For decades, small business owners have been told that “cash is king”, but due to impacts of the pandemic that landscape is changing rapidly. Modern consumers are turning to cashless payment methods when buying everything from their morning coffee to electronics.. In fact, for the first time in history, cashless payments have overtaken cash purchases, with credit and debit card sales making up 80 percent of transactions.
Now more than ever, your business should prepare to accept cashless transactions in order to stay up to date with customer demand and not miss out on what could potentially be a large percentage of your business sales. Being set up to handle all types of cashless transactions, including contactless and mobile is essential in a world where consumers are increasingly reliant on these types of payment methods.
In Australia, the transition to a cashless society is happening at an accelerated pace and some researchers are even predicting Australia will be totally cashless by as early as 2024!
How can you make sure you’re business is trending in the same direction as customer demand? You can ensure you’re not losing out on sales by equipping your business with a cashless payment solution that benefits you and your customers in the simplest way. But first, let’s take a dive into cashless payments in more detail,
What are cashless payments?
The first step to implementing cashless payments for your small business is understanding exactly what they are and how they can work for your business. Cashless transactions are put simply, transactions that are conducted electronically and without the use of paper or coin currency. There are several different types of cashless payment systems, including:
Cards: When customers use credit or debit cards, whether they’re tapped or inserted using chip technology, this is a cashless payment.
What is a contactless payment?
You’ll find a lot of information detailing exactly what a contactless payment is, but in short, contactless payments are those that require no physical contact between the customer’s card (or device) and the POS system during the transaction process. (Yes, these transactions are also a form of cashless payments). You may have heard of payments referred to as NFC (near field communication) transactions because of the technology used within the point of the sale process.
How do contactless payments work?
When a customer holds their card or device within 10 centimetres of the payment reader, a radio frequency enables the communication between the card or device and the card reader encrypted data is sent for processing. In the current climate, many customers prefer a contactless cashless payment solution for hygiene reasons as this minimises indirect contact between consumers and staff.
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What are the benefits of a cashless business system?
As a small business owner, if you aren’t accepting credit cards or other forms of cashless payments, you’re missing a huge piece of the pie. Here’s why you should be using a cashless payment system and make sure you never miss a sale.
1. It’s what your customers want
According to the RBA less than 20% of Australians carry cash, making cashless transactions even more important to your business. Consumers want cashless payment options when they shop.
Not offering cashless transactions affects the way shoppers view your business, too. Many customers believe shops that don’t accept card payments are “old fashioned”.
2. It’s Faster
Few things can feel more frustrating to a potential customer (and employee) than a growing queue of people, with lagging service due to a slow shop till. Cashless payment system transactions are much quicker than counting out change and waiting on shoppers to fish the proper bill from their wallets. Plus, you can even turn on features like ‘skip the receipt’ to speed up your queue during busier times. You’ll have your happy customers on their way in no time in comparison.
3. It’s Easy
Cashless transactions couldn’t be simpler for your customers. All it takes is a tap of their card or mobile device on your payment terminal and processing is finished in seconds. It’s fast, efficient, and leaves no need to fish about for coins for change.
4. It’s Safe
Cashless payment systems offer a safer alternative to keeping a till of paper currency on site. It reduces the risk and safety concerns to both your employees and your business. Plus, Square’s processing encrypts data in its cashless transactions to ensure your customers are protected as well.
How to make the move towards a cashless business
With most Australians confirming they’d rather pay with a card than cash, it has never been more important to support the cashless society as a small business. Providing customers with options when it comes to ways to pay keeps your business current, customer-minded, and efficient.
How do you take steps to implement an effective cashless system?
Consider what you need. Do you have a way to process payments beyond cash? If not, you’ll need to invest in a cashless payment system.
Think about what your customers require. Considering most shoppers are now “card-only” or “card-first” customers, meaning they prefer to only use cards as payment or will always try to use a card before cash. Cashless payment options are more and more becoming a necessary element of any business.
Talk to your staff. A new system requires staff training, Square’s offerings are quick to learn and easy to use. Shortening queues during busy times and getting customers through cashless transactions faster can benefit your employees as well.
What are the components of a cashless business system?
There are a few options available to you to set up to support a cashless payment system for your small business:
Virtual Terminal: In order to begin taking cashless payments, you’ll need a way to process credit cards. This can be performed manually with a virtual terminal, which turns a web browser on your computer into a credit card terminal. This is best for cashless transactions done via telephone or for remote billing.
Contactless Card Reader: Take contactless payments with Square’s contactless card reader to save time and create efficiency for your small business. Square Reader allows you to safely and quickly process chip and pin cards as well as Apple Pay and Google Pay cashless payments through smartphones and devices.
Payment Terminal: If you prefer to have an all-in-one, cordless payment terminal that can go anywhere in your business and collect cashless payments, this device is for you. From accepting PIN numbers to printing receipts, Square Terminal can do it all in one place.
Invoicing Software: If your business accepts delayed payments you may benefit from Square Invoicing software. This allows small business owners to generate and monitor bills and invoices quickly and efficiently, with powerful reporting tools to help manage cash flow.
Online Store: Online sales in Australia grew by 57% in 2020, with customers increasingly turning to online businesses to meet their needs. Adding an Online Store to your business, therefore, has the potential to increase sales significantly, including using digital payment methods.
It’s time to grow your business and never miss a cashless payment sale again. If you are still a cash-only business today, there’s no better time to consider a move to a cashless payment system than now.
Square is here to help get you prepared for the transition into your new way of doing business. Whether you’re looking to become a completely cashless business, or just want to be able to accept contactless payments for health and safety, Square can get you there with more payment solutions that are right for your small business.
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