If you have yet to notice, the world of electronic payments continues to expand and has caught on with major players such as Apple Computer and eBay. eBay has decided to split from its long time corporate partner PayPal, while ApplePay is the latest entrant into the electronic payment industry. The question is why have these hugely influential companies decided to invest in the market and how can a business take maximum advantage of this latest consumer trend in payment options.
It is no secret that computer systems in a company bring about an increase in efficiency. Handling payments can be particularly vexing to a company since problems such as returned checks and failed credit card payments interrupt cash flow and can expand to other areas such as returned merchandise of overstocked inventory. One of the greatest advantages of using electronic payments as a primary option for customers is the creation of an audit trail from the beginning of the transaction to the end. In many cases, the customer is sent a receipt of the transaction by email and can keep that record for years. For the business, the audit trail quickly identifies not only the preferred method of payment by the customer, but also the sales volume for every customer. This is an advantage when determining future sales and marketing strategies.
In the global marketplace, every company needs to have a web site that makes their products and services available to the more than 7 billion people of the world. The Internet is rapidly becoming the only way to do business, as brick and mortar stores continue to close. This shift in how to do business is requiring companies to also change their methods of accepting payments. With electronic payments there is a safety factor for both the customer and the company in the transaction. Customers can safely shop and pay immediately without going through a check verification process, while the company can be virtually guaranteed that the form of payment is valid. There are many types of applications that offer web site shopping carts which are simple and easy to get set up and running.
Potential Increased Sales
One aspect of electronic payments that is often overlooked is the draw to the impulse buyer. Brick and mortar stores often design their stores to get people to buy items on sight rather than thought. Despite criticisms of manipulating the customer, impulse purchases are an important profit strategy for businesses. Electronic payments take advantage of meeting customer’s basic needs when shopping online and in the end satisfy both the customer and the company. One way to look at impulse buying is to provide the customer with the opportunity to purchase necessary items that they may have otherwise forgotten.
Between customer convenience and company profitability, there is no reason to bypass the opportunity electronic payments offer. In some cases, the required fees to use electronic payments are lower than a credit card, and with enhanced security, they are safer than credit cards and checks. Increased sales and a bigger bottom line are two of the most obvious reasons to give serious consideration to adding electronic payments to a business plan.