How To Safely Accept Payments During COVID-19
If we have learned anything from COVID-19, it’s that, unfortunately, our interactions with one another can place people at risk. As a result, health standards are extremely important.
I guess you could even say that COVID-19 has served as a reality check for public health standards.
We have seen regulations being placed on restaurants, retail stores, entertainment venues, & public transportation vehicles not only because these businesses tend to be high traffic, but also because these are the places where health violations can be especially harmful to at-risk individuals.
As a business owner, you have a responsibility to keep your customers safe (COVID-19 or no COVID-19).
The rest of this article will explain some ways that you can accept payments more safely during COVID-19 & beyond.
Retail: Leverage eCommerce For Safety & Revenue
COVID-19 has shown us that you do not have to be a completely online, self-service business in order for eCommerce to be relevant to you. In fact, it makes perfect sense for most businesses to have some eCommerce aspect in their sales strategy.
Some of our clients have had success in adding their products to their website for purchase. While the switch was done out of necessity, the additional revenue stream brought on through eCommerce is not something our clients will want to disappear once COVID-19 subsides.
On the contrary, our retail turned eCommerce clients will keep their newly-formed online stores up once their brick-and-mortar locations open again.
As a result, they will have more places through which their products/services can be accessed by potential customers, which is always a plus in our book.
Restaurant: Order Online & Pay Ahead
The importance of online ordering capabilities has never been highlighted so obviously before. Due to stay-at-home orders, all diners now fall into the “couch potato” segment. Therefore, it is in your best interest to offer an online ordering
As a result, being able to offer either delivery and/or online ordering is critical. On the same note, hungry diners are using delivery platforms like Postmates & Uber Eats to see which businesses are even open right now.
Pro Tip: We urge you to update your business listings with accurate information. After all, the last thing you want to do is add to the confusion of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you have been on the fence about adding your business to online delivery platforms, the current pandemic should be evidence of their necessity for businesses that want to compete with well-known, national chains.
In-Person: Mobile Payments & Contactless
NFC payments are COVID-19 friendly by nature. All a customer has to do is hover their phone over a NFC-enabled payments device & the transaction will be processed.
The customer doesn’t even have to touch anything, which minimizes the amount of contact between the front & back-of-the-house. This is extremely important for quick-service restaurants & retail environments during COVID-19.
However, as we talked about in the introduction, hopefully the pandemic will instill a trend of attention to health standards. Since most payment methods call for a card or even worse a bill to be switched in and out of multiple hands, NFC payments alleviate the concern for in-person payments.
Invoicing: The Socially Distanced Transaction For Service Providers
Many service providers have fortunately been deemed essential businesses, allowing many to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, a lot of service providers are limited to the payment solution that they currently have.
For example, a roadside assistance service may have a mobile swiper or handheld terminal that requires them to: A. handle the card in person & B. have the customer & card present in order for a transaction to be completed.
As a result, you could increase the amount of work involved in getting payment as well as alienate some people who would rather just pay you via invoice.
All service providers should be able to send invoices to their customers for a few reasons.
- Recurring billing – offering convenience to the business & customer
- Secure card-not-present transactions – giving peace of mind to business owners & cardholders
- Quotes – more conversions & paying customers
- Mobile-friendly – convenience to the max
Accepting Diverse Payment Methods Is More Important Than Ever
As you can see, being able to accept all of the payment methods that are relevant to your business is more important than ever. By allowing your customers to pay you the way that they want, you also offer them convenience that can increase their customer satisfaction.
As a business owner, you want as many tools as possible. Believe me when I say that they come in handy. This is the exact reason that we focus on providing our clients with versatile payment solutions so that they can accept payments any way that they want or need.
Is Cash Becoming Irrelevant?
The year is 2020 & we still see that some businesses are, for some reason, holding onto the “cash only” doctrine. Not only is this poor business practice due to the adverse affect it has on customer experience, but we also expect to see a decrease in the use of cash post-COVID.