1. The Card-Payment Trend
Brits like to pay by card. With so many convenient ways to pay and so many places welcoming cards, it’s no surprise that debit cards have overtaken cash as the most frequent way to pay in the UK1.
UK consumers made 13.2 billion debit card payments compared to 13.1 billion cash payments in 2017, says UK Finance. Contactless cards and mobile are helping to drive this digital transformation in payments.
Contactless payments in the UK increased by 97 percent in 2017 to 5.6 billion across both debit and credit cards2. When it’s so quick and convenient to dip, swipe or tap for everything from a bus ride to a morning coffee, consumers have just come to expect card payment as standard.
2. Is it Worth it?
If you’re weighing up whether to start accepting cards, have a think about how card payment could help you:
- Meet customer expectations
- Close more sales with no cash-on-hand limitations
- Avoid the cost and hassle of late payment, counterfeit cash and bounced cheques
- Stay open for business 24/7 if you trade online
- Make your business look professional
- Scale your business more easily
3. Where do I Start?
There are various card acceptance suppliers, pricing plans and terminal types, but how do you know what’s right for your business? It’s difficult to give specific advice as every business is different, but here are a few high-level considerations to help you get started.
How you trade: Think about how you trade today and how you see that developing in the future. There are different ways to accept cards – face-to-face, on a website, on the telephone – any or all of which may suit your business now and in 2-3 years’ time.
Estimate your card sales: Think about how many card sales you’ll do in a given period and the average transaction amount. Card acceptance providers will usually ask for these details. Having some rough figures in mind will also help you compare offers.
Equipment: Think about how you serve customers. Or how you’d like to serve them. This may help you narrow down your choice. All different types of terminals are available from counter-top to mobile, stand-alone to integrated with your till system.
Commercials: Various types of arrangements exist from contracts to pay-as-you-go models. To work out what’s right for your business, consider upfront costs, the length of the contract term, settlement terms and how a chosen supplier can help you with digital transformation elsewhere in your business. There’s more to card payment than getting paid.