The checkout and payment process for customers of your small business should be as convenient and as smooth as possible, no matter what products or services you’re selling or where you sell. Accepting card payments is a minimum requirement and expectation for small businesses today, with many customers who won’t think twice about going elsewhere if a business has ‘cash only’ signs. Cash might be a convenient payment option for you, but for many customers who don’t carry cash on them, it can be a nightmare to have to go and find an ATM just to be able to buy something from a business that they like. Here are some of the top reasons why your small business should be accepting card payments ASAP.

1.      Improve Your Reputation

No business owner wants to be seen as old-fashioned and behind the times, but that’s exactly the message that you are sending by not accepting card payments. Most of today’s customers are used to paying for anything and everything using their debit or credit card and making use of contactless payments or smartphone wallets like Apple Pay. A ‘cash only’ sign on a business door can easily make you feel like you’ve been transported back to the ‘90s when card payments weren’t as popular. Giving customers the option to pay by card will bring you back to the present and make sure that you are giving the right impression to customers that you are a modern and up-to-date brand.

2.      Improve Customer Experience

Accepting card payments can greatly enhance the customer experience in several different ways. Not only are card payments more convenient, so customers don’t have to worry about getting cash out or making sure that they have enough cash with them, but it can also help to improve factors like in-store waiting times. When customers can pay by card, you can reduce the amount of time spent queuing, since the customers in front can pay quickly with their debit or credit card or even their smartphone in just a couple of seconds, compared to the time that it can take to count out cash and wait for change.

3.      Encourage More Spending

Every business owner wants their customers to spend more money at their company. But when you are limiting your customers to making only cash payments, you’re also reducing the amount of money that your business is able to make. Along with the fact that customers who don’t have cash on them and aren’t willing to get cash out simply won’t be able to spend anything at your business, you will also be restricting each transaction to the amount of cash that the customer can afford to spend at that time. On the other hand, accepting card payments makes it easier for customers to buy more without having to worry about if they have enough cash on them to cover it.

4.      Reduce Work for Yourself

Accepting cash might be convenient at the start but over the long-term, it can actually become a lot more work for yourself as the business owner. When you only accept cash payments, you’ll need to make regular trips to the bank to deposit the payment, which can easily add up to hours and hours of your time over a few weeks or months. Instead, offering a card reader for customers to make payments to means that the money can be directly sent to your business bank account or merchant account. UTP Merchant Services is an ideal choice for card machines as they offer a Faster Processing time compared to many of their competitors, allowing you to access the funds in just a matter of hours rather than a few business days. And, they offer card payments in partnership with Barclaycard so that you can be sure of a trusted, reliable, and reputable service. Find out more at https://www.utpgroup.co.uk/

5.      Improve Security

Only accepting cash payments for your business can easily turn into a security risk. Along with the fact that your company might be carrying more cash than most on-site, making it more attractive to thieves, you’ll also need to think about where you are going to safely store all that money. And, it’s not difficult for would-be criminals to find out that you carry a lot of cash on-site; all they need to do is try and pay with a card to find out that you only accept cash. Of course, you could take the cash off the premises and store it at home or somewhere else before you take it to the bank, but that will again put you at risk of theft personally. Businesses that only accept cash can quickly become very easy targets for criminals, and accepting card payments is a far more secure way of doing things.

6.      Getting Set Up is Easy

The good news is that getting set up with taking card payments is easier than ever. There are several different merchants and card processing companies to consider, so it’s worth sitting down and thinking about the needs, requirements and preferences of your business before you decide which ones are right for you and where to get quotes from. Setting up can often be done in a matter of hours and you’ll be able to start accepting card payments from your customers right away. There’s a range of physical equipment available to choose from, too; you might need a POS system with built-in card readers, for example, or portable card readers for table service in a restaurant.

7.      Take Online Payments

Another option that you will be able to uncover when you start accepting card payments for your small business is the ability to take payments online. Most card merchant services will offer both in-person and online merchant options so that you can take payments in either way. This can be ideal if you are thinking of moving to sell your products online, or run a restaurant and want to take advance deposits or online payments for takeaway products. Today, it’s never been more important for businesses to have a strong online presence and the fact that you’re selling online will do even more to boost your reputation and improve your relationship with your customers.

8.      Gather Customer Data

Last but not least, taking card payments for your business will also help you improve your marketing campaign. Unlike paying with cash, paying with a card or a smartphone leaves a data trail that you will be able to take advantage of to find out more about your customers and make better, more informed marketing decisions in the future. The data that your card payment system will generate will reveal important facts about your customers’ spending habits and general trends, which will enable you to make more effective marketing decisions and tailor your future strategies. And, since the marketing will be more specific with a target in mind, this information will also enable you to save money on spreading the word, compared to marketing that is more general and to a wider audience.

If your business is not accepting credit card payments, you are selling yourself short. Accepting card payments isn’t just better for customers and expected by them today, but it also provides a range of further important benefits for your business.

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