Contributed content by Julia Olson, Fattmerchant Content Strategist

Julia Olson is the Content Strategist at Fattmerchant, a flat-rate merchant services provider. She works to educate readers about the credit card processing industry, and loves spreading the word about Fattmerchant’s amazing technology solutions and honest processing.

As technologies advance, payment trends come and go. Gone are the days where cash is king. Now we can be confident that consumers are taking advantage of a wide array of electronic payment options, so it is more important than ever to make sure your processing solution meets these varied needs.

If you’re a business owner, you know how important it is to reduce as much friction as possible between the customer and the sale. Traditionally, this means making pricing easily visible, removing physical obstacles in front of the payment counter, and requiring as little information as possible. This also means, however, accepting the form of payment that the customer wants to use.

Consumers are becoming more and more technology savvy. You may think the majority of your customers are fine with cash or credit, but you would be surprised by the amount of business you could be turning away by not accepting new payment technologies like Apple Pay or Google Wallet.

Although 64% of consumers age 18–34 say they will only shop at businesses that accept multiple forms of payment, only 55% of the 27 million small businesses in the United States accept these forms of payment, according to Intuit. Consumers might be a little slower to adopt some of the newer payment methods like Apple Pay or Google Wallet, but business owners need to be aware of these in order to stay competitive in the future.

The following is a list of payment methods that your customers could be using, and that you should be aware of for your business. Making sure your payment solution accepts these methods is vital for sustained success.

Credit/Debit Cards

Credit and debit cards are no longer the exception, they are the rule. Accepting plastic at your business is increasingly becoming a necessity in order to stay competitive. In fact, Forbes reports that it is expected that cash payments will drop to 23% in 2017.

The average American is quickly moving away from carrying cash on a regular basis. With ATM fees and other roadblocks to obtaining cash, forcing your customer to remember cash in order to shop at your business would create a negative connotation for them in the future — especially if your competitors accept plastic.

Online Terminals

As technology gets better, so does online security. Consumers know this, and are eager to start using online payments more and more as their confidence grows. This is of particular importance to professional services business like legal firms or consulting agencies. The ability to send online invoices to clients is a game changer in an industry that is traditionally slow to adopt new payment technologies.

Not only do your clients have the convenience of a quick, online payment, you ultimately receive your funds faster with this method of billing.

Apple Pay/Google Wallet

NFC, or contactless payments like Apple Pay or Google Wallet, allow consumers to pay for goods in-store with a simple tap of their phone. With 52% of American consumers “extremely aware” of contactless payments and 18% using them on a recurring basis, it will pay off in the long run to make sure your payment technology accepts NFC now, before your competition.

What Does This Mean for Business Owners?

Accepting the type of payment your customers want to use is a vital part of doing business. Consider your own daily activities — isn’t it a shock when you go in a coffee shop and the not-so-subtle “Cash Only” sign is taped prominently on their twenty year old cash register?

The customer is always right, and although it might mean moving outside of your comfort zone, making sure your payment technology meets their changing needs is essential. Get paid faster and grow your business with technology that meets the current payments landscape.

Have any questions about your current solutions, switching solutions, or the technology options that Fattmerchant offers? Give us a call anytime at 1–855–550–3288.