Integrating Payment Technology With Your Business Software
The payment’s industry rarely stands still and it is almost inevitable that it’s going to be necessary to introduce new payment methods into your business at some point. And there are obvious benefits to integrating new payment methods into your business’s software. For example, it can enable to you can better serve your customers, and will allow your business to run more efficiently.
However, before you make the move, there are some factors to think about first, with compatibility and usability being at the top of the list.
Assessing Compatibility & Usability
It’s possible that there might be some teething problems when you first start tointegrate a new payment method into your business software, but there is plenty you can do to smooth the process such as:
- Checking compatibility: how easily can you integrate the new payments into your business software?
- Are there any well-known compatibility issues between any of the new payment processing options you’re planning in investing in and the software you are currently using?
- Are there steps you need to take to ensure greater compatibility between the new payment method(s) and your current software?
- You’ll also want to assess usability so you can find out how easy it is for both staff and customers to use before committing to a new payment system.
If you do have any questions about compatibility, then ask these prior to investing in new payment options to avoid any delays in setting up your new system.
Selecting Payment Methods
As a business owner, you’ll know when the time has come to start offering new payment methods. It might be through customer demand, or you might realize you need to make the change to make your business more efficient and cost effective. However, it’s not always easy to decide which new payment method(s) to go with.
To aid the decision making:
- Establish the demand from your regular customer base for each payment method you’re considering.
- How reliable is each payment option and how can each of them improve the way you run your business and the service you deliver?
- Consider how easily each method integrates with your current business software and the advantages/ disadvantages each method offers long term.
- Look at the costs involved. However, don’t let the upfront costs determine which fresh payment options you ultimately go with. Examine the ongoing costs, the value the new payments method can provide your business with long term and the individual costs of transactions to decide if you can justify the investment.
- Think about the training involved in each new payment choice. Staff training can take up considerable resources, so you’ll want something that is intuitive and easy for both your staff and customers to use.
If you’re still struggling to find a suitable solution, speak to a payment processing provider who will be able to use their expertise to help you make the right decision.
New Payment Methods
It wasn’t that long ago that merchants had a limited amount of payment options to turn to. However, times have most definitely changed, and technologies such as NFC, mobile payments and mobile wallets are all part of everyday transactions.
Some of the newer options available to merchants today consist of:
Point of Sales systems – these are multifunctional and allow the merchant to effectively manage all the major areas of their business. They are ideal for both the smaller business owner who wants tosimplify the way their company is run, andfor larger businesses that have more complex processing needs.
Mobile payments – whether you own a restaurant or a regular retail store, consumers are increasingly expecting to have access to mobile payments.
NFC payments – the use of NFC or contactless payments have seen consistent growth over the years and this is expected to continue. So far, Apple have been leading the charge when it comes to contactless payments, with 12 million users every month, and it’s estimated users will double in 2017. However, Google Pay and Samsung Pay are also gaining ground, with the three companies predicted to gain a 56 per cent share of the mobile market by 2021.
And the more familiar with contactless payments the consumer becomes, the more essential it will be that retailers are ready to serve them.
Indeed, UK-based firm Jupiter Research predicts a much wider use of contactless payments in Europe with research author, Nitin Bhasstating:
“We believe that as contactless usage gains traction and consumers/merchants recognise the speed and convenience it offers, then, as in European markets, there will be a further and significant increase in availability at the point-of-sale”
However, contactless payments are also showing strong growth in the U.S. and with so many cards now having built in contactless capabilities, this is a payment method that retailers might want to think about accepting, if they haven’t already made the upgrade.
Integration: An Effective Boost for Your Business
If you’re exploring integrating new payment methods into your business software, then it presents an excellent opportunity to look at payment integration as a whole. Integration can simplify many of your business’s processes and free up time by bringing payments and the administration/customer management side of your business together. For instance
- Integrating payments with your accounting system will mean less work to do when managing the financial side of the business
- Or integrating payments with a (Customer Relationship Management) CRM system will allow you to better manage the customer service element and improve customer service.
Merchants who switch to an integrated system can also benefit from:
- Greater cost effectiveness.
- Less administrative tasks, which allows more time for running/marketing your business.
- Fewer mistakes, resulting in less administrative work and greater customer satisfaction.
Integrating new payment methods into your business software doesn’t have to be quite as daunting as it might sound, and when done correctly, it can offer many advantages to your business and your customers.
With new payment methods available, your customers will benefit from quicker serving times and an improved customer experience overall, and as a merchant, you’ll benefit from the wider range of payments you can accept.