You might be losing shoppers because your shop’s in-store payment solutions are outdated and no longer cater to their fast-paced lifestyles.
If you aren’t offering mobile payment solutions, you’re excluding both current and future customers who may not be using cash or card. “We're seeing a lot more people using Snapscan and Zapper as mobile payment options,” observes Yossi Hasson, MD of Techstars Africa, a mentorship-driven start-up accelerator.
What happens when a patron has shopped at your store and then is unable to make a payment the conventional way? They seek out a retailer that’ll offer them the same product, but with less hassle. While you wonder why your stock isn’t leaving shelves as quickly as before, consider this: If you don’t offer alternative payment methods, you may not make sales in the future.
Related: Take your shop to your customers
“It’s critical for businesses to stay abreast of developments in mobile and digital payments as well as changes that may have a significant impact in the near future,” cautions managing director of Sage Pay Charles Pittaway. Although customers are embracing new payment methods, businesses are slow to adapt. Cash is a thing of the past, and credit cards might be harder to come by for younger consumers. Payment apps might be worth investigating.
Before you join the payments revolution, figure out why customers prefer using mobile applications instead of cash or card:
The rise of alternative payment methods
In 2014, Standard Bank launched its game-changing SnapScan app. It’s the bank’s first mobile payment offering that helps merchants receive payments from customers through a combination of a QR code and a secure PIN number.
SnapScan is already proving successful for businesses countrywide, due to its convenience and safety. Zapper has since followed suit, developing a similar app to let people pay via smartphone.
Make it easier for your shoppers
When it comes to SnapScan: “All that is required to become a merchant is for the business to register with SnapScan, print the unique QR code and any mobile phone. The business owner can now accept payments from anyone using the SnapScan application,” says Standard Bank’s Head of Innovation and Channel Design, Vuyo Mpako.
The advent of smartphone technology and abandonment or rejection of using credit cards or carrying around cash makes this method attractive to customers, while you can still offer your old-school payment options as an alternative.
“For small businesses, this [SnapScan] is so much more than an app; it’s a real-time retail payment solution that allows business owners safe, secure and convenient payment methods for their customers,” adds Mpako. Amid the excitement of new and convenient technology, though, security remains a concern.
Related: Are your customers (really) loyal or because there’s no better choice?
What’s important to the customer?
Before deciding on the alternative payment systems to go with, these are examples of what your customers look out for when using mobile payment methods:
Is the payment method secure?
According to the PCI Security Standards Council, to comply with the necessary worldwide security standards, payment applications must secure customer data and require client authorisation for the payment to go through. With SnapScan’s SMS notification service as proof of payment, your business can be sure that the payment is legitimate, while the customer’s PIN input means no payment can be processed without their consent.
The cost factor
Are there any costs being passed on to the consumer to make use of this mobile payment method? For example, some merchants face fees of around 3% on American Express transactions, while some types of premium MasterCard and Visa cards can cost many of them more than 2%. Surcharging provides merchants with the ability to pass the cost of accepting more expensive payment methods back to the customers who use those methods. Mobile payment options might be cheaper and more attractive to your shoppers.
The reason digital methods of payment have gained popularity is due to how easy they are to use. If it’s more complicated than swiping a card or paying cash, it’s probably not worth the effort for the consumer. How well accepted the payment method is, is also top of mind for customers, because if you offer a method that everyone else isn’t using, it’s unlikely shoppers will download it just to shop with you.
If you aren’t offering mobile payment solutions, you’re excluding both current and future customers who may not be using cash or card. But, before you join the revolution to cater to your customers while attracting new ones, you have to figure out why they prefer using mobile applications as well as which they find more convenient and secure. Standard Bank can assist you in identifying merchant solutions if you’re still not sure how to proceed.