Contactless and online payments are becoming popular during Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Small and medium businesses (SMEs) are seriously hit during the coronavirus pandemic. Rents are piling up and bills are coming through mail along with all the other essential expenses of running a business. The only thing missing is “customers” and hence the cash flow.
With job cuts and salary reductions, people have started to reduce their spending to avoid draining their savings too soon. Lockdown and reduced working hours are also making it difficult for merchants to cope up with the situation.
Along with low sales, the issue of delayed payments from clients is worrisome for business owners. Here we will look at the options businesses can use to speedup and increase the payments from customers.
Contactless payment systems are credit cards and debit cards, key fobs, smart cards, or other devices, including smartphones and other mobile devices, that use radio-frequency identification (RFID) or near field communication (NFC, e.g. Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Fitbit Pay, or any bank mobile application that supports contactless) for making secure payments.
Governments and banks are urging people to use contactless payment systems as precautionary measure to reduce handling of cash during coronavirus pandemic.
Research indicates that shoppers may end up spending more money with credit cards than they would with cash. In a study, MIT researchers found that shoppers spend up to 100% more when using credit card to pay instead of cash. This is good for you as business owner. Offer them the option of card payment and enjoy that increase in revenue.
Contactless is when you don’t have to swipe the card through the terminal instead the card just needs to be tapped on the terminal. Contactless is also when you use Google Pay, Samsung Pay or Apple Pay to make payments. Contactless payment is considered more hygiene friendly as less human contact is done through the process.
If you already have a POS terminal but it isn’t RFID and/or NFC enabled and so does not support contactless payment, you can contact your acquiring bank to replace the terminal with newer model which supports contactless payment option.
Most banks had put a limit on Contactless payment amount to ensure further security. It is known as Cardholder Verification Limit (CVM limit). Due to coronavirus pandemic, banks have increased the contactless payment CVM limit. In UK, contactless payment limit is raised to £45. In UAE, shoppers can pay up to 500 AED contactless. In Canada you can now pay upto CA$250 through contactless mode.
E-commerce (Online Store)
Buying and selling of products over the internet is know as E-commerce. With the advancements in IT field, major retailers have opened their online stores and are offering shoppers the facility of shopping from the ease of their home.
If you are struggling to get customers in your shop, you should bring you shop to customers doorstep or shall we say to their browser. Although you will have to spend some hard earned money to start your online store but with right strategy and online marketing techniques, you will start getting orders that your business will need to survive during these difficult times.
You can offer online payment or payment on delivery options.
If you want to offer online payment option to your customers, you will have to integrate a payment gateway in to your website. The payment gateway may be provided by a bank or by a specialized financial service provider. Banks will give merchant API of the gateway which will be integrated in to the website. Once the testing of API is done, live credentials are given and you are good to go.
If you are selling products or services for which the prices are not fixed and you can not display generic prices then a payment gateway won’t work for you. Don’t worry. There is a solution for it as well. It is called Raised Invoice. Your customer requests for some products or services. You send him quotation which is approved. Now you will generate an online invoice and send it to your customer as a link via email or any other electronic messaging service. The customer will click on the link which will take him/her to the payment page. Once the card details are entered and processed, payment will be transferred to your account and you can start dispatching the products.
Conventional ways of running a business are not enough any more. Businesses must adapt to the changing conditions. All methods including card payment, contactless payment, online payment and payment on delivery should be used by merchants and businesses to keep the cash flow required for their businesses.
But the magic word is “Contactless, contactless, contactless…