Customers who shop at small retail shops or at outdoor venues such as farmers' markets, fairs, and other community events increasingly expect to pay for merchandise by debit or credit card.
Many times, especially in outdoor vendor booths, a land line is not available; this means you take only cash or invest in a mobile POS option.
With such expectations from the consumers rising, not accepting credit cards has the potential to turn customers away. So, you must now answer the question, should you use a mobile payment device for your business?
The Pros of Mobile Payments
Without a doubt, the greatest advantage of accepting credit card payment via a mobile device is the increased access to new customers. More than 75%of Americans have at least one credit card and often look for opportunities to buy things with it.
In fact, some customers dislike using cash except for mundane and inexpensive purchases. By accepting credit cards, you now have another way to attract customers who prefer to make non-cash transactions.
There was a time when accepting credit card payments meant that you needed a large, bulky machine and a dedicated phone line, one that usurped a business's ability to place or receive phone calls for however long the transaction took to complete. Not to mention, they often failed and required end-of-day bookkeeping, batch processing, and a host of other tasks so that the seller could "close" the day.
Today, technology has advanced to the point where anyone with a smartphone can accept a credit card payment. Simple devices attach to your smartphone, allowing cards to be swiped and processed.
Accepting credit cards used to be a costly undertaking. Vendors who had few customers would often have to pay higher rates when transaction volume decreased. Most merchant service providers of smartphone credit card applications charge a single low percentage rate for each transaction.
These providers also give businesses the smartphone attachment for free as well as the app that allows the smart mobile device to process the credit card transaction.
The Cons of Mobile Payments
If you have employees, some workday time will need to be spent training them on how to process a credit card transaction with your new mobile POS. However, the process is simple and should only need a brief training session.
While the technology for accepting credit cards on smart devices is excellent and the transactions have many security features including encryption, security breaches for a customer or a merchant are always possible. This may result in unauthorized access to the account. Though infrequent, merchants should be aware of this risk.
Overall, the opportunity to reach out to new customers by providing an up-to-date and convenient way to pay outweighs any risks associated with accepting credit card payments on a mobile device. Merchants who own smartphones or tablets should not hesitate to use technological advances to grow their business.
Photo credit: speckdesign.com
Bio: Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a credit card processing firm providing mobile credit card payment, and also serves on its Board of Directors. She has more than 15 years experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management and marketing.