There’s no doubt about it, we are moving ever closer to being a cashless society. Over the the past nine years, the number of Australian consumers making purchases in cash has nearly halved, dropping from 70 per cent to less than 40 per cent.
This transition actually presents small businesses with a huge opportunity. Digital payments systems are not only faster and more convenient for both buyers and sellers, they are also seriously rich in data – far more so than cash – which means business owners have a lot more to gain by embracing them.
Here are three key reasons why implementing a digital payments system could be the smartest move for your business.
It is frictionless
When you’re a small-business owner, with limited time, you want to implement processes within your business that are going to be efficient and effective, and don’t require too much manual input. New digital payment systems are doing just this – allowing business owners to accept a payment, send a receipt and receive the transaction data in real-time, without any additional effort.
New payments technology companies have introduced affordable and commercially available devices, that come with a range of added features to enable business owners to send instant receipts and access the data they are capturing at the point of sale.
A streamlined digital system removes the hassle of you having to reconcile or double-handle a transaction. As an added benefit, there are no complicated add-on services, extra hardware, ongoing fees, or lock-in contracts to deal with.
It helps you make better decisions
A digital payments system allows you to access all types of business data instantly, so you can analyse and better understand your transactions to add significant value to your business.
Knowing your sales trends and best performing products, as well as the time of year that they sell best, can help you better plan your inventory or staffing needs. It doesn’t matter if you have an online store, a brick-and-mortar store, or both, because digital payments systems can track sales from both, preventing any potential stock blunders.
You can also keep track of new and returning customers through your transaction history, which helps you to gain a better understanding of your customers’ spending habits, and plan future marketing campaigns that will appeal to your base.
It looks professional
Gone are the days of oversized card payment terminals, clunky cash-drawers, piles of paper receipts and cluttered countertops creating a barrier between you and your customers. New digital payment systems are not only improving the way you do business, they also provide an aesthetically pleasing alternative to legacy countertop setups.
New digital payment devices are created with mobility and appearance in mind. It doesn’t matter if you’re a sole trader or running a multi-location operation, you can benefit from payments hardware that looks good and is less intrusive. Many new businesses, particularly brick-and-mortar stores, spend big on their interiors, so it is worth making sure you have the right payments hardware to match.
Mobile technology also allows you to take the focus away from the checkout so you can provide on-the-spot service, which is a great way to create a more customer-friendly in-store experience. With the ever-present competition from big online retailers, utilising technology that can look up inventory or checkout a customer wherever they are, is the type of personalised service that will help set you apart and keep customers coming back.
Ben Pfisterer, Country Manager, Square Australia