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The importance of a payments strategy

A payments strategy is really important to ensuring the continued growth of your company. Card payments are the future - find out how you can get on board.
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A payments strategy is crucial for any small business with ambitious growth plans in mind, and if you get it right at the start you won’t regret it later down the line.

The payments world is changing so rapidly that it can be hard for small businesses to keep their finger on the pulse. There are more ways to pay than ever before – from card and contactless payments to mobile and e-commerce – and if a small business offers cash-only services, it is at a very real risk of losing custom.

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“Cash is set to melt away into a digital flow of ones and zeros. Retailers not offering contactless payment options are in danger of being left behind,” said James Frost, chief marketing and commercial officer, Worldpay.

It is not surprising then that the number of merchants accepting cards and smart payment is increasing. Shoppers don’t want to worry about having enough cash in their wallets. Whether they’re spending a leisurely day out hitting every shop on the high street or popping into a cafe for a quick latte, they just want payments to be fast, simple and convenient. This is where card and smart payments have the edge over cash, time and time again. It might not quite be curtains for cash just yet, but notes and coins are starting to look like they belong to a different time.

This trend towards a cashless society looks set to gather momentum as 64 per cent of 16 – 20 year olds think that mobile phones will replace cards as the main payment according to Worldpay – and more businesses than ever are taking card payments for transactions of all sizes.

“People aren’t going to stop carrying cash overnight. It still has its uses. But with more businesses of all kinds taking cards of all values, and with a clear preference among younger people to pay by card wherever possible, we are definitely going to see people using much less cash. At the rate people are falling out of love with cash, I wouldn’t be surprised if Prince George never gets to see his face on a British banknote.” said Frost.

Building a brand reputation

One in ten people no longer carry cash with them, and many are actively put off by a brand that can’t take a card payment. In fact, research from Visa found that one in four cardholders would walk out of a store and abandon their purchase if it couldn’t take a card payment. “At best it can come across as being behind the times, at worst it can look shady and unreliable” said Nik Pollinger, digital anthropologist.

Stores remain a critical aspect of the shopping experience, but many consumers are demanding more, according to Accenture. Around 38 per cent of people wanted a more seamless experience in-store, and 29 per cent cited an enhanced experience in-store as a key issue.

“We’re seeing businesses invest in the retail environment and training staff, but if the final hurdle is not up to scratch, meaning customers have to queue for longer than five minutes, they are left with a disappointing end,” Frost continued.

Responding to this challenge, Worldpay this year launched My Business Hub. Operated with a detachable Android tablet, it gives businesses the freedom to take payments anywhere on the floor, thereby enhancing the overall in-store experience for customers while also helping to reduce queues at busy times.

Planning ahead

Perhaps more than anything else, accepting card payments is crucial for small businesses looking to grow their profits and expand their operations.

The way people choose to pay often changes at different price points – the average value of a credit card transaction is around £58, whereas around 60 per cent of all cash payments are £5 or less. If your product costs more than £5 and you don’t take card, consumers are likely to be put off. Because of this, accepting card payments can actually increase turnover by a third.

“Businesses needs to make sure that they’re scaling their investments in line with their business plan,” said Frost.

My Business Hub from Worldpay offers small businesses an integrated till and point-of-sale service to seamlessly manage a payments strategy and help businesses at different points in their lifecycles.

It transforms the traditional till, simplifying the checkout process by consolidating existing cash registers, payment devices and receipt printers into one fully integrated payment device.

The tablet also allows users to order stock online or check emails and respond to enquiries.

Providing a holistic view of all transactions and trends, My Business Hub is also fully integrated with My Business Dashboard, Worldpay’s online insights tool for small businesses giving full access to card transactions online. Hub users will be able to see both cash and card transactions in their My Business Dashboard account, saving them time, whilst also enabling them to track performance, view sales trends and gain valuable insights about their business.

Check out how My Business Hub works by clicking play on the video above and for more information visit our website http://www.worldpay.com/uk or call 08082085178

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About Author

Letitia Booty

Letitia Booty is a special projects journalist for Real Business. She has a BA in english literature from the University of East Anglia, and since graduating she has written for a variety of trade titles. Most recently, she was a reporter at SME magazine.

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