From the blog Every Payment Option Your Business Should Offer And Why

When you’re running a small business, it’s important to be as welcoming as possible. From street signage and lighting, to store layout and counter placement, each element plays a role. And the payment options you provide are key.

Regardless of what you sell, it’s important to cater to your customers. They expect a range of choices at the checkout.

The world of payments has changed a lot over recent years, and not all businesses are keeping up. You can no longer run a business on cash and cards alone. Cashless payments are on the rise.

You can’t ignore the old favorites. But digital payment options provide greater flexibility than ever before.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of different payment options to get your business ready for 2020.

The world of payments has changed a lot over recent years, and not all businesses are keeping up. You can no longer run a business on cash and cards alone.


When we’re talking about payments, we might as well start at the beginning. Cash was the default payment option for centuries and is still in wide circulation. Cash enables quick and easy transactions, and it requires no technology at all.

Accepting cash has a very low barrier of entry. It requires no equipment or expertise. Just a cash register and basic arithmetic skills.

That said, cash payments are on the decline. Cash is still an important option for American consumers. But it’s no longer the preferred payment method. According to a recent survey, 54% of consumers preferred debit cards, 26% chose credit cards, and only 14% preferred cash.

The importance of cash has an inverse relationship with your average transaction size.

Vendors operating in the property and automotive industries will rarely see a cash transaction. But coffee shops and market stalls rely on this medium every single day. In other words, the smaller the average transaction, the more likely a customer is to use cash.

Adding cash to your setup is easy. Simply buy a reliable cash register and implement a receipt system so you can meet your tax obligations.

Cash has a very low barrier of entry. It requires no equipment other than a cash register and basic arithmetic skills.

Credit cards

Credit card payments are standard in the 21st century. Some customers expect credit card options for everything. Even the smallest transactions.

On the upside, adding credit card options to your business is relatively easy. You’ll need a merchant account and a card reader.

A merchant account allows you to accept credit card payments, and a card reader physically connects your store to your account. You can work with an all-in-one provider. Or you can select separate point-of-sale (POS) software systems to manage transactions.

Working with a dedicated payment provider is the best way to access top-of-the-line POS equipment and 24/7 customer service.

EMV chips

EMV stands for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa. These three platforms are the biggest names in chip-based transactions.

EMV chips offer numerous benefits to small businesses. We’re talking improved security, greater control, and wider market acceptance. EMV chips are slowly taking over from magnetic strips and other authentication systems.

EMV chips are much more secure than magnetic strip technology. They’re also much easier for cashiers to use. They don’t rely on signatures or visual card inspection. Chip and PIN systems are often used to provide authentication, with tap systems increasingly available around the world.

Plus, it’s the law. (Sort of.) EMV compliance is the new standard set by card member associations and is regulated within the industry. What does that mean? If you don’t use EMV chip readers, you’re taking on practically all of the potential fraud liability, leaving your business in a much higher state of risk.

Adding EMV to your existing card payment system is relatively straightforward, especially when you work with a trusted payment provider. All you have to do is add new in-store technology to read the chips and integrate internal processing systems that comply with new liability rules.

EMV chips have become standard in the United States over the last few years.

App-based payments

While cash and cards continue to be the popular choice among consumers, the introduction of app-based payments has dramatically changed the landscape over recent years.

Options like Apple Pay and Google Pay are getting more popular all the time, with early adoption a good idea for most merchants.

Apple Pay has already outpaced the Starbucks mobile app as the most popular mobile payment system in the United States. If you want to get started with digital payments, simply speak with your payment provider to make sure you have the right POS equipment.

55 million people used mobile payments in the US in 2018, representing 20.2% of the population.

Apple Pay 

This app-based payment solution can be used in-store, online, or peer-to-peer as Apple Cash via the Messages app. Because it’s embedded in Apple products, customers don’t need to download any extra software to get started.

As a merchant, accepting Apple Pay is even easier than cash and more secure than credit or debit cards. If you already have a contactless POS terminal, simply contact your payment provider and make sure it’s configured to accept Apple Pay Cash.

Google Pay

Google recently merged Android Pay and Google Wallet into a single service known as Google Pay. This works much like Apple Pay, only it integrates with Google software instead of iOS software.

Your customers just tap and pay using their mobile device, using a process called tokenization. As long as you have the right terminal, you can enjoy better security, faster transactions, and happier customers.

Gift cards

Regardless of your business or industry, the humble gift card is a great way to make a sale.

Along with being a functional and secure way to receive payments, gift cards also help promote customer loyalty and support long-term branding. Gift cards are used by big companies for good reason. Not only are they cheap and easy to produce, but they’re also easy for customers. They function much like cash.

Perhaps the best thing about gift cards is the seamless nature of implementation.

To get started, you’ll need to choose between certificates, barcode cards, magnetic strip cards, or electronic gift cards. Secure gift cards with magnetic-strips are advised for extra branding and protection.

The gift card market is expected to grow by 10% each year, from about $230 billion annually in 2015 to 730 billion in 2025. 

Final thoughts

As stores around the world deal with the challenges of online shopping and increased competition, it’s important to implement a diverse range of payment solutions.

Your job as a merchant is to make life as easy as possible for your customers.

If you’re ready to adopt new technologies and streamline the transaction process, reach out to your payment provider and let the experts walk you through it.

Are you ready to grow together?