Much has been written this year about the impact of COVID-19 on American businesses. From mandatory shut downs to ongoing social distancing requirements, it’s been a pretty wild ride. One of the most interesting aspects, in our minds, is the shift away from cash payments. This is a really big change for consumers, and it means great POS software is critical for your business.
Amid a global pandemic, electronic payments make sense. Money can be really dirty, passing through many hands before it ends up in your cash register. Short of wearing gloves every time you or your employees touch it, there’s no way to be sure it’s germ free.
Banks in China, where the outbreak started, have reportedly been ordered to disinfect cash before issuing it to the public in a bid to slow the spread. Meanwhile, closer to home, the U.S. Federal Reserve increased the minimum holding period for bills entering America from Asia and Europe from five days to 10 as a “precautionary measure” against the virus.
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POS software is key to taking electronic payments
Credit cards are the most popular payment method in the U.S., with 80% of consumers using them regularly. However, a 2018 report on retail banking, published by Boston-based consulting firm Bain & Company, found that cash is close behind, used by 79% of consumers. Debit cards, at 59%, and checks, at 53%, are next. This is similar to other countries: an estimated 85% of Canadians prefer cashless payments, while 10% of Brits live an almost cashless life, and Australians use contactless payments for 90% of purchases. This method is only going to become more popular in future.
American still love cash, that is clear. However, with global trends moving strongly towards electronic payments, it makes sense for your business to jump in now and get ahead of the curve.
There are many advantages to upgrading your POS software:
- It’s hands-free, which minimizes the risk of infection and promotes workplace safety
- It’s fast and convenient, which makes a better customer experience at the checkout
- It can integrate with your accounting software to make it easy to balance your books
- It decreases your risk of theft and reduce overheads on storing/transporting cash
- It increases your appeal to younger customers who may not carry cash
- It significantly reduces human error
POS software can also give you next-level customer analytics. For example, what if you knew that whenever it rained, your sales dipped by 25%? You could proactively offer rainy day specials, and notify your customers via email or text message. Or what if you found that sales were consistently low on Tuesdays? You could offer a local marketing campaign with a Tuesday discount code.
It’s easy to see why it’s worth the investment.
Setting up a new POS software solution
The easiest way to take electronic payments is by installing POS softwarethat allows credit and debit card processing. There are many different ways to do this, and it’s important to choose a solution that is tailored to your business needs. This includes everything from the actual payment terminals, as well as mobile and tablet payment options, and complementary web-based applications.
We recommend a platform called Clover, which provide a worry-free contactless experience that can be as flexible as you need to be – even if you want to offer services like curbside payments. It has a range of cool features that make electronic payments easy, including online ordering, which means you can offer your customers a pickup option. It’s suitable for all kinds of businesses, including retail and hospitality, and is a complete solution that includes all the necessary hardware and software. If you want to learn more about this, we’ve written a blog called “How to Choose a POS System for Your Business.” We also welcome your calls, so feel free to reach out with any questions.
Ready to overhaul your POS software? Let’s get started.