For entrepreneurs and small businesses, offering digital payment options to consumers can give a leg up against their larger competitors. Here’s how:
Increasing the speed of the sale. Digital payments mean that money is transferred from the consumer to the business almost immediately. Small businesses don’t have to wait for the funds to come through days later, rather they have access to that money right away to invest it where needed.
Accepting digital payments also helps lines move along faster. Rather than each customer having to insert a card and enter a PIN – or count out their pocket change – a tap of their mobile phone is all that’s needed to complete the transaction. Less waiting ultimately means a better customer experience and more customers served.
Insight into consumer preferences. Digital payments generate real-time data that can help an entrepreneur maintain a competitive advantage and improve the customer experience. This data can give an entrepreneur insight into consumer preferences like what time of day a sale is most likely to occur and which items are likely to be purchased together, allowing for tailoring of customer communications and advertising. In addition, deals and promotions that cater to the customer base can be developed. All of this equals a more tailored, personal and relevant experience with the brand.
Convenience. Ultimately, all consumers are looking for convenience, and enabling digital payments certainly makes for a more seamless payment experience. You don’t have to rely to a POS system that’s plugged into a computer with mobile payments. Rather, a payment can happen online or on-the-go using a mobile device.
Safety and security. Security is paramount to the digital payment experience. For as long as people have been paying for goods and services, fraud has existed. It once took the form of fraudulent cash or card fraud, but as payments moved to digital, so did fraud. Now, digital payments are actually the safest way to pay – for both the consumer and the business owner due to all the security steps that take place out-of-site from the consumer.
Digital payments improve so many aspects of a business, from customer convenience, online shopping applications, safety and customer insights. Businesses big and small will continue to progress through digital adoption.
Iain McLean is the Senior Vice President of Canada Market Development at Mastercard.
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