, then they can use their phone like a credit or debit card.   Though the user base is hard to estimate, it is best guessed between 20-30 million for both Google/Apple wallets.

At the moment, Sole Proprietorship’s benefit most from a business standpoint, as large corporations cannot use google wallet directly. Note that a W-9 will be required from Google if you meet certain volume parameters ($20,000 or 200 transactions).

However, if your establishment accepts credit cards, then your clientele will simply tap their phone on the designated part of your card reader and they’ll go on from there.  Click here for a beginners guide to Google Wallet.

Square

Square comes in the form of a cell phone attachment.  It’s been easily turning your smartphone into a portable credit card processing machine since 2010.  I’d struggle to think their founders didn’t know they had something valuable on their hands early on.

In just its second year in existence, Square processed over 2 billion transactions.

Square is particularly useful in person, but online and digital solutions have more than taken advantage of the product.  Its processing costs are very competitive at 2.75% per swipe.  Get started and they’ll send you a FREE reader.

When you get yours in the mail, check out Square’s beginners guide to help you get on your way.

Venmo

Venmo was recently purchased by PayPal, though it is still quite unique.

As noted on Recode.net, “Payment volume for the popular money-transfer app, now owned by PayPal, grew 154 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2016 to $3.2 billion.  That’s up from $1.26 billion in the same quarter last year.”

Those are the kind of numbers that make Fintech such a hot industry.  With over 550,000 users, it still has more room to grow.

With its slightly higher credit card processing fee of 3%, it’s more popular as a digital wallet since there is no fee to transfer money between individuals.

To reiterate its room for growth, Venmo has only started servicing vendors in 2016.  You can see their list of partners here.

The app’s social media feature is built in as a FEED.  Users can see what their peers are purchasing, in turn creating an easy to manipulate marketplace of automatic marketing per purchase.

Millennials are currently driving its trends, as they use it to pay their friends back for pizza and beer.

That being said, some pay their utilities, rent, and car expenses with it.

Final Thought

Some of the names mentioned above may or may not have been familiar to you, either way, entrepreneurs cannot ignore the need for payment solutions.  Some businesses need updates, while others need a complete overhaul.

Decide where you fit in, don’t let this technological revolution pass you by.

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Eric Estevez is a freelance writer, blogger, finance coach, and tax accountant. He has been training in the grappling art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since 2010, currently holding the rank of Purple Belt. JiuJitsuFinance.com combines his passion and life's work where he teaches you how to do Financial Jiu-Jitsu! The blog focuses on financial literacy, as well as current financial issues for all ages.

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