Preparing for a cashless future
The way many businesses take payments has changed
The coronavirus lockdown has had a big impact on many businesses, not least in how they take payments. Some changes look like they’re here to stay. Here’s how you can get ready.
Adapting the way you make and take payments
Coronavirus has dramatically impacted how many businesses operate. Fewer payments are being made in cash, with more businesses looking for alternative ways to take payments. Some have been unable to operate from their usual premises, forcing many to go digital to reach customers in a new way. This often comes with the need to introduce new payment systems.
Whether you’re changing the way you operate or planning to reopen physical premises, it’s important to have flexible payment systems in place to operate safely in the new environment.
As lockdown measures begin to lift and more businesses start to consider reopening, it’s important to give your customers choice in how they pay. 74% of customers plan to use contactless from now on1. Many businesses have already adapted the way they take payments, with about 54% of small businesses avoiding cash altogether2.
Flexibility for your business and customers
By giving customers more options for how they can make payments, it also gives your business more ways to operate. Accepting card payments means you can take orders over the phone, sell online, offer doorstop contactless delivery or trade from a physical store safely and efficiently.
Here are some of the ways card payments could help your business, customers and staff.
- Gives customers more choice on how they pay, including the option to pay over the phone, online, or using contactless
- Contactless allows your customers to pay without them, or your staff, needing to touch payment terminals or handle cash
- Contactless speeds up payments
- Reduces the security risk of holding cash, and saves the time you’d spend to deposit it in a branch
- Minimises mistakes or errors that can come with handling cash
- Gives flexibility on where you can take payments, such as across different sites or on the go with a smartphone or tablet
Taking online payments
Whether responding to changing circumstances or customer demand, many businesses have responded to the coronavirus situation by quickly embracing digital and trading online. Being able to sell and take payments online can increase the reach of your business, letting you trade in new geographic regions and at any time of day.
With government restrictions in place for the foreseeable future, trading online also offers opportunities to not only serve your existing customers, but find new ones by reaching a broader audience. Read our article on adapting to coronavirus for our tips on making the most of going digital.
Coronavirus has influenced dramatic changes in how businesses and their customers operate, in ways we could never have foreseen. While some of these changes will be temporary while social distancing is still needed, other developments – like the acceleration of digital adoption – are more likely to be here to stay. Even if your business hasn’t been impacted, it’s a good time to reflect on your processes and systems to make sure you’re set up to succeed in the future.
A long-term view
Devon Duvets is a family-run business, owned by husband and wife team Dick and Pauline Beijen. They create 100% natural bedding products, handcrafted in Devon. Pauline explains how taking digital payments from the start set them up not only to respond to coronavirus, but for their long-term future.
“By already being well set up to take payments over the phone and via our website, we’re in a good place now that demand for cashless payments is rapidly increasing.
“In a crisis, there are two ways to go. You fold up, or say: ‘How can I be positive and proactive and push forward?’
“The world is changing constantly, and you have to continually develop and grow. We have always had that mindset, which has made the current situation a lot easier to deal with in many ways.”
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