Cash used to be king.
Today’s customer, however, rarely has more than a few dollars in his or her wallet. Interac debit cards, as well as a wide variety of credit cards (most of them bearing the Visa or MasterCard logo) have replaced the wad of money that used to be in most Canadians’ billfolds.
Customers love the convenience the get when paying by plastic – it’s more secure than carrying around a week’s supply of cash, and all of their record keeping is done automatically – they can keep track of each and every purchase they make, down to the last penny. If they’re careful consumers, the added convenience doesn’t cost them a penny.
As a small business, however, it does cost you. Credit card companies and banks are offering convenience to their customers for free, and charging you a usage fee. Many businesses hold out until they can no longer justify not accepting credit and debit cards, and then are pleasantly surprised when the finally do. Here are some of the advantages of accepting credit and debit payments for your business:
- Increased revenue level. Anytime you turn a customer away because you have a “cash only” policy, you’ll not only lose that single sale, but there’s a good chance they won’t be back. Lost opportunities add up!
- Reduced collection costs. If you extend credit to your customers, or you accept personal cheques, you will have a certain amount of delinquency. Debit/Credit cards are authorized at the time of purchase, so you won’t be chasing people for money.
- Easy Recurrent Payments. If you bill your customers periodically, setting up a pre-authorized payment plan will increase convenience for them, and make it easier to retain clients over the long haul.
In the 21st Century, debit and credit payment options aren’t going to go away anytime soon. Accepting the forms of payment that your customers prefer is a must, even if the usage fees are a little daunting.