More and more merchants are asking us about alternative payments: what they are, how to accept them, and which ones to adopt.
And that’s a good thing.
It means business owners are in tune with their customers’ changing preferences. Fewer customers are carrying cash on them, and more people are becoming debt adverse and avoiding credit cards. Some don’t even want to carry around wallets anymore!
Instead, they’re adopting alternative payment methods. And they love stores that allow them to pay their way.
If you’re thinking about accepting alternative payments, like WeChat Pay, Alipay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay, here are some do’s and don’ts to get you started.
Do: Work with a merchant services provider that can help you accept alternative payments
First things first, reach out to your merchant services provider and ask what types of payments you can start offering. If your current provider doesn’t offer much, it might be a good idea to switch to one who does. Because, really, alternative payments are the future.
In fact, it’s predicted that mobile wallet payments will overtake credit card use online by 2023.
Some providers are more innovative than others. Some keep up with payment trends better than others. The last thing you want is for your provider to hinder your business growth by limiting your options. Ideally, your provider should offer a wide variety of payment options, both online and in store, for you to choose from.
Do: Upgrade your payment technology
If you’ve been using the same credit card machines for years, you might quickly realize that your hardware doesn’t have the capability to accept most or all alternative payment options.
Your best bet is to upgrade to smart payment terminals, which can help you offer customers more ways to pay. Smart payment terminals like Poynt, Ingenico Move5000, and PAX A920 can accept magnetic swipe and chip and PIN payments as well as contactless.
You’re going to want to ensure you don’t need a separate terminal to accept alternative payment methods. Work with a merchant services provider that integrates alternative payment acceptance directly on the same terminal as traditional credit and debit payments.
Do: Accept a wide variety of payment methods
If you only use Apple Pay when you’re shopping, you might think that’s all you should offer. But everyone has their own preferences, so it’s a good idea to offer as many options as possible to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty. Not only should you offer Apple Pay, G Pay and Samsung Pay, but consider PayPal, Bitcoin, and Interac e-transfers too.
The good news is you typically only pay per successful transaction, so you really only pay fees when a customer actually uses the payment method. You have nothing to lose by accepting them all for customer convenience.
Do: Accept the same payment methods online and in store
As part of a great omnichannel experience, it’s important to offer a consistent buying experience online and in store. That means if customers can pay with Samsung Pay on your ecommerce site, they should be able to pay with the same method in store, too.
It’ll help reduce friction and frustration.
Don’t: Ignore preferred local payment options
Offering the right payment methods increases your chances of successful conversions. You want it to be easy for customers to complete the checkout process.
So, what’s the right payment method? It often comes down to location. Defining your target market properly is going to be key here. If you’re mostly serving Canadians, then you’re definitely going to want to offer Interac services. If you have a large US customer base, then mobile wallets should be accepted, for sure. And if you’re serving a large Chinese market, then WeChat Pay, Alipay, and Union Pay are a must.
Don’t: Forget to promote alternative payment acceptance
Some customers might ask if you accept Apple Pay during checkout. But others might not (even though they’d prefer to pay that way). It’s up to you to make the paying experience better by ensuring your customers know what payment methods you offer. Put up signs in store and add logos to your checkout page online, so you can be sure customers understand all their payment options.
Alternative payments are the way of the future (and these stats prove it). Follow these do’s and don’ts when adopting them for your business.