For small businesses, it’s important to be able to take payments in as many ways as possible. The days of being able to specify ‘cash only’ payments are gone, particularly since the pandemic made cash payments increasingly unattractive for both customers and businesses.
So, it’s crucial that you can accept credit card payments, no matter what goods or services you are selling. If you have a customer who wants, prefers or needs to make a credit card payment, you need to be ready for it, or they’ll take their money elsewhere.
Everyone who runs a small business is also a customer of other businesses. So we can all relate to how inconvenient it can feel to go into a shop and try to pay by card, only to be told it’s cash only.
Leaving you with a choice of traipsing around trying to find a cash machine or abandoning your purchase. Both options present an off-putting customer experience.
Even before the pandemic, cash use was falling. Coupled with the rise of contactless and mobile payments, more and more of us feel like carrying cash isn’t a necessity anymore.
Another reason to take credit card payments is that customers who pay by card tend to spend more. One study found that paying by credit card can cause spending to rise by up to 18%, while tips for service can be up to 13% more . These extra payments can quickly add up, especially given that credit cards make it easier for customers to make larger purchases than using cash alone.
The key difference between a credit card and debit card is that a debit card is typically connected to your bank account so any payments or withdrawals made are coming from money in your account. Although if you have an overdraft, that is technically a type of credit as it’s a sum borrowed from the bank.
A credit card allows you to access a predetermined ‘pot’ of credit from the bank that you agree to during the application process. When you apply for a credit card, how much money you’ll be able to access will depend on your credit score and credit history.
But what does this have to do with accepting payments? Credit card providers charge a fee per transaction so as a business owner you need to be aware of how much the credit card providers you’re happy to accept will charge per transaction. This is why you may see that some vendors only accept certain credit cards and refuse others.
Other credit card payment benefits include money entering your bank account more quickly than cash; the latter requiring you to manually deposit it at the bank yourself when you get the chance. Accepting credit card payments can reduce this hassle. Plus, the extra speed means there are no hold-ups with your cash flow as we aim to make all takings available by 10am the next day, even on weekends and bank holidays, only with Dojo.
Security is another reason why customers like to use credit cards over cash. Not only are customers more likely to be covered against fraud, businesses can also feel reassured that their transactions will be secure and safe. Using devices that offer chip and pin payments and encrypted data along with the CSC (the strip on the back of a credit card) offers reassurance for everyone that this payment is being taken safely.
So, why might small businesses not already be accepting credit card payments? Sometimes it can be the location or type of business. A market trader might see card payments as an added hassle requiring complicated technology and a reliable internet connection, while the latter can be seen as a major obstacle for more rural businesses.
However, none of these need to be reasons why a small business couldn’t be able to start taking credit card payments, especially when you consider all of the benefits of accepting credit card payments that we’ve covered so far.
It’s quick and easy to accept credit card payments wherever you are with the Dojo Go card machine, which moves with your business, offering mobile connectivity and the ability to take lightning-fast payments.
While it’s ideal for food businesses where staff are always on the go, the Dojo card machine can also be a great portable option for businesses like market traders or mobile food vans that aren’t always in the same place two days in a row.
Of course, there are also businesses with fixed locations who just need to be able to accept online credit card payments and take credit card payments over the phone.
In this age, there is definitely a need for small businesses to take credit card payments both in-store and online. This is where merchant services are so important and helpful. A merchant service is a financial service provided to businesses by a third party, usually a payment processing service in this case.
To start accepting online card payments with Dojo, you would need to set up a merchant account to process the payments and transfer them to your business account. Then you’re ready to take advantage of the opportunities that setting up an online store or website can bring to your business. This was something many small businesses had to trial during the pandemic when their premises were closed, but it remains an important way to attract more customers.
Dojo’s online checkout, accepts Mastercard, Visa, Amex as well as wallet payments, including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay. It also easily integrates with existing websites, making managing these payments, all in one place, easy and simple with the Dojo app.
You can even use payment links to quickly and easily create bespoke links to checkouts that customers can use after being sent them over social media or messaging apps. This helps reduce friction, allowing customers to pay you more flexibly by credit card wherever they are and however they’ve found you.
We’ve talked about needing to be able to take payments however the customer wants to try and make them. While in-store credit card payments or those made online are the most likely ways this might happen, you need to be ready for other options. One such alternative is taking payment by credit card over the phone.
As long as you have someone available to take the call and manage the payment through a virtual terminal, this is as simple as taking a credit card payment online, but gives customers who might not feel comfortable using the internet the chance to make payments remotely.
It’s as easy for that, for them and for you. That’s the key thing to remember about credit card payments for small businesses. Modern technology has helped eliminate the reasons why you might have previously stuck to being a cash-only business, and the benefits can be massive.
With a mobile card machine and remote payment options, your business can be ready to give your customers the chance to pay with their credit cards, wherever they - or you - are. And giving them that option makes them not only more likely to spend with you, but also more likely to spend more with you.