Owning your business means having control of where, how and when you work —but only to the extent that you’re armed with the tools that facilitate such flexibility. Here’s a look at some of the benefits payments on the go can offer your business model.
Location doesn’t have to impact your business potential. Regardless of the products or services you sell, you’re more likely to realize consistent revenue opportunities when you expand the breadth of your customer base, including doing business across the country, and potentially, internationally. Incorporating mobile payments on the go into your business model equips you for expanded reach, nullifying the limitations of physical location. Accepting payments on the go also allows you to process credit or debit card payments from customers who are physically with you, as well as those located in a different time zone, with whom you communicate by phone only. Further, when you offer customers the ability to pay with credit, you’re not at the mercy of their cash flow — or burdened by differences in international currency.
Potential to overcome buyer hesitancy. Marketing your small business often involves a greater hurdle than simply persuading customers you’ve got a superior product or service. It also means convincing them that your business will be around long term, guaranteeing that you stand behind your products and services. Mobile payments empower you to overcome such customer hesitancy. When customers can pay securely using the credit card of their choice, they have the peace of mind that their purchase is backed by whatever protections and extended warranties their credit card issuer may provide.
Reduced infrastructure costs. Though there’s plenty of scientific evidence to support the business benefits of accepting credit cards, including the fact that customers tend to spend more readily with credit than cash. But doing so once required businesses to invest in point of sale terminal systems, along with supporting equipment, like receipt printers and tape, to complete such transactions. With payments on the go, the devices that you may already own — like a smartphone or tablet — are all you need to start processing secure customer payments once you’ve established an account with a mobile payment merchant. If you choose to “swipe” customer credit or debit cards for customers buying in person, simply plug the dongle (which many mobile payment processors provide free of charge) into the headphone jack of the mobile device. (It’s small enough to travel in your pocket once the transaction is complete). If you don’t wish to carry any additional equipment, you can also process customer’s mobile payments manually through the payment providers secure app that you download to your device. As for providing a receipt? Payments on the go allow you to email the proof of purchase to the customer, or send it via text — no printing equipment needed.
Improved cash flow. In one Bank of America study conducted among small-business owners, 45 percent of respondents ranked lack of cash flow as their top business concern, despite the access they had to lines and loan of credit. Regardless of how timely your customers are in making payments, payments made by paper checks inherently introduce time delays to your accounts receivables process, tying cash flow that could be used to grow your business. Not only is there time associated with the preparation and mailing of paper-based invoices, you must wait to receive mailed payments, take checks to your bank to deposit — and then wait for the checks to clear and become part of your available account balance.
Aside from the inconvenience, such payment inefficiency exposes your business to further cash flow constraints if you’re frequently on the road. When you accept mobile payments, you can manage your AR processes from anywhere, and expedite your businesses’ access to available cash. Funds your business is owed following transaction approval are transferred to your bank account electronically, in about 24 to 72 hours by your payment processor, less the nominal fees (which are typically based on transaction amount).
Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a credit card processing firm. She has more than 20 years experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management and marketing.