COVID-19: Business as (un)usual

COVID-19: How small businesses can keep up with the cashless economy

20 April 2020
3 minute read

Jhanvi Gudka

There is no denying that COVID-19 has changed the way we interact with each other and the world around us. However, the question now is whether those changes are here to stay. We have been moving towards a cashless society for some time but the renewed concerns around the hygiene of using cash and the sharp increase in the number of retailers enforcing card-only payments could significantly accelerate this. It seems that cash is no longer king and for small businesses this means that digital payments can no longer be an option; they are essential.  

How card payments work 

When a transaction is made, the request goes to and from your business’ acquiring bank to the customer’s chosen card provider (e.g. Mastercard, Visa etc.) It then sends a request to the customer’s bank and providing the funds are available, the bank issues the transaction. Your card machine provider records every transaction and the processing fee only costs between 2-6% of the transaction to make sure the transaction is correct, and the payment is secure for both parties. You can find out more here.  

Contactless and mobile 

The biggest benefit of contactless transactions is that they significantly save time for both you and your customers and ultimately deliver a smoother customer experience. To enable contactless payments, you need a near-field communication (NFC) reader. Depending on your card provider, these are usually available to purchase or rent, or your provider can help you find a third-party reader that will work with your system. It’s quick and easy to set up and a trick not to be missed!  

Talk to your card provider 

Nearly all card providers have put measures in place to help their small business customers. From waiving monthly fees and offering virtual terminals like Worldpay to offering installment payments as a payment option as delivered by Fiserv, there are many options for you to consider. Please get in touch with your card provider to find the best solution and as always, our friendly agents can also help to point you in the right direction.  

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