If someone comes into your store and you don’t have a way for them to pay how they want to pay, what are they likely to do? Customers expect flexibility nowadays and if you don’t deliver, you’re in trouble.

How we pay for goods has changed dramatically over the last few years and is continuing to evolve at a dramatic rate. For those businesses who are failing to keep pace with the latest technology, this presents a significant problem.

The answer to the question above is that your potential customer will find another outlet where they can spend their money how they want.

Cash

Although it’s been dropping away over the last decade or so, 14% of consumers are still using cash to pay for things like everyday purchases, including food. Most bricks and mortar stores accept cash and will continue to do so. But will we ever reach a time when it’s a thing of the past? At some point, maybe. For now, there are still people who carry around money in their wallets and purses.

Credit Cards

Credit cards have also shown a bit of a decline in recent times, most likely because we can now use debit cards which link directly to our bank accounts. High interest rates if you get on the wrong side of repayments is also an issue. People still use them for larger purposes, however, particularly if they want to pay back what they owe over a period of time.

Debit Card

Debit cards have certainly empowered consumers and we wouldn’t have the online ecommerce infrastructure we have today without them. These are also beginning to change with growing technology, including cards that can be simply touched to the terminal and release payment rather than having to key in a code. Consumers tend to prefer this method of payment because there is less risk of racking up a debt as there is with credit cards.

Wireless Transfer

The major change in paying at a store or online is with wireless transfer. This is one area where many store owners have been slow to catch up. Terminals that accept payments directly from mobile phones in store are beginning to increase but they are still something of a rarity in many places. The problem many businesses face is whether to embrace this new technology in the first place and how much it might cost. On the other side of the argument is how much it may cost in the long run if you don’t give your consumer the ability to buy in this way.

Online Payments

Ecommerce stores also need to provide a broad range of ways to pay if they are to attract the right customers. This can include adopting platforms such as PayPal and WorldPay which provide a good deal of flexibility as well as the now traditional debit and credit cards.

One key factor that businesses need to take into account, of course, is data security. This includes choosing the appropriate merchant bank and card payment system all of which can be minefield to navigate with the amount of options out there. Getting the best advice is important at this stage, whether you are just starting out with your business or looking to change your merchant services provider for an existing one.