How to make it easy for your customers to spend money

Consumers want convenience, you may have a great product or service to sell but if you don’t make it easy for the customer to make the purchase you may lose them. It is worth paying a small commission to a merchant bank to capture that sale. If the customer has to go into their banking site to process a BACS payment, they have time to change their mind or forget! Even worse if they have to hunt out a cheque book, write a cheque and covering note and post it out to you.

In this technological era, there is no need to make it difficult for your customers to pay.

There are many payment solutions out there, enabling customers to pay at the click of a button, paypal, stripe, square, to mention but a few. All the major credit card machine providers also have digital options, netpay, elavon, mypos etc.

These are my tips to choose among the myriad of choices for accepting card payments:

  • Compare the costs for your business, they vary depending on the volume and value of sales.
    • If you have high value but low volume sales (a holiday cottage letting for example), then a low percentage and higher per payment cost should be better.
    • Conversely for high volume, low value payments (a sweet shop for example), a low (or no!) transaction charge and higher percentage would be preferable.
  • Make sure you check the terms, some payment solutions require a minimum transaction level each month and if you do not reach it they charge you a minimum fee, so if you only have occasional need for the ability to take card payments, avoid this.
  • Just like with a mobile phone, there are differing lengths of contract, these affect the costs, so weigh up whether you want flexibility to move your payment solution provider regularly.
  • It can be a hassle to set up. Persevere, it will be worth it.
    • I set up one for the local theatre that was a nightmare, they wanted all the board of directors details for their due diligence checks. I understand due diligence, I have to carry it out for my clients, but there were 12 board members. Couple with this that they insisted that they would only accept passports as proof of identity and three of the directors did not have a passport. It is not a legal requirement to have a passport, how can that be the only acceptable method. It took over six months of debating to get them to accept fewer members and to accept one of them with a driving licence, but that is a worst case scenario!
  • Also check out their customer service record. It is likely, that at some point, either in the set up or further down the line, that you will need to speak to a member of their team, make sure that is easy to do.
  • Once set up, use it wherever possible.
    • It is a must for online purchasing
    • Include a payment button in emails or a link to direct customers to the payment portal
    • Include the option on your invoicing, if you invoice electronically, include a digital link. If you use QuickBooks they integrate this for you.
    • If you send paper invoices, you can still accept card payments over the phone, you will need to log on to the payment portal and take details to input over the phone.

QuickBooks has a built in option to link a PayPal account, so when you issue an invoice through your accounting software, your customer can just click on the PayPal payment link and pay immediately. They also offer a direct debit option through gocardless.

To conclude:

  1. Do your research based on your business
  2. Choose a provider and sign up
  3. Integrate the payment solution throughout your sales platforms
  4. See quicker, increased sales.

To have me help with comparisons, setting up, implementing or signing up to QuickBooks, contact me using the button below:

Published by Holly

Licensed accountant and bookkeeper, sole trader, looking to save business people the tedium of record-keeping and accounting as I enjoy it!

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