Setting up a business in the past used to be a relatively simple affair. Find a premises, decide what to make or sell, find a market for it, and then get going. When it came to payment things were even simpler. The choice was just whether to take cash, checks or card payments. If yours was a business-to-business concern, you might also have needed to decide how long you were going to give people to pay their bill, but things were still straightforward on the payment front.
This is no longer the case, and any business now must find its way through the minefield of how people want to pay for goods and services and what payments the business needs to accept. Unless yours is a face-to-face enterprise, at least the headache of cash has largely been dealt with. The Covid 19 pandemic saw businesses and consumers alike switch to contactless payments for big and small retail transactions. The banks increased the amount that could be spent using contactless payment and many outlets reduced their minimum spend requirement making some markets largely cash-free.
Payment cards themselves had already done away with the use of checks in all but the most arcane operations meaning that for business owners and operators the receipt of money is a pretty straightforward affair. Only it is not because as old methods die out, new payment platforms options appear. Not only are questions being asked about what type of payments are available but also what currency is acceptable. One of the big shifts over recent years has been cryptocurrencies coming out of the shadows and starting to be accepted on many global platforms. To accept payment in crypto a business needs to understand the pros and cons but even then, what matters is the payment platform integrated into your business.
Most businesses would now expect to receive payment through one of the following methods. A credit/debit card directly from someone’s bank account, a bank transfer, a payment through a third-party processor like PayPal or a prepaid card payment.
While the other options have been around for quite some time, the prepaid card is a relative newcomer to the mass market and has largely come about as we shift to a digital economy while a huge percentage of the world’s population remains unbanked for a variety of reasons. People opt for the prepaid, pre-loaded route for a variety of reasons. One of the main ones is that it gives the customer control over a specific area of expenditure and keeps pots of money for different activities ring-fenced from each other.
Some industries have adopted the prepaid method with gusto. The gambling industry, for example, has developed a product called Play+ specifically to cater to the needs of online casino players. It is a reloadable account that has FDIC backing that can be used to fund resorts, sports or igaming accounts, and it’s available to use at some of the best new online casinos, such as Golden Nugget and Borgata. It gives the holder a physical card and offers the holder quick and easy deposits and instant withdrawals.
While your business might not accept Play+ there are plenty of other prepayment options that you can accept. Boku is an interesting innovator in the arena. This allows a merchant to accept global mobile payments and customers charge the payment to their mobile phone bill, rather than the money being taken from their bank account. No credit card or bank account is required. By accepting this type of payment your business opens itself up to a different audience.
More traditional purchasers will be reassured to see that you accept standard payments through the more recognized payment processors be that Amex, Visa or Mastercard and any business that wants to be taken seriously should offer customers this choice. If you are a smaller, artisan business then accepting PayPal is a simple way to start accepting non-cash payments.
Essentially, you need to understand your customer to decide what payment method will best suit them.