Retail Payment Solutions: Giving Customers What They Want

Retail Payment Solutions: Giving Customers What They Want
If you'd like stay competitive and increase spending across all generations, it's important to use a retail payment solution that offers both emerging and traditional payment options.
by Alena Courtney Feb 07, 2024 — 4 min read
Retail Payment Solutions: Giving Customers What They Want

Table of contents

In order to keep up with the times and give customers what they want, modern retailers need to keep up with how buyers want to shop. That means offering the payment options consumers are craving online, in person, and across social media. Because if you can’t get paid, well, there’s no business to be had.

But here’s the bottom line: whether you’re focused on Gen Z, Gen X, or any shopper in between, our data shows you have to consider both emerging and traditional payment options. Read on to learn more about the latest payment trends and how a retail point of sale (POS) can help you accept every form of payment — so you can sleep soundly at night knowing you’re never missing a sale. 

Editor’s note

Data cited below comes from the 2024 Square Future of Retail report survey results. For a more in-depth look at these 2024 retail industry trends, download the full 2024 Future of Retail report.

Cater to all generations of shoppers — online and offlin  

While most retailers already accept cash and credit cards, 39% of retailers surveyed also plan to focus on accepting emerging payment methods to provide a standout shopping experience. When it comes to the latest and greatest payment options in the eyes of consumers, buy-now, pay-later payments (like Afterpay) and QR code payments are at the top of that list. Retailers are finding that offering more choice at checkout can increase conversions and even attract influential Gen Z and Gen X shoppers.

In order to stay top of mind in today’s saturated market, savvy retailers are exploring areas where they can put distance between themselves and their competitors. In fact, 56% (up from 43% the previous year) of retail owners plan to take a closer look at their marketing tactics targeting Gen Z shoppers in particular.

Many in-store shoppers still prefer to pay using traditional card payments (33%) or touchless card payments (29%). Gen Z in-store shoppers also preferred touchless card payments in addition to mobile wallet apps over other forms of payment. Overall, 48% of in-store shoppers prefer contactless payment methods, up from 43% in 2022.

So what’s the takeaway? To appeal to the the largest audience possible, retailers should aim to provide robust payment options both online and offline, as consumers’ preferences can vary by age or whether they’re shopping online or in person. 

Square has made accepting payments really simple; whether it’s in-store, at markets, or selling event tickets online. The ability to manage our inventory across our EPOS and online shop is going to prove invaluable as we start to expand our online selling.”

Thomas Day owner, French & Day Deli

Why buy-now, pay-later (BNPL) isn’t just having a moment. 

Just like telephones and motor vehicles, payments have come a long way. At a bare minimum, the POS system your business uses to accept payments should be able to handle cash, credit cards, and mobile payments. But if you want to maximize sales, accepting a BNPL option is a no-brainer.

There’s no question that BNPL payments are increasing in popularity. One of the key attractions of BNPL financing is that customers pay only one installment upfront but get their order immediately. A survey by Ascent found that 48% of customers choose BNPL services because they help them make purchases that otherwise wouldn’t fit in their budget. It’s no surprise then that forward-looking retailers who report accepting a BNPL payment option have increased 10% since 2022, with an average of 43% of retailers now accepting these payment methods.

Retailers can increase conversion rates by providing an easy way for customers to pay in installments with BNPL options like Afterpay. By using the Square for Retail POS, you can accept all forms of payment, and it’s seamless to accept payments offline or online, while keeping your inventory in sync across all locations. 

It’s essential for retailers to offer more choice at checkout, especially as they look to capture next-gen consumers who are increasingly turning to BNPL solutions to enable them to budget and spread the cost of their purchases. Since adding Afterpay to the Square ecosystem of commerce tools, sellers can easily turn on BNPL capabilities to attract younger shoppers and drive incremental revenue to their businesses, all while managing these omnichannel orders on one platform.”

Alex Fisher head of revenue, Afterpay and Cash App

Adopt the retail payment solutions customers want. 

To get started accepting new forms of payment options into your repertoire, switch to a retail POS system that makes it as easy as humanly possible. You’ll then need to connect your bank account to your POS so funds can be transferred as soon as the next business day and you can more accurately manage your cash flow. Learn more about how to link your bank account to Square.

Remember that the POS system you use to accept payments should also include intuitive software that helps you track sales, manage inventory and staff, and more. Offering all forms of payment and tracking sales and inventory across all locations is automatic with the Square’ Retail POS system

Get started today

Want to increase transactions? Let your customers pay how they want. Get your free copy of the Future of Retail report to learn how to revolutionize your retail store by staying on top of emerging payment and retail trends.

Regardless of the retail POS system you opt for, you’ll want to make sure it’s set up to easily accept the top payment options. Here are the payment methods the retail leaders we surveyed are already accepting:

We need a reliable, fast, secure payment processing system to run our business. Square has delivered in all areas. ”

Andrew Wyer managing director, SBS Trailers Ltd.

Once you’ve done the work to get a potential buyer on your website or through the doors of your store, the last thing you want to do is lose them when they’re ready to make the transaction. Offering easy and appealing payment options is an effective way to close the sale. 


Alena Courtney
Alena Courtney is an Editor at Square covering all things Retail — She writes about retail trends, retail business models, inventory and supply chain management, ecommerce and in-person growth.


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