Are you working with an entrepreneur stretched too thin during the initial stages of their business? You’re not alone. In a study by Asana involving thousands of participants across the U.S., U.K., and Aus/NZ, nearly 82% of the workforce felt that it was overworked. Moreover, that statistic involved knowledge workers at all levels. It is safe to assume that the business owner, who often wears multiple hats every day, is the most overworked employee in a small business.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. With adequate planning in the early stages, business owners can reduce their workload considerably. One critical function that is key to the survival and growth of a business is payments. So, in this blog, we talk about the 15 best payment options for small businesses in 2022.
Best Payment Options for Small Businesses – Popular Choices
Accept Credit and Debit Cards Online and Offline
It is safe to say that plastic money changed the way people carry out transactions. People hardly carry cash anymore, and they prefer credit and debit cards. Carrying cards proves more convenient and considerably safer than carrying cash. So, most small business owners have a card machine that helps them accept debit and credit card payments. However, accepting cards via a card machine is not enough. Merchants should have the necessary technology to accept ACH and credit cards online if they want to grow their business over the internet.
ACH transactions are gaining popularity due to increased speed and reduced transaction fees. For decades, they have been the primary payment systems for most large-scale businesses and loan transactions. However, they are also gaining popularity with small businesses now due to their increased efficiency. Nacha (National Automated Clearing House Association), the governing body for ACH payment solutions in the U.S., constantly revamps the technology for increased transfer speeds and reduced costs.
Leverage Recurring Billing for Loyal Consumers
Small business owners who gain repeat loyal consumers can scale quickly. After all, research says that the cost of acquiring a new consumer is nearly five times that of retaining an existing one. The business owners who afford to build a loyal brand for their products or services leverage recurring billing for their consumers. This payment system allows them to automatically receive the concerned billed amount from their consumer each month/week.
Buy Now Pay Later Options for Trustworthy Consumers
Business owners with repeat consumers often launch a buy now pay later payment service, otherwise known as BNPL, for the most trustworthy consumers. Such payment methods help them establish firm roots in a community and become a preferred vendor for the locals.
Wire Transfers are Perfect for International Money Transfers
Merchants that deal with international clients need a way to receive payments across borders at low costs. Wire transfers provide a fast and cheap option that they can explore for such payments.
Payment Options for the Tech-Savvy Business Owners
Accept Payments Via Mobile Apps and Wallets
Mobile apps and wallets like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay offer unparalleled convenience for most consumers. These mobile applications allow the consumers to pay by scanning QR codes or via NFC tap. Merchants that deal with high volume low ticket item sales should offer these payment options.
Send Payment Links via SMS Payments
SMS payments, aka Text invoicing, make for a tech-savvy payment method used by merchants to send invoices and payment links directly via SMS text. Consumers use this link to log in to a hosted payment page and pay seamlessly. Top payment processors help merchants accept ACH and credit card payments with complementary technologies like SMS payments on a single platform.
Distribute Invoices and Collect Payments via Email Invoicing
Merchants that deal with a large volume of customers often leverage email invoicing for payment collections. Tech-savvy payment gateway providers connect payment solutions to back-end accounting software of the merchant to fetch the billing data. This connection allows merchants to automatically create and send invoices to hundreds of consumers with a single click. These emails also contain a payment link that redirects the consumer to a hosted payment portal for payment via ACH or credit cards.
Early Adoption of Cryptocurrency
A few modern-day merchants pave the way for the rest by accepting payments via cryptocurrency. Although it is not as widely accepted as the other payment methods on this list, it has massive potential for future upgrades. Moreover, financial technology providers plan to quickly develop services using blockchain technology to open new future opportunities for secure, transparent payment processing.
P2P Payments for Smaller Transactions
P2P transactions via mobile devices also gained popularity due to their ease of use. Applications like Venmo, Paypal, and Wise are prevalent amongst freelancers and other service providers to carry out small transactions. Mobile payments through these apps need to follow the rules set forth by the providers based on becoming a business merchant. Their regulations require merchants to carry out business-related transactions from their official merchant account, separate from their personal account transactions.
Must-Have Payment Options for a Modern-Day Business
Contactless Payments for Better Hygiene
Contactless payments have been on the rise since the COVID pandemic. Most merchants and consumers actively take the necessary precautions to prevent the further spread of the virus. With contactless technologies like NFC-based app transactions, online payments, and micro-chip-enabled cards, merchants offer better convenience and safety to the consumers. These technologies also reduce wait times and help the merchants offer self-serve/self-checkout billing counters for enhanced consumer experience.
Hosted Payment Portals for Branding
Cloud-based business models have gained a lot of traction during the pandemic. Several business owners now have successful business models without a conventional brick-and-mortar physical store location. They use hosted payment portals to collect payments online via ACH and credit cards. Merchants can offer a seamless shopping and checkout experience with a customized payment portal. Moreover, accepting payments via ACH online helps them deliver a cash discount for the consumers.
Prepaid Loyalty Cards for Branded Chains
Small business owners that manage to expand rapidly to multiple locations often offer loyalty cards to their consumers. Repeat consumers can easily preload small amounts to this card and use it to carry out the transaction at any merchant location. Merchants that build brand loyalty with such offers benefit from additional interest-free cash if they have a large pool of repeat customers who use these cards.
Gift Cards and Coupons for Subscribers
Gift cards and coupons are an excellent way for business owners to build their brand quickly. They not only use these cards to attract new consumers but retain the existing ones with lucrative offers. Some merchants also launch combo offers to leverage them as cross-sell and upsell opportunities.
Cash and Paper Checks for One-Off Cases
Lastly, although we have come a long way in terms of payment technologies, accepting cash and paper checks remains a must-needed option for most business owners with a physical store. Some consumers prefer paying via cash to get a cash discount for those in-store purchases.
Setting up reliable payment solutions early on helps business owners start their journey on the right foot. The business owner need not understand all the minute details of processing payments. Instead, partnering with a reliable payment processor is the most intelligent way for them to move forward. The best payment processors charge a small monthly fee to cover all PCI-compliance and technology setup costs. They also help set up monitoring tools such as virtual terminals to help the merchant conduct business without a hitch. If you want to learn more about the world of tech-enabled ACH and credit card payments, reach out to the experts.
Date originally published: May 10, 2022
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