,

The death of cash?

5.4 million people across the UK, or 10% of consumers, according to UK Finance, have made no more than one payment with cash per month last year. Compare this to 2017, in which 3.4 million people rarely used cash, and it’s clear that cash’s role as the main form of transaction is quickly fading away. This is backed up by only 4% of the population, or 1.9 million people, confirming they still use cash as their main payment option.

Overall, cash payments made up only 28% of payments made in 2018 and based on recent statistics, this number is expected to drop to 10% in a decade from now. This can be seen as quite a drastic change when little more than a decade ago in 2008, cash still made up 60% of payments.

 

The Change In Payment Options

With more bank branches and cash machines closing as time goes on, those that still use cash as their main source of money are facing a definite problem. This hasn’t been overlooked, with UK Finance working with the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group (JACS) to assure cash will still be in steady supply to those who still use it.

One major factor in this change in dynamics would be public transport having implemented technology capable of reading contactless cards and increasing the limit of such payments to £30 in 2015.

The main form of payment nowadays is the debit card, it is having surpassed cash in 2017 and retained this position in 2018, making up 38% of last year’s total payments. They are even estimated to make up 50% of all payments by 2024. As for contactless cards, they made up 16% of consumer payments in 2017 and 21% in 2018, showing that they too are on the rise. As of now, 69% of UK adults use contactless cards.

 

Statistics And Rise

Some payment options tend to be more popular depending on factors of age or location. For instance, people living in the UK’s south-east and East Anglia mainly use contactless cards, while this is less common in the north-west. Contactless is now being increasingly favoured by older people, with them being the payment option of 50% of those over 65 years old in 2017 and rising to 61% by 2018.

Adults make an average of 11 contactless card payments each month, expected to rise to 24 per month by 2028. 48% of adults in the UK also use mobile banking online according to UK Finance’s Payment Markets report, a fair rise from 41% in 2017.

8.5 million people have been registered on mobile payment services such as Google Play as of the end of last year. This shows that the percentage of the population using such services have risen from 2% in 2016 to 16% as of now.

The percentages of each region’s amount of contactless card users according to UK Finance are:

 

  • South East and East Anglia, 72%
  • Midlands, 71%
  • London – 70%
  • Wales – 70%
  • Scotland – 69%
  • South West – 67%
  • North East and Yorkshire – 66%
  • Northern Ireland – 66%
  • North West, 58%

 

As for the average number of payments made by UK adults each month last year:

 

  • 28 card payments, 11 of which are contactless
  • 17 cash payments
  • 6 direct debit payments
  • 3 payments made with online/mobile banking
  • 8 standing orders
  • 3 cheques

 

Stephen Jones, the chief executive of UK Finance, cited the change in consumer mentality as the reason for this drastic boost in contactless payments, it mainly coming down to only choosing select options out of a variety for the most convenient experience.

“More and more customers are now opting for the speed and convenience of paying with their contactless cards, or using mobile banking to check their balances and make transfers while on the move.”

 

Cash’s Remaining Importance

Stephen Jones also cited the change in technological advancements as a major reason for the sudden rise, though admitted maintaining cash is still important due to the preference for it as an option amongst several groups.

The chief executive of ATM network Link, John Howells, placed emphasis on the importance of changing the distribution of cash to make it easier to access for all customers, hoping to aid it through the help of the industry and regulators.

Whilst the age of cash is fading, it still holds importance within the economy. The expansion of cards should be encouraged, whilst there should also be an easy access to cash as an alternative option.

,

Credit Card Security- Its History And Evolution

If you’re a younger reader, you may not realise the amount of changes that have happened to the card to get to where we are now. In truth, the evolution to Apple Pay and Contactless has been a steady one with lots of trial and error.

 

The Beginning

The credit card system’s origins can be traced back to a conversation between a restaurant owner and Frank McNamara, when the latter had left his wallet at home when needing to pay for a meal. His wife covered the tab and he left thinking there was definitely another way. When talking about how he didn’t want this to happen again, he spoke to his lawyers about his idea and formed the first type of credit card – Diner’s Club.

Back then, however, the limitations of computing made a lot of difficulties. For a start, nobody could confirm the buyer was the owner of the card, with the early versions just being printed paper with a name and signature, no built-in chips or expansive database. The card wasn’t an instant payment either, it was essentially an IOU at first.

 

Many then followed in Diner’s Club’s footsteps. American Express and Carte Blanche worked in much the same way, recording a monthly bill of all payments made through the card’s services, and were categorised as travel and entertainment cards.

It wasn’t until BankAmerica and InterBank Master Charge cards, which would eventually evolve into Visa and MasterCard respectively, that true credit cards fully came into existence. The banks would allow their customers to pay the bills from their transactions over time through the cards’ credit scheme.

 

In the 1950s, when computers were a rarity, only telephones could be used to confirm a purchase before making the sale. As expected, fraud eventually appeared for these transactions, leading to the first measures to prevent this being brought in. The first attempt at this was through voice authorisation. The companies who manufacture the cards would have a call centre that merchants would have to call in order for a transaction to be made. This system has survived to the current day, even if now relegated to a secondary option.

 

Audio responses by the card issuers were next, in which merchants would call them to enter the card holder’s information, which would verify the purchase. When touch-tone phones became the norm, this changed to merchants entering the information using the keypad, with the system then either issuing an approval code or declining it. Despite the improvements made to reduce fraud, card issuers wanted to make the purchases even more secure and haven’t stopped working on new ways to avoid this danger.

 

The Rise Of The Chip

It was then that magnetic stripes became used on the back of cards, carrying information that could identify the card holder and either approve or decline the purchase based on the current card holder’s information. Whilst an improvement, it carried its fair share of problems, due to it being easy to use once stolen and can be duplicated easily.

Due to these problems, the Chips were developed. The first case of this was a joint project between Europay, MasterCard and Visa in Europe called the EMV. It encrypted the data during the transaction by creating a temporary token to send to the company authorising the card to verify the payment. Offline transactions at the time of the chip’s introduction weren’t as secure, but required less steps and were a useful option if a merchant didn’t want traffic to become too much for their network.

 

Though at first contact chips requiring the chip and PIN format was the only option and required physical contact to work, contactless has now appeared and become a staple form of payment.

 

Contact Chip

There’s little that needs to be said on how Chip and PIN functions. You sign in to make a purchase with your PIN number after inserting the card and confirm it. There was originally the Chip and Signature option, though that quickly became irrelevant in Europe, and is starting to fall off in America. Signatures were too easy to forge, and most merchants couldn’t verify the signatures matched perfectly.

Both credit and debit cards now use the Chip and PIN system to enter into an ATM for a transaction, with the card issuer being able to inform you of whether or not your card is capable of using the system. In the rare case Chip and PIN isn’t an option, it will still be useable in Europe with human assistance.

 

Contactless Chip

Contactless chips use Near Field Communications (NFC) as their protocol, allowing for wireless communication with a terminal that is the cause of them needing only a tap against the transaction device.

As expected, the only real difference in use is that contactless cards are far faster.

The problem with the contactless option, however, is that someone with technology capable of Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) can steal the information if close enough; being behind them in a queue, for instance. A metal or tinfoil card case is a good way to prevent this as the metal casing blocks the radio waves used in RFID.

 

Here, we reach the current state of card security. It’s evident that a lot of development has gone into bringing credit cards to their current form of payments and protection and though there is still room for improvement, we have reached a level in which most transactions can occur without the slightest worry.

 

Want to add some new payment options in your business?

We here at CheaperPay can help your company accept card. According to Santander, 60% said they would use small businesses more often if they could pay using cards. Visit http://cheaperpay.me/request-a-quote/ for a FREE quote.

, , ,

Pros and cons of a cashless society

In the current market, a cashless system is often promoted as the future of shopping- which it already is to some extent. A lot of countries are starting to adopt this slowly, with the intention of phasing out cash in the not too distant future. Here’s our list of things that are good and bad about it:

 

Why Go Cashless?

#1 – Crime Reduction

The phasing out of cash will eliminate a number of crimes involving money- think laundering, counterfeiting, bribery and the buying of things that would require untracked cash (from drugs to weapons). You’ll no longer have to have staff constantly counting money, and stores will be a lot less appealing to people for break-ins without cash in the till.

In fact, recent studies in the Access to Cash Review show that 36% of people consider cashless businesses an important part of reducing crime. Another statistic is from Paymentsense, in which 31% of business owners said that bringing in new technology for finances helped make them feel more secure about their business.

 

#2 – No Need For Banks

Going to the bank to deposit money can be quite the chore, especially if it’s far away. Many branches, especially in small villages, are disappearing one after the other. For example, the HSBC in the North Yorkshire village of Kirkbymoorside closed around two years ago and left the only option of withdrawing money through ATMs in local shops, forcing members to travel elsewhere.

Removing cash stops this problem, as it makes it a lot more convenient for users to live their daily lives without ever needing to take out money.

On the subject of finances, the cost of implementing credit services will lower after their use reaches a certain threshold, with the costs for most cashless businesses for their credit card payments only being 1% of the transaction.

 

#3 – It’s coming anyway

Compared to the good old exchange of cash, we’re now living in what the previous generation would see as a sci-fi pipe dream. Fingerprint and eye scans aren’t rare, tapping a card against a sensor is enough to make a payment and there is no sign of slowing when it comes to payment options.

 

Access to Cash Review has even said that current trends in e-commerce make 2026 the estimated year where cash’s use completely stops. In their most recent data, it’s been shown that cash only makes up 13% of rent payments, 10% for gas, electricity or water and 8% for TV licensing.

Meanwhile, cash makes up 86% of newspaper payments, and considering the outdated nature of this medium, it can be inferred that cash is the preference of the older generation. With that said, the fading away of cash will stay gradual and constant as time goes on, along with the switch to online news.

 

#4- It’s easier for tourists

No more converting! In a cashless world, people can just take their card travelling and won’t have to worry about losing a large percentage of your money every time you want to switch over.

 

#5- Stops using resources

Coins and notes are made out of a lot of materials, and we’d have a lot more copper, nickel and steel if we stopped production and melted down all our coins. Copper ranks as the third-most used industrial metal in the world after iron and aluminium, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), so it would be useful to not have to use so much on money.

 

Why Not To Go Cashless

#1 – Crime will always be a thing

On the flip side to what’s been mentioned, there are other forms of crime that will increase as cashless society becomes the norm, with shop-robbers being replaced with hackers. The data breaches in businesses have grown as they become less reliant on cash, with hacking also holding the risk of the leaking of personal information.

 

#2 – Potential problems for those with less access

Not everyone benefits from this system. Access to Cash has said that specifically 17% of the population will struggle when cash fades away from society. With cash machines closing down at around 300 per month, those who don’t have a bank account, or the internet, may find it increasingly difficult to live as they did normally.

It’s been found that cash can help poorer people organise budgeting better, and generally offer them peace of mind. On top of that, over 1.3 million people in the UK don’t have a bank account, particularly those in the teenage range and below. This is a thing that needs to change if we’re ever going to make the transition to cash-free.

 

#3 – Blackouts

Blackouts aren’t hugely often in the grand scheme of things, but still occur somewhere in the world once a day on average. This is a big issue in a cashless society, because it would mean nobody would have access to their funds.

For the many small businesses in rural areas, an untimely blackout could mean closing your business down for a brief amount of time, which is a pretty big reason to think about system stability before going completely cashless. That being said, things like this are bound to happen and usually get solved quickly.

 

#4 – Other teething problems

Without cash, there doesn’t seem to be a widely accepted way to tip service workers yet, but some companies do this well- like Uber giving you an option to add a tip while paying on the app. Charity boxes are also something that will have to evolve too, but there are already card accepting ones being created.

 

Conclusion – Which Is Best?

There aren’t any completely cashless countries yet, but this is changing, and we can find out the answer to this question properly over time, starting in Sweden. Both sides have many pros and cons, but I would say cashless sounds better in theory. However, we’ll see!

 

Want your business to be cashless?

We here at CheaperPay can help your company accept card. According to Santander, 60% said they would use small businesses more often if they could pay using cards. Visit http://cheaperpay.me/request-a-quote/ for a FREE quote.

,

The importance of chip and pin for small businesses

As time goes by, what was once an exclusive thing becomes common to most. Chip and PIN is an example of this, once being only for the upper corporate world and now being an asset to any small business across the country. This major change has come from the technology being streamlined into a smaller and cheaper package whilst still remaining just as efficient- and here’s why you should look into it for your business:

 

Why should you buy one?

Chip and PIN has been a game changer for many small businesses, and such should be expected. In many cases, a one-off payment is all that’s needed for the device as a whole, and then only a regular transaction fee of around 2% of profits. It is also a near instant installation, so you can start using it straight away.

 

In this age, almost every business is expected by their customers to take card payments. Some reasons for this would include the convenience of not having to look for change, and the convenience of not having to take money out before shopping.

 

The whole system is also encrypted, so you don’t need to worry about anyone stealing money from a customer, or your store.

 

On the subject of cash, installing the Chip and PIN system isn’t that costly. With new products constantly being released and improved, the cost of the devices you’ll need has been lowered significantly and allowed business both big and small to have equal opportunity when it comes to their in-store equipment.

With card readers now being both cheap and widely available, getting one for your business is a no-brainer to appear both professional and modern.

There’s a great probability your competitors are already using card readers to provide the best customer service they can. Having this payment method stops you from being seen as outdated or inconvenient, which are two labels a business does not want to have.

 

On top of that, you don’t want to deny a customer a product due to your business not accepting certain payment methods. More and more businesses are now accepting the Chip and PIN method as well, making it a surprise when a business still only takes cash.

Lagging behind when it comes to card readers will definitely damage your brand and its potential profits. Changing all that by installing a card reader, however, will definitely boost your revenue and customer base.

 

How it may differ from business to business

Mobile Chip and PIN

Does your business require workers travelling to the customer, such as with delivery services? Normally, that’d be something where cash would be a necessity but with mobile Chip and PIN machines, this is no longer a problem. Taking a payment at a customer’s home or on the road is now as easy as doing so in store. The mobile reader connects either to a mobile network or through your phone, to offer both ease of transaction and better service to your customers or clients.

Restaurants

In the case of restaurant payments, they use a base unit with an online connection that several card readers in the vicinity connect to. This allows you to move directly to your customer’s seat for the payment. or anywhere else in the building, making the system perfect for restaurants.

This isn’t just something for restaurants though, with this convenient method of payment excelling in any field where there is a server moving around to customers.

Conclusion

Card machines are incredibly important, as they open up another avenue for sales, gives another layer to your customer service, and stops your store keeping an unhealthy amount of cash on premises.

With the customers expecting both cash and cards to be payment options, it’s a good option for both you and your customers.

It’s no secret that stores with card readers have more sales, so what are you waiting for?

 

Looking to get a card reader?

Here at CheaperPay, we have 3 card reader options for businesses. We are able to provide low cost terminals designed specifically for the small business market. This is why we completely avoid long-term contracts, and don’t partake in large fixed costs that would affect your cashflow. We offer all three of the terminals mentioned in this post, and can even offer further advice on request! Visit http://cheaperpay.me/request-a-quote/ to get a FREE quote.

, , ,

Sweden set to become the first cashless country

Sweden plans to be the first cashless society on earth in the near future, as the country who first introduced cash to the world in 1661 ironically becomes the first to announce abandoning cash as a whole by March 2023, and make their economy entirely digital after 362 years.

For many years, almost all of Swedish transactions have been through credit and debit cards and using contactless methods. More than 80% of all transactions in Sweden are done electronically now, making cash seem obsolete to the country. The other Nordic countries such as Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland seem to be following Sweden’s example, showing this is a trend that is spreading.

 

The fall of cash in Sweden

By comparison, the mix in other European countries is shifting, but primarily use cash and still have many cash only businesses. Scandinavian countries are leading the way however, with all payments instead being by card or by the mobile app Swish.

What is Swish?

It’s a mobile payment platform designed by the six largest banks in Sweden to make electronic payments easier for the country’s population. This became an app used by almost everyone in Sweden and is often seen as the catalyst to finally kickstart the new digital era the country has been on the brink of for some time.

The Swedish people are being encouraged by both the banks and government to use Swish over cash, with over half of the population using Swish and only 13% using cash regularly. This extends to children as well, with many over the age of seven having debit cards with parental consent and having never used cash in their lives.

One event that helped bring rise to this was Stockholm’s public transport deciding to stop the acceptance of cash payments several years ago, and instead putting in place a policy of card/app only. Customers found this to end up being a better system as it encouraged most of them to buy monthly travel cards, which are more convenient and less expensive than regular individual tickets.

Another thing that caused the fall of cash was the convenience of tourists. When cards became the norm, the need for tourists to convert their cash upon visiting was gone. Cash isn’t necessary, even in small stores, which is perfect for those travelling to the country. All Swedish vendors now have chip and PIN readers offered by iZettle or Swish payment gateways.

Losing reliance on cash also helps prevent several types of crime. Bank robberies, drug deals, counterfeiting, and tax avoidance have all drastically decreased since cash stopped being a popular source of transaction, as online payments are easier to track than cash.

 

What that means for us

Now that this precedent has been set, Britain will surely follow suit. Whilst cash is indeed common here, card payments are just as common and contactless transactions are on the rise. In fact, contactless payments have become more popular than standard card payments in many stores according to the payment technology company Worldpay.

This first happened in June, in which 51% of in-store transactions were contactless and rose to 52% the following month. This was a 30% jump from what it was last year.

Ever since the spending limit was increased from £20 to £30, cards have exploded in popularity. Fashion has been one category of business that has greatly benefited from this, along with betting shops and department stores. Worldpay reported that there was a boost in card and mobile app payments not only in England, but Northern Ireland as well.

The former chief ombudsman of Financial Ombudsman, Natalie Ceeney, has said that the circulation of cash throughout our society amounts to a staggering £5 billion per year and that it will reach the point where it’ll be easier for businesses to stop accepting cash. If cash were to stop being circulated and currency was to go entirely digital, this would save the government a lot of money when it comes to actually moving the money.

 

The future of money

Since the early 2010s, many experts on finance have analysed the future of money and analysed the stability of cashless societies. Academics have investigated multiple scenarios, leading to where the future of cash lies, and the social consequences of turning a society cashless. New payment solutions are currently being discussed thoroughly, along with just how long it’d take us to be cashless ourselves in the future.

Sweden’s new answer to this is a new concept based on their current currency, named the e-Krona, a digital currency backed by Sweden’s banks and scheduled to come into place in 2019. As one of the final steps in turning Sweden fully into a cashless society, the banks hope to have the e-Krona fully in use around the country by 2021.

These changes set a standard that can likely start a domino effect of sorts, with many more countries not far behind.

 

Want to add some new payment options in your business?

We here at CheaperPay can help your company accept card. According to Santander, 60% said they would use small businesses more often if they could pay using cards. Visit http://cheaperpay.me/request-a-quote/ for a FREE quote.

, , , ,

“Which terminal should I use for my business?” The Guide

When starting out a business nowadays, big or small, one of the more important things is to make sure you’re prepared for multiple types of payment, as cash-only cuts out a sizeable portion of your customers.

It’s something rarely taught, and jumping into the world of business will sooner or later present you with this question: what type of payment terminal do I use?

Credit card machines can be broken down into three main types – countertop, portable or mobile. In this post we will consider the positives and negatives of these three types, and you can decide for yourself which would benefit your business the most.

 

Countertop Machines

Countertop machines are cheap, sturdy and have a hardwired connection to the business, making them the common choice amongst many small businesses. Costing around £100, they’re far better than the portable choice when it comes to price, being up to 3 times cheaper in the most extreme cases, but depending on who you buy them from.

If your business is a small one where the vast majority/ all of the payments are made at the counter such as a coffee shop, local bakery or something else that fits this bill, this is probably the best card machine for you. Along with not needing to be reliant on Wi-Fi or battery charging, this is definitely a great option for any store selling fast-food, clothes or a multitude of other things.

Businesses that mainly use countertop machines consist mainly of retail, with the big players including major supermarkets and department stores.

 

Portable Machines

With businesses that require a lot of moving for its staff, having a portable card machine when having a transaction with a customer can be a godsend.

Restaurants and bars are ones that can highly benefit from this as there’s no need to manage a queue at the counter (it opens up the option of a customer paying at their tale) or fumble with change when it comes to paying at the table. This speeds up the process and leaves everyone happy.

Portable machines work through a Wi-Fi connection. Don’t have one? Then simply hook them up to a standard landline and they’ll work just as fine. They will need to be recharged, however, having an average battery life of eight hours and work at a range of up to 200ft. As long as you have a safe charging point and aren’t operating in a multi-level building (where we’d recommend having multiple terminals), you should have no problem with this.

 

Mobile Machines

Portable devices sound great for a lot of businesses, but what if your business ignore the slight flaws of this method, such as the limited range of the connection? What if your business is a delivery company or taxi service, where constant internet/ landline access isn’t always possible, and you can’t simply install a countertop reader?

Well, as long as where you are still has mobile network coverage, then mobile card machines may be right for you. With the flexibility of just needing a mobile and a connection, as well as the charging ports being far more convenient, this option is definitely the best for businesses that aren’t able to have either of the other two options.

These devices work through a SIM card that will connect the machine to a mobile network. Newer varieties such as the iZettle reader, however, make things even simpler by instead just connecting your phone through an app with no need for a specialised SIM card.

With the minimum amount of hardware compared to the other two options, some only requiring the reader and connection to a phone, it seems like the best choice for a business where the employee is always on the go, even more so than the portable reader.

Other businesses that can benefit a lot from mobile devices include and kind of door-to-door sales, from hairdressers and other services to those selling physical products.

 

The fees

A rented machine or service will usually cost up to £30 a month, whilst buying the machine outright will cost anywhere from £80-300. This does vary from place to place, but the cheapest terminal is generally the countertop one, due to its lack of freedom, with the other two being similar in price.

Along with that, there’s the transaction fees. These will depend on the amount of transactions you make within a given time, as well as whether you’re paying through a percentage of the customer’s transaction or a flat fee. The former will usually result in an intake of 2-5% of the customer’s transaction, whilst the latter will usually be a standard payment of 40p per transaction. There are some exceptions on this, such as the SUMUP terminal, which only contracts you to pay 1.69% per transaction with a direct pay-out to your bank account.

Minimum usage fees may be necessary if you’re not making enough transactions. These can usually be around £50 a month.

 

Conclusion – Which One is the Best?

Choosing a winner between the options is purely subjective in terms of what kind of business you have. To summarise, countertop works better for retail, where paying at the counter is the best option. Portable works better for environments where the workers need to move around a lot like hospitality jobs, and mobile works better for those who are constantly on the move outside of a set building.

If you’re interested in speed, the countertop option seems to be the fastest when it comes to transactions due to not relying on a Wi-Fi connection of any kind, whilst the mobile option seems to be the best in terms of versatility. Overall, it depends on what matters more for your type of business.

 

Still need help?

We are able to provide low cost terminals designed specifically for the small business market. This is why we completely avoid long-term contracts, and don’t partake in large fixed costs that would affect your cashflow. We offer all three of the terminals mentioned in this post, and can even offer further advice on request! Visit http://cheaperpay.me/request-a-quote/ to get a FREE quote.

, , ,

Make Your Small Business Big With Virtual Terminals

Being able to assure your business method is the most convenient for your customer is a priority in modern business. Credit and Debit Cards being accepted is a start, but staying ahead of your competition will probably require a Virtual Terminal and the skills to manage one effectively.

Using a virtual terminal, merchants have to log in using any web browser, go to the menu where the transaction can be processed and enter the customer’s data to the data board. Now that we’ve explained the basics, what are the real benefits of the virtual terminal?

 

Why use a virtual terminal?

A virtual terminal can be seen as an online credit card machine. Being online, it can be seen as having several advantages over physical terminals.

 

  • Portability – There’s no need to waste time searching for a terminal that may be limited to parts of the town or city, or even not there if living in a very small village. Virtual terminals allow you to make a payment anywhere as long as there is internet and the customer has their credit card on hand.

 

  • No rental fees – In most other systems, you’d need some sort of equipment to process payments and that can lead to additional rental fees for your company to worry about (if you don’t buy the item outright.) Neither of these scenarios need be an issue, however, if you use a virtual terminal. The only equipment you’ll need is a good internet connection and a computer that meets the system requirements.

 

  • Instant reporting – Real-time data transfers and reports are a major advantage of all types of credit card machines. Instant access to sales reports allow managers to properly update someone’s finances and this is even more important if your business is a small one where keeping track of every purchase, pricing and your stock is crucial for your business’ success. With virtual terminals, you can track all this information and help update all departments of your business by sharing the changes with them.

 

  • Automated billing – With a virtual terminal, you can also set up automated billing for recurring clients you work with regularly.

 

Another major benefit is reducing cases of fraud, but that’s something we’ll expand on in a short while.

 

Best businesses for virtual terminals

If your business needs to process electronic payments but lacks access to a customer’s physical credit card, virtual terminals are the best system you could hope for. Most virtual terminal users used to consist of mail and telephone order storeowners.

Now, it’s become highly popular amongst all types of retail jobs as more merchant service providers offer card readers compatible with computers. This does mean they can’t collect customer payments or debit card payments, but this can often be a small drawback compared to the benefits depending on your line of work.

 

Call centres, charities, jewellers, home appliance, doctors and beauticians are amongst the many types of smaller businesses taking advantage of the benefits of virtual terminals to the fullest. If one of these is your trade, what are you waiting for?

 

Keep things secure and reduce fraud

Now, back to a point mentioned earlier. Online transactions carry their own set of strengths and weaknesses when it comes to fraud. It can be difficult to detect a genuine order when the customer doesn’t need to present a physical credit card, though there are still ways to counter the risk of fraud.

Merchants should always treat several signs as red flags when it comes to taking orders. Some of the main examples would include:

 

  • Suspicious address – Some countries, such as Russia, have a high reputation for fraudulent transactions. Keep an eye on where your orders are going to, especially if international orders are rare in your business.
  • Strange quantities or items – Very large, bulk orders are ones that should seem suspicious. If the only variation in the item is size or colour, be wary of it being false.
  • Serial address orders – If you have many different credit card orders going to the same place, this should make it obvious that the customer may be a fraud. A couple of differences is fine for a general household. A dozen or so is a red flag.
  • Strange address – An order that’s shipped to an anonymous location to hide the customer’s true identity if a definite sign of fraud. Be very wary when shipping to a commercial address beyond the standard.

 

After that, focusing on the checkout process is highly important. Things to look out for at that point would be:

 

  • CVV Codes – Asking for a customer’s CVV code or billing ZIP code will be a big step in proving they’re genuine.
  • AVS – An Address Verification Service will tell you if the address given by the customer matches that on their credit card.
  • Tokenisation – This method hides the customer’s information in a virtual database vault whilst their public data is replaced with a substitute token. This form of data encryption makes it a lot more difficult for them to have their information stolen by scammers.

 

No matter what kind of business you have or what ambitions of success you hold, the first true step towards any of that is having the security to accomplish your goal.

 

Best terminal for you

 

After having talked so long about virtual terminals and why your business should seize the opportunity, a question still remains – What virtual terminal is right for you? There are several brands of virtual terminals such as Square, PayPal and Payline, each of which have their own talents in standing out depending on your line of work.

 

Square is best suited for businesses looking for a lot more extra features beyond the standard terminal service, being easy to set up and use with straightforward fees with no fluctuation. You can pick and choose what you need in your business, including a free online store, which makes it the best for more practical professions like construction work.

A major advantage for Square is that it comes with the virtual terminal as part of its standard package, rather than being an additional cost.

 

PayPal is the best for a business focused mainly on online transactions. They already have a virtual terminal built into their devices, which makes activating it incredibly easy. Along with this, the rate at which you would be paid is faster than the competitors, as is the ability to deposit funds.

Despite this, it does fall short compared to its rivals when it comes to being cost-effective, with its virtual terminal services being an additional monthly cost of roughly £23.

 

Payline can be considered a jack of all trades type of service compared to the other two. It focuses on acting more as a traditional merchant account provider, but also makes online payments far easier due to the focus put on its payment gateways. Like Square, it comes as part of the service rather than as an additional cost, but lacks the immediate fund deposits of PayPal.

One area where it excels is in its price, not adding any monthly fees or separate gateway fees. All that’s required is paying the base credit card company charge, a small additional percentage and a pre-transaction fee. Due to this, Payline is the best option for those looking for the cheapest alternative, even if not the fastest.

 

Once you’ve decided on your terminal, you’re ready to put all this planning into practice. You will soon be on the way to producing a convenient system to help boost the popularity of your business and perhaps turn a small business into a big one, whatever your trade may be.

 

Would you like to introduce a virtual terminal to your business?

If you’re looking to get your business ready to take payments over the phone or online, we can help. CheaperPay specialises in opening payment avenues in your business, because a customer that wants to pay a different way is a lost customer.

 

If you would like a free quote, or just more information on our services, please fill in the contact form at http://cheaperpay.me/request-a-quote/ and one of our accredited advisers will be in touch soon.

, , , , ,

How to accept card payments – The Beginners Guide

We live in the digital age where computers and electronic data are paramount to almost everything; even money.
As one going into a new business as either an employee or owner, you must be aware of how credit card payments will be a key factor to your business flourishing in success.

We will walk you through a concise plan of how one unfamiliar with bringing credit card systems into a business, as you well may be, can catch on to the basics and see several new opportunity’s in your company’s growth.

Benefits of Card Payments

The first major benefit of card payments is their simplicity. Most people have become attuned to paying via card nowadays, so being able to accept such payments will make business transactions occur at a far quicker and more efficient rate, as customers will be able to pay instantly rather than taking time for a cheque payment to be cleared.

” I’m hoping to be alive to see the elimination of money. ” – Tim Cooke, CEO Apple
Source: Mashable.com

This is more important when you take into account how the use of cash has taken a decline with the ease of contactless technology for small purchases. This has lead to the prediction
that most people will lean more towards card based payments over time.

Not holding as much physical cash will mean you have far less need to spend money on security for a safe and will mean you needn’t travel for a deposit as often.
Moreover, you won’t need to rely on alternate financing such as loans or overdrafts often, improving your cash flow.

Accepting card payments doesn’t just benefit yourself, but the customer.
Imagine yourself as the customer, needing to head immediately to the cash machine only to waste time unnecessarily, having problems withdrawing the cash or even getting so annoyed with the situation you decide not even to bother investing in this business.

Being able to facilitate instant transactions will convince the customer to see a variety in convenient payment options and be more likely to return.

Time can also be saved in that your customer and yourself won’t need to count the physical money you hold when making a payment. A quick insert of a card and short PIN code entry, or even a swipe of a mobile phone from something like Apple Pay, will have the trade take a fraction of the time fumbling with physical cash would…

Knowing exactly how much money will be transferred and gained during the process means you can plan ahead for future payments, profits and savings. Card machines also make your customers on average more likely to become victim to impulse buying and means less physical cash and cheques need be dealt with, which means fewer bank fees.

Genuine data proves the benefit of cards. According to the Global payments report preview produced by Wordplay in 2015, Credit Cards were predicted to become the second most popular payment option by 2019 and online payments becoming the most popular; something still requiring a credit card.

No matter how you see it, the future where cards take precedent is incoming and any aspiring businessman best be prepared.

Why do we need a Payment Gateway and Merchant Account?

Once knowing why card payments are important, you’ll obviously want to know the “how.”
That would require a few small steps before any payments can be made by gaining two essentials.

What is a Merchant Account?

Firstly, a Merchant Account is required. These are a type of bank account that holds a customer’s account before entering the bank account of a business. This makes it a secure option for both the customer and you, the business owner, authorising the payment for a successful transaction. This payment should enter your business bank account within 2-3 days.

Before rushing towards procuring a merchant account, however, you need to be aware of the requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Unless a sole trader, you must have a business account.
  • Be within one of the countries in which the merchant account system is supported (Most
    countries in Europe support it)
  • Must not have a business on the Prohibited Business list (Adoption Agencies, Legal Highs,
    Sex work, etc.)

For a full list of supported countries and Prohibited Businesses, see here:
https://www.web-merchant.co.uk/minimumrequirements.asp

How does a Payment Gateway work?

Secondly, you will need a Payment Gateway.

These act as a connective between your business’ website and the banks, being a swift and seamless process where your customer need not interact with the intermediary step of the gateway.
The gateway purely acts as a platform on which a customer’s credit card and details are submitted and securely sent to relevant financial networks affiliated with the bank and to the merchant account, all it’s sensitive data being encrypted to avoid any third party hacking the data in an act of theft.

The method of card payment can differ depending on how your business operates. The convenient countertop card machines will make retailers and any other in-store establishments far more efficient for their easy usability and close proximity to the cashier’s station.

If, on the other hand, your line of work makes bringing the payment option to the customer rather than vice-versa then portable card machines are recommended far more; an essential for any sort of eating establishment (restaurant, cafe, pub, etc.). Bluetooth technology allows the payment to be processed anywhere within the business’ premises.

Similarly, mobile card machines allow for a greater range in payment; anywhere within the UK where network coverage is available being capable of having a payment transferred.
GPRS technology makes it convenient and essential for businesses that rely more on long range work such as online payment.

When it comes down to actual payment, you must also have a business bank account to transfer the money into through your merchant account, which will take roughly two working days. Such accounts will require a Tax ID Number and a social security number regardless of you having your merchant account yet, though whether or not you need more will vary depending on your specific bank.

Card Processing Fees and Rates

If you have little experience with making card machines part of your business, you may be surprised to find there is a fair amount of cost in bringing it in, though how much depends on
several factors.

Along with deciding which of the three card machines you wish to utilise, you need to consider what type of business you are working on and your turnovers.

To plan your utilisation of card machines, here are a few questions to consider:

1. Transactions – How many do you make face-to-face and/or online/long range transactions
do you make per month? If both, how do the two methods compare?
2. What is the value of each individual card transaction you make per month?
3. What is the total value of payment received from card transactions per month?
4. What types of card make up the majority of transactions (credit, debit, etc.) and what
banks are the most popular?

Once you have come up with an answer to all these questions, you can speak to CheaperPay for advice and calculations of the cost.
As a small example, you may only need the merchant account and gateway solution if your business is exclusively online, whereas having the gateway overshadowed by card terminals.

Obviously, you will want heavy priority on all these options simultaneously if your business is both store and web-based.

Merchant Service Charges

Merchant Service Charges , as you may imagine, refer to charges a merchant account receives based on the transaction rate your payment provider agrees to, based on your answer to the four prior questions. This is set as a percentage of each transaction being taken by your provider as payment and varies depending on whether or not your account is on a credit or debit card.

Authorisation Fees

To authorise each payment, you’ll need to pay Authorisation Fees .
The preset fees from the average provider based on the GBP currency are 0p for contactless transactions, and 2-4p for any card based transaction.

Minimal Billing

If your two fees previously explored fall below the amount agreed upon with your payment provider, you may be charged a Minimum Billing, which is on average £20 per month.

Card Machine Hire or Purchase

You will also need to hire various things such as card machines. Per month, Desktop/Countertop card machines generally cost £15, portable card machines with a fixed base unit cost £20 and Fully mobile card machines with a built in SIM card cost around £25. This isn’t taken into account VAT costs that will be necessary.

If you would rather pay for a machine than constantly pay for hiring, several banks will offer portable card machines for new businesses with prices usually ranging from £50-70.

As one who has aspirations for creating a business or trying to help expand a small business you are part of, this guide should now help you realise the benefits and cost of installing credit card payments as an essential part of your business.

CheaperPay can offer the best advice, setup and prices for the most appropriate card machine and the bills associated with them, you should reap in the many benefits of the time, free space and money that credit card payments provide for your business.

, , , , , ,

Shop tills to ring to ‘optimistic’ chime for Visa transactions in new era of ‘sensory branding’

Shoppers already driven to distraction by the incessant dinging, and beeping of self-checkouts could be about to face a new headache.

Payments using Visa will soon be accompanied by a ‘signature sound’, which will chime out each time a card or smartphone is presented, or an in-app purchase made.

Marketing employees at the company have spent a year choosing the perfect noise which, they claim, signals ‘speed and convenience,’ while being ‘energetic and optimistic.’

The insist it is not ‘overly intrusive’, and claim other ‘chimes’ were eliminated for being too ‘angry’ or eliciting ‘visceral reactions.’

The company is also launching a unique vibration which users will feel when paying by smartphone, claiming it is entering a new era of ‘sensory branding.’

The company has made the change because fewer tills carry Visa logos now

The new sound and vibration were picked after spending months carrying out neuro-research to test the physical reactions of volunteers when they were played different sounds. The company claims users were left feeling ‘happy’ and ‘excited’ by the new chime and vibration.

“We wanted to make sure we had the global view, not just four-to-five uninformed people deciding which sound won the popularity contest,” said Visa’s marketing chief, Lynne Biggar.

“You’d be surprised by how excited and how competitive or opinionated we all can be about very short sounds.

“We all are becoming very responsive to the use of sound.”

Companies like Intel are already using sounds as part of their logo. The ‘Intel Inside’ bong is still going strong after 20 years.

The new sound will launch in January ahead of the Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with a new advertising campaign featuring athletes making payments by swiping a credit card, tapping a phone and completing purchases online.

“As new payment experiences continue to take shape in the world, this suite of sensory branding elements will give consumers the assurances we know they want every time they use Visa,” added Miss Biggar.

 

(The Telegraph, 2017)

, , , , , , , , ,

APPLE PAY P2P Payments Coming To Apple Watch In The Autumn

 

apple-watch

 

 

Peer-to-peer payments are coming to the Apple Watch this fall with the release of iOS 11 and watchOS 4.

On its website, Apple said that Apple Pay users will be able to send and receive money quickly, easily and securely via its peer-to-peer payment platform. The feature will be available right in Messenger, or users can tell Siri to pay someone using a virtual debit card or credit card already loaded into the digital wallet. When users get paid, they will receive the money instantly in the new Apple Pay Cash card that will reside in the Apple Wallet.

The move on the part of Apple to include P2P payments with the new iOS 11 and watchOS 4 comes at a time when the company is trying to get Apple Pay in the hands of more users. Earlier this month, Didi, the Uber of China (and, in fact, the local service that gobbled up Uber China last August) announced it has added Apple Pay support to its Didi Premier, Didi Express and Didi Luxe personal mobility services, in addition to its partner station-less bike rental service ofo, according to a TechCrunch news report.

Apple Pay is standard fare on any iOS device, allowing users to authenticate payments biometrically – today, with their fingerprints, and soon using Face ID on the forthcoming iPhone X. That’s on top of other iOS features Didi already supported, including Siri-powered ride hailing from within the Maps app or via the Apple Watch. With the addition of support by Didi, Apple Pay joins the likes of WeChat, Alipay, QQ Wallet, international credit cards and CMB all-in-one net payment, all of which power Didi’s core services. It also comes at a time of increased competition from Fitbit, which recently launched the Ionic smartwatch.

 

Source (Pymnts, 2017)

, , , , , , , , ,

Avoid being hit by the Government’s credit card surcharge ban with Cheaper Pay!

As of January 2018, businesses will be stripped of their ability to add any surcharges to their card transactions.

Airlines, fast-food chains and small businesses will be those who suffer most from the ban, but there are ways in which these companies can make up for this potential loss of capital.

Cheaper Pay’s industry-leading payment solutions come in at a staggering 40% cheaper price than the likes of WorldPay, Barclays and Lloyds – offering terrific value for money, as well as bearing the costs that may be lost in profit once these government changes come in to fruition next year.

Having provided UK businesses with the crème de la crème of payment technology for over a decade, Cheaper Pay are well placed to install the ideal payment system that is perfect for your business’s needs.

For a FREE no-obligation quote, get in touch with one of our specialist advisers today on 03301 242 537.

, , , , ,

Contactless payments are ready to donate a helping hand!

Contactless Payments are set to become increasingly involved in charity fundraising appeals. The move comes as statistics published late last year showed an incredible rise in the amount of money spent with contactless devices.
According to the UK Card Association, November 2016 saw a £2,903m spend in the UK through contactless mediums – an incredible 183% rise on the previous year.
Now, that incredible figure is set to be translated onto the fundraising scene, with many charities recognising that people are more inclined to spend contactlessly than with spare cash.
Some major charities have already began trialling the scheme, with the 2015 Red Nose Day producing statues that housed contactless payment points where people could donate.
Furthermore, The Blue Cross then introduced a scheme in 2016 where people could ‘Pat and Tap’ the dogs on show to donate £2.
With contactless payments on the rise, the increasing ingenuity of charities to use these schemes as a means of increasing fundraising totals is something that will definitely increase during the coming months and years.

, , , , , ,

Sole Trader? There’s no need to go it alone – and employing these three people could help!

Many small business owners run their entire enterprise alone, which is perfectly understandable when it comes to keeping costs down.
However, going it alone as an SME is difficult to say the least – and employing these three people can help you take your business to the next level.

1) Accountant
As a small business owner, your goal is to make money–so it only makes sense to consult a professional to help you manage this crucial aspect of your business. Becoming a business owner naturally adds complexity to your tax scenario, so at tax time, an accountant can be crucial for making sure you’re in full compliance and are filing correctly.

2) Assistant
Being a solo business is difficult. Tasks and communications that don’t have to do directly with the day-to-day of customer relations, creating or offering your products and services, and other immediate tasks might become backed up, or even fall by the wayside.
This is where an assistant can come in handy. By employing a loyal employee, you can leave the simple store transactions while having more time to deal with the important things!

3) PR and Marketing Assistant
Getting your name out there is a key factor in achieving a successful business; and a PR and marketing executive can help achieve just that.
Having someone directly available to create social media content, produce flyers and leaflets, manage marketing and deal with outside queries can hugely improve your business reputation as you progress up the success ladder!

, , , ,

Five reasons to offer contactless payments

Here at CheaperPay, we fully believe that contactless payments are the future for all businesses, regardless of size – and here are five reasons why!

1) Simplicity
This one speaks for itself. The simplicity of contactless payments has revolutionised the transactional experience for both customers and businesses.
Transactions can now take place at a fraction of a second, affording to a more positive customer experience – and that can only be a good thing!

2) Time-Efficiency
Time is becoming an increasingly rare commodity in the lives of the full-time worker. We simply don’t have time in our day to queue, key in PIN numbers or wait for the ‘correct change’.
Contactless payments solve all these issues – customers can check out in an instant, saving time for the more important things in life.

3) Security
Contactless payments account for just 0.02% of all card fraud transactions on the planet. Hi-tech anti-fraud technology is utilised by many systems, ensuring safe and secure payment for both customers and businesses.

4) Increased quantity of transactions
Customers who pay with cash have an obvious limit as to how much they can spend in your store.
Offering a contactless payment solution does not only speed up the transaction process, it may prompt customers into spending more on your products – safe in the knowledge that the buying process is quick, simple and secure!

5) Customer Retention
A summary point here, but still relevant! Customers who are regularly receiving quality, efficient service from your business will be far-more inclined to return again and again. This will build up a great rapport with regular customers and greatly enhance the reputation of your business!

So, there you go. Go Contactless today with CheaperPay!