According to research, around 89 percent of retail transaction volume comes from in-store payments, with debit and credit cards establishing themselves as the leading payment methods. This makes one thing very clear. If you need to grow your business and serve your target market, then you need to have proper merchant services in place. Only then will you be able to tap into the real buying potential of your target audience and sell your products to the scale you want.
But with the evolving requirements of modern finance and the advancements in payment solutions, it is not enough for a payment platform to simply accept debit and credit cards. It has to go beyond that practice. It’s one reason why you need to look into modern solutions that provide you with a certain edge against your competitors.
From data analytics to integrated payment platform services, here is everything that you need to consider while choosing payment processing platforms for your business.
Put Integrated Payments At the Forefront
While payments through debit and credit card processing lead to the charge in retail transactions, it doesn’t mean that they are the only mode of payment for modern business.
You now have to pay attention to various payment methods from a variety of avenues. It should come as no surprise that many customers still choose to pay via cash in-store, but now some make their payments using gift cards. If you also have an online store, then they may decide to place their orders over your e-commerce website and pay through there. With the rise of mobile payments, some customers now want to complete purchases via their mobile devices.
If your business has multiple storefronts, then you also need to consider the scale on which you accept these payments as you need to take those physical locations into account.
Consolidating payments from all these avenues isn’t easy. It requires extensive data entry, it needs additional hours by your employees, and it leaves room for human error in managing your finances.
As a modern way of accepting and consolidating payments from different avenues, integrated merchant services make it easy for you to operate and manage your retail operations.
Whether you manage multiple storefronts or if you accept more than one payment method at your business, your integrated payment services can consolidate revenues from all payment channels. This approach makes your payment management more efficient, all while eliminating any room for errors.
This approach includes payments from various methods, different locations, and even your online store. These revenues are shown into one easy-to-use interface, which lets you examine all your incoming transactions and their source.
When used via reliable payment processing platforms, these integrated solutions can also sync with your financial books automatically. This makes payment management even easier and lets you keep track of your finances in real-time. It also allows you to compare different payment channels and lets you know which avenue is generating the most income for your business.
Due to all these features of management and data analytics, you must put integrated payment solutions at the top of your list of requirements while shopping for payment services.
Don’t Ignore Mobile Payments
Mobile payments are becoming the future of retail payments.
Whether they refer to the tap-to-pay mechanism through smartphones, scanning QR codes at your cash register, or using wireless equipment in place of traditional point of sale (POS) terminals, mobile transactions are gradually taking over the world of modern payments.
If you need your business to scale in the face of evolving technology, then you need a service that accepts mobile debit and credit card processing methods.
Since mobile payments refer to a variety of transaction methods, you must look into its different modes and decide what kind of mobile solutions you need.
For instance, if you simply operate through a brick-and-mortar store, then getting tap to pay and scan to pay solutions will be a great idea. But if you also do deliveries, then looking into wireless payment devices will be the way to go.
The best way to go about it is to look for payment processing platforms that are paying attention to mobile payments. From there, you can discuss your requirements with them and choose the best mobile solution for your business.
The process may sound daunting at first. But it is super easy if you find a credible merchant services provider who is willing to understand your needs and deploy services that are a perfect fit for you.
Keep Data Analytics in Mind
Another modern advancement in payment solutions that you need to keep in mind is data analysis. It may sound like a value-added feature at first. But it serves a higher purpose and is crucial to scaling your business according to your expectations.
By now, you know how an integrated payment platform can consolidate your payments and help you check your revenues through multiple avenues. But through the usage of proper payment data analysis, you can take this feature to a whole new level.
Payment data analysis puts a modern spin on payment management. Simply put, it uses different advancements in data science to help you understand your business’ status in your target market.
The right analysis takes into account all your transactions done via cash, gift card, debit card, and credit card processing. From there, it changes these transactions into easily readable data points through the power of visualization.
By the usage of different graphs and charts, you can see your revenues from multiple channels. But that’s not all. You can also zero down to the performance of specific products, loyalty programs, and your customers’ response to your store during different times of the year.
All of this leads you to get a good grasp of your target audience and your business’ performance. As a result, you can make better business decisions that help you with your product launches, your discount programs, and the management of different avenues.
The key here is to find payment processing platforms that help you get the most out of your data analysis. With most modern payment providers paying immense attention to this aspect, it is not difficult to find merchant services that come with powerful data analytics tools.
Keep the Costs in Mind
While shopping for features is fun, the joy of using the latest technology can dissipate quickly when the costs put a dent in your profits.
This aspect is why you must keep your costs in mind while choosing between debit and credit card processing solutions. Remember that this doesn’t mean that you have to give up on modern features.
It only serves as a reminder that you shouldn’t pay sky-high costs for features that you can easily find at affordable prices through different vendors. You just have to look a bit harder for them.
While looking for a common or integrated payment platform, make sure to look through different providers and make a note of their costs. Depending upon the kind of solutions you need, you will most likely have to keep the following charges in mind.
- Setup Fee
- Equipment Fee
- Monthly Fee/Service Fee
- Transaction Fee
- Credit Card Processor Fee
It is also prudent to remember that these costs depend entirely upon the payment processor. You will be surprised to see that while some payment processors make it a point to charge premium prices for even the most basic services, other providers offer the same services without any charges.
The best way to go about it is to request specific quotes from different payment processing platforms. Since the costs depend upon the value proposition of each payment processor and how they are trying to make their mark in this competitive market, it is best to compare each processor’s features as well as their credibility side by side. You can think of it as your own data analytics experiment and have fun doing the research.
Doing this small activity saves you high costs in the long run. This is why, even if it sounds like an additional task, make sure that you follow through on it while choosing a merchant services provider.
Offering debit and credit card processing come with a certain sense of responsibility. The method doesn’t only ask your customers for their financial information, but it essentially asks them to trust you with their finances.
Thankfully, you no longer have to go through intense banking requirements to sign up with payment processing platforms. Modern security and insurance features make sure that you, your business, as well as your customers, are protected in case of any involuntarily accepted fraudulent transactions. This takes the financial responsibility off of your shoulders. But you still have a certain sense of responsibility to protect your customers’ data any way you can.
Fortunately, making use of these features doesn’t require you to invest heavily in security infrastructure yourself. You just need to find credible merchant services providers whose backend systems come equipped with all the security mechanisms you need.
As a rule of thumb, any conventional or integrated payment platform will always come with the assurance of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
By using highly secure mechanisms to process payments, this information security standard makes sure that your customers’ data is protected from the harmful reach of malicious parties. It is crucial to check that your service provider complies with this standard before you choose them to conduct your business transactions.
With it, looking at additional security mechanisms such as modern equipment and encryption of data is also something that you should keep in mind at all times. Once again, the best way to move forward with this is to ask direct questions from each payment processor. This improvement gets you accurate answers and helps you make informed decisions.
Our modern merchant services at Stax complies with all security guidelines. Whether you need an integrated payment platform, online payment processing, data analytics, or mobile payments, our solutions can be the perfect fit for all your needs.
To learn more about how the Stax all-in-one platform can help your business, reach out to a Payments Consultant and request a savings quote today. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and help you benefit from our modern payment solutions to grow your business.