As we near the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, it’s apparent that the latest payment trends that took place at swift speeds are here to stay.
The most common changes businesses are implementing include contactless payments, ‘buy now, pay later’ options, and increased security protection. In short, small businesses need to cater to customers in the areas they need it most – they want to stay safe, yet still conduct business as usual.
According to Visa’s “Back to Business Study,” more than 80 percent of small businesses changed the way they accepted payments and/or did business. The study also found that business owners are still looking for ways to implement new strategies to protect consumers from fraudulent transactions, accept contactless payments, and offer additional payment opportunities.
What Most Businesses are Doing Today
- Contactless payments – The largest surge of payment changes are how merchants collect payments. In-person swipe or chip cards aren’t nearly as common as contactless payment options. In the summer of 2020, only 20 percent of small businesses offered contactless payments. Today, that number is at 40 percent of businesses and climbing.
- Increased digital payment options – Many small businesses also reported meeting customers where they are – online. Most customers want to do business digitally to avoid unnecessary contact that could put them at risk. Whether that means curbside pickup or home delivery options, many small businesses are adapting to what consumers need.
- Protecting against fraud – Protecting against fraudulent transactions is the key to successful business transactions. Many businesses still have a long way to go in this department, but many businesses are going in the right direction.
Why Contactless Payments are so Important
Many businesses focused first on mask use in-store, which is a large concern. But consumers have more concerns than the airborne risk not wearing a mask poses. They want to know they’re protected from all shared devices which include pens, credit card machines, and handling cash.
Offering contactless payment options for credit card processing keeps your customers safe and gives them a reason to come back. If they don’t feel supported or validated in their concerns, they’ll take their business elsewhere.
What Else are Businesses Doing?
Besides the precautions taking place in the store with credit card processing and avoiding shared devices, customers want an online shopping option too.
Businesses that didn’t sell anything online are now online. According to the Visa study, in the summer of 2020, only 27 percent of small businesses jumped online, while by winter of 2020 43 percent of businesses are online and the number keeps growing.
Small businesses that want to see their business through to the end of this pandemic must meet the customer where they are. The trends that the pandemic started aren’t going to go away when the pandemic dies down. Instead, it will be the ‘new normal’ for most consumers, so the sooner you jump on the bandwagon, the more your business will grow.