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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!

 

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Contactless- How will it evolve?

Contactless cards have been on the rise for the past few years and as far as tech has come, it can’t be denied that this is the best option for card payments. Being able to just tap your card against a machine for a near-instant payment is overall far better in terms of saving both your staff’s time and customers’ time.

That being said, it can still be improved. Here are a few things we can probably expect from contactless in the near future:

 

The Current Statistics

Whilst contactless payments have yet to fully dominate global trade, they are on a definite rise. A recent infographic by VISA showed that 40% of in-person payments are now done through contactless means. Statistics on moneysupermarket.com‘s website note that from their surveys, 59% of people find the push to accept contactless as the main form of payment is overall a more efficient option.

There are many places in which this option is becoming the majority. In Canada, the figure for contactless payments is 75%.

This rise in such a short span of time is a notable change in how the world pays for things, with many countries’ economies going from a single digit percentage to becoming half or more of payments within the span of two years.

There are some areas in which contactless hasn’t taken full form, however. In Latin America as a whole, only 25% of payments are contactless.

Based on previous trends in marketing, there’s a two-year difference between a new technology’s introduction and most of the population accepting it as the standard. That said, it can be anticipated that contactless may make up the majority of payments as early as next year, or at least grow considerably.

 

Amazon will still push the boundaries

As is always the case with e-commerce, Amazon may be the one to dictate the new direction. Their latest idea is a self-service shop controlled by many cameras and sensors, with the shopper’s card being billed immediately upon leaving without wasting time on check outs or queues.

 

This kind of self-service could help revolutionise shopping of all kinds, and will most likely start with things that are readily available online but has the potential to grow to things like food. With strong security, this can work as a trustworthy system for business that will offer major changes to the industry, and save huge amounts of time for customers.

 

Terminals will finally be improved

When cards change, the terminals they use will too.

Despite the updates to POS terminals having been minimal ever since their introduction in the 80s, the changes in cards in the contactless age has finally warranted this area of technology to be improved. The terminal website myPOS has made strides in how payment transactions are made, allowing for contactless payments to be performed anywhere using portable terminals and apps. Expect this to catch on.

 

Even more people will adopt it

Despite the new innovations being made, fixing the flaws of the current system are just as important. In the UK, three million businesses have yet to use contactless and consider sticking purely to cash far more cost-effective, likely due to not wanting to spend money on implementing new technology, or fixing issues that cash just doesn’t have like machines not scanning.

 

Limiting payment options, however, is a bad move that can result in you getting far less profit than you potentially could, with businesses accepting contactless earning on average 10% more revenue. Alongside that, there are a lot more positives with contactless, like not needing to count money or worry about it being secure in-store.

 

Indeed, this isn’t a flaw in the function of contactless, but more something that people will become more educated on in the future. It’s important for more businesses to become aware of the benefits of contactless, and this will happen over time.

 

Improvements in Security

One thing that will need to be improved at the same rate as the technology itself is the security to protect it. Preventing fraud is always an essential focus, no matter what the payment option is. Along with the more traditional problems, there is the risk of wireless technology being used to scan your card and steal its assets without you knowing.

 

Having built in fingerprint sensors is a way many companies are countering this risk. Others focus on a large ID database, in which a customer’s payment ID will be temporarily accessed by the company so as to make the transaction more secure.

 

For some, a current flaw in the system is the limit for contactless cards being £30 for a single payment in the UK, though this is certain to increase in the future as both the popularity of contactless payments and the security behind them both increase.

 

The American Market

Despite the size and strength of America’s economy, contactless payments are an area they’re severely lagging behind in. An extremely large portion of shops still deal with only cash, with the others accepting more of a Swipe and Sign system.

 

Though some US companies are looking to expand on this area after seeing how it’s worked out for other countries, some work on America’s payment system will be needed for them to catch up. These requirements would include:

 

  • Reduced stigma on alternative payment methods from consumers
  • Encouragement by credit companies to issue these cards to more applicants.
  • Shop owners to fully catch on

 

Contactless being overtaken?

Though it’s unlikely for the more standard debit card transaction to become obsolete in the near future, the use of it will help pave the way towards the popularity of contactless payments in places it’s yet to fully take off, such as the previous example, America. We should expect Chip and Pin to become the most popular before the landscape shifts to contactless.

Next, we should expect to see mobile payments rising, maybe even above contactless. Then, who knows!

 

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America Catching On With Contactless

To many, the global superpower that is the United States can seem like the trendsetter that the rest of the world follows. In terms of how they pay for things, however, it is pretty far behind Europe and Asia. A study available here by A.T. Kearney last year showed that only 3% of US cards are contactless, compared to the UK’s 64% and South Korea’s 96%.

 

Why America is lagging behind

The faster alternative to chip and PIN, that only requires tapping it on a checkout terminal for the transaction, haven’t taken over the US mainly due to the size of the market. It is far easier to make changes to a comparatively small country like the UK compared to one of the world’s largest countries that has a far vaster amount of different retail stores and banks. The method of introduction also played a key part in this difference. Almost five years ago, when the UK first introduced contactless cards to the public, it was done through the popular travel option of public transport. Three years later, the number of contactless cards in the UK had already reached 119 million, accounting for 78% of debit cards and 62% of credit cards in use based on UK Finance statistics.

 

By contrast, the US don’t even use a regular credit card for public transport most of the time. In fact, chip and PIN could even be seen as a work in progress in America with how many retailers are just getting used to it, so contactless is clearly not held in high regards over the pond. Despite this, chip and PIN is growing more accepted over time, with retailers who don’t install chip technology to prevent fraud being held accountable as of 2015.

 

This has a silver lining, however, as it’ll make the transition towards the contactless system far easier for America. Most of the new card readers installed after the 2015 changes already have contactless technology built into them, giving Americans the option if they don’t trust it.

Last year, J.P. Morgan expressed desires to provide millions of contactless cards to customers and by the end of this year, Visa hopes the number of contactless cards in the US to have reached 100 million.

 

Whilst that seems like an overly ambitious goal for some, it’s what many banks and card issuers will be striving toward, as A.T. Kearney has already estimated banks could make a $2.4 billion profit from card earnings across the next five years by introducing contactless cards as a widespread system.

Research has also shown most contactless card payments will be used for mundane things such as grocery shopping, fast-food and clinic payments, as many people will want to pay for these generic tasks quickly and conveniently. That’s the way it is here due to our £30 limit on contactless payments to eliminate fraud- and the US may implement a similar policy.

 

Credit Cards in the US

Two years ago, the payments from all types of cards in the US (other than contactless), amounted to $6.6 trillion according to the Federal Reserve. Whilst this may seem like a giant amount, analysts believe it could be far greater if payment options such as contactless became popular in the country’s market.

 

A big bite for Apple

Beyond the banks and card issuers, there’s another party benefiting from the increase of contactless cards coming to America; the tech giant Apple. The payment service ApplePay acts as a contactless payment option for iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac, and they’d reap the rewards of a contactless-loving USA.

 

Why Americans are scared of contactless

No option is ever perfect, as many worry about the security of contactless options. Despite evidence from financial experts presenting it as every bit as secure as chip and PIN, the public’s natural scepticism of new ideas have caused many to worry about the safety of this option.

Contrary to this belief, however, contactless cards have far less chance of counterfeit problems due to the chips placed into them, making them an even safer option. On top of this, creating a maximum spend on contactless would stop people from stealing a card and emptying a bank account quickly.

Despite the fear some have of contactless cards in America, they are on the rise now and will only continue to grow. The US has started moving towards the cashless society the rest of the world is nearing, and contactless will be the figurehead of that.

 

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Contactless- The Ticket To Success For The National Express

The National Express’ sales director in the West Midlands, Daljit Kalirai, has revealed that after over a year of the company operating a contactless card system, such cards now make up a quarter of its bus service’s entire revenue.

The machines for the system were implemented on all 1,600 of the National Express’ buses as of February 2018, with the three millionth customer to make a contactless payment having boarded the bus in January this year.

 

Research and Implementation

The knowledge of contactless’ potential is no recent discovery. The first time the National Express brought in contactless options was in 2016 when, with the National Express still operating the Midlands Metro, brought the system into the trams of the area. A month later, it was being used by 7% of the customers, becoming 20% after a year had passed.

When customers were asked about this, 2/3 said that the quicker nature of it is what made it a favoured option. Less time spent buying tickets also seemed to free up some time for the drivers to meet their strict schedules.

 

The convenience of not needing change was key in making the contactless system so popular. Transport Focus produced research to show that the priority market of young people prefer to use contactless more than other forms of payment on average.

That said, it was predictable that half of the fares on Coventry’s university bus routes are paid through contactless means.

 

Surprisingly, the National Express West Midlands service is the only bus service outside of London to have brought contactless card payments with daily capping. The difference is that London doesn’t allow cash anymore, whereas the West Midlands do due to it having some of the highest rates of deprivation in the UK- and this has a link with lack of technology, and thus a preference for the older payment methods.

 

How they did it

In order to get so far, the National Express partnered up with the machine supplier Init to produce their contactless machines. Init’s managing director, Jens Mullak, has expressed many of the plans the company has moving forward. These include creating an account-based ticketing system or tracking customer payments through a web portal designed for the system.

 

Explaining how their system works, Mullak said: “The taps are gathered on the bus by our passenger terminals, PROXmobil. Passengers present their card and get a green light at the terminal. That confirms card tap, which system-wise, stands for the granting of permission to travel. The taps are presented to the payment gateway according to the credit card brand rules. For Visa, this means the first tap of the day generates an account verification message, after which the taps are sent to the account held in the INIT ticketing system. All this is done in a way that minimises the PCI scope to the benefit of National Express.

“The travel permission taps are collected on a daily basis in the core of the system, where all trips tabbed on one account are aggregated, business rules for zonal and time-restricted tickets are applied, and then the actual fare capped. Capping values and periods can be defined as rules in the back office. At the end of the operation day, it settles the aggregated value by completing the payment with the payment gateway of the payment service provider.”

 

At this point, National Express has fully completed the implementation of their contactless technology and tested data with its highest model. With the higher-level model, the cost per transaction will be lowered, making the journey overall easy for the customer and ensuring any failures of payment transactions will be dealt with effectively.

 

The Other Digital Options

Other popular digital payment options have recently shown their usage amongst the customers. 12th January 2019 marked the four millionth ticket sold by the company’s West Midlands branch on a mobile. Paying for a ticket on a mobile has become a very popular method for buses and trains, with statistics showing 17% of the company’s revenue now comes from mobile purchases, with a large portion of them being students.

National Express has also recently started working with Masabi to make ordering bus tickets a lot easier for students.

 

As students are an important part of this model, student discount tickets are popular.

In order to make things even easier, National Express updated their software to easily connect mobile devices to their web portal, allowing students to use a voucher code from their college that takes little time in appearing on their phones and resulting in a quick transaction.

 

According to one Birmingham college student: “Moving away from the paper tickets onto the card has been a major step forward for us. It has reduced the logistical nightmare of trying to

‘make’ 3,000 bus passes every term. This typically involved at least 10 people over three days, distributing to students throughout seven campuses over a few weeks at the beginning of each term.”

 

Another said: “Feedback from our learners shows they are more satisfied with our services as they do not have to wait in queues to collect a bus pass/ticket/voucher.”

 

These changes proved effective. After only two months, National Express’ revenues through external devices such as the app increased by 100%. According to a survey following it, 55% of customers travelled more frequently than before due to the ease of access the app provided.

 

Masabi’s head of marketing, James Gooch noted that the increase in activity through the simplicity the app provided to customers showed the success of the project. In fact, it was even awarded the Transport Ticketing Global Award in 2018 due to the effect it had in enabling education through the transport’s benefits to students.

 

Gooch stated: “From the passenger’s point of view, being able to get a ticket on your phone makes it easier to access and ride on transport services. From an operator’s point of view, deploying a SaaS solution helps deliver innovation quickly (National Express went live in just seven weeks). Moving away from legacy infrastructure and having to issue proprietary physical tickets helps to reduce the overall cost of fare collection.”

 

When taking into account the digital methods, this would mean the percentage of customers making up the digital market would be 42%. Whilst this would still mean the majority are using cash, the digital method has its obvious benefits- even for those paying with cash, who can benefit from the reduced queue sizes when buying tickets.

 

According to National Express West Midlands’ head of customer experience, Adam Rideout: “With smart ticketing, we can target fares and offers more precisely to encourage people to travel – from a particular area or demographic or at a particular time. We can bring in products quickly and see if they work. If not, we can scrap them – without the huge expense of printing leaflets and timetables. We could even end up offering discounts based on the weather. Supermarkets do this – why couldn’t transport operators? Just because we’ve always changed our fares once a year doesn’t mean we always have to.”

 

It’s now clear that the contactless system has found another system to simplify, and it’s working wonders.

 

Want to introduce contactless in your store?

CheaperPay can help. Visit http://cheaperpay.me/request-a-quote/ to get a free quote!

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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Mobile Payments 2.0: Building Better Retail Experiences

Payments has by and large been a growth business for the last half decade or so, and that fact has been mappable in scores of innovations around the world. But, as PYMNTS’ Karen Webster pointed out, for all of those advances, one is conspicuously missing from the list — and that’s despite years of predictions that its ignition was just around the corner.

“Here’s one thing that the last three years hasn’t done: Increase the consumer’s appetite to turn their smartphones into a digital payment form factor when they check out in a physical store,” Webster said.

That reality was born out by two-and-a-half years of PYMNTS and InfoScout tracking figures in the marketplace through the Mobile Payments Adoption and Usage report.

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, can accurately boast that Apple Pay is far and away “the number one [near field communication (NFC)] payment service on mobile devices, with nearly 90 percent of all transactions globally,” but the reality undergirding that brag is that 90 percent of a really small number is an even smaller number.

After three years in the market — and no lack of fanfare — Apple Pay adoption rates have just barely gotten above the 5 percent mark. That is an accomplishment, though, as Samsung Pay is just over 4 percent after two years and the team at Android Pay devoutly hopes 2018 might be the year it cracks the 2 percent mark for usage.

As it turns out, consumers weren’t looking for a new form factor. It seems they like their payment cards just fine, understand them and know they work everywhere and, as such, customers are happy to whip them out at checkout nine times out of 10. That doesn’t mean they are deliriously in love with their payments processes and couldn’t be incentivized to make a change, however.

According to the PYMNTS’ How We Will Pay study, a Visa collaboration, 60 percent of consumers find their online and in-store shopping experiences unproductive, inefficient, time-consuming and even boring. The same study showed 66 percent are open to using devices to connect to a seamless payment experience.

Customers are looking for new and better ways to pay, but a change from a card to a phone isn’t registering as a better way to pay so much as it is registering as the same experience — now with a slightly different object in one’s hand.

Retailers in 2017 have seemingly started to come around to that idea. They have realized that while mobile payments alone aren’t sufficient to do much in the way of altering consumer behavior, mobile payments wrapped around a faster, cheaper and easier shopping experience might actually have some legs after all. If the first round of the “Pays” were dominated by technologists and financial services players, the 2.0 version has been much more about retailers and the value they can find via mobile.

The early figures even indicate that some are gaining a foothold.

Walmart Pay’s Rapid Rise  

According to the PYMNTS and InfoScout figures, Walmart Pay is showing the most potential in the shortest amount of time. With a year in the market and an adoption rate within striking distance of Apple’s at 5.1 percent, the data also showed 47.2 percent of respondents who shop at Walmart use it every time they can. Only 6.6 percent said they’ve never considered using it at all.

But Walmart’s real payments secret sauce is the value-added solutions around money and customer services the company built into the app that houses Walmart Pay. Consumers can also use that app to initiate wire transfers through MoneyGram, check gift card balances, apply coupons and have all receipts sent automatically to its Savings Catcher function.

The point, according to Walmart’s senior vice president of services, Daniel Eckert, is to meld payments into Walmart’s larger mission of saving time and money for the busy families that make up its customer base.

“There is something very powerful about the ease and simplicity of Walmart Pay,” Eckert told PYMNTS. “What’s even more powerful though, is what this means for our customers. We want to make every day easier for busy families. We’re connecting all the parts of Walmart into one seamless shopping experience with great stores, easy pickup, fast delivery, frictionless checkout and apps and websites that are simple to use.”

Walmart still has hurdles to clear, and high ones. Cash remains Walmart customers’ favorite payment method, and EBT cards can not be added to digital Walmart accounts for payments. But Walmart Pay, which is nearly unique among mobile wallet players, has built payments into an overall omnichannel experience that is sticky for consumers and gaining ground fast.

We look forward to 2018’s additions.

Target Jumps Into the Mobile Payments Race

Target was among the retailers who entered 2017 most eagerly hoping to hit the reset button, and rumors about it adding mobile payments to it services lineup began swirling early that January. Outside that initial tease, however, not much was heard on the subject until 2017’s closing weeks, when Target rolled out with a mobile payments platform of its own.

Notably, the company is not calling the offering “Target Pay,” though most tech writers seem to be.

Instead, Target announced in early December that it would be adding a mobile Wallet feature to its mobile app and offering consumers the opportunity to enter their Target REDcard credit or debit card into the wallet and use it to pay directly at the point of sale. Using its eWallet, Target customers can also use Cartwheel — its price matching feaure — with a single scan of their mobile devices at checkout. The goal is to make checkout quicker, and to offer convenient digital savings by including Cartwheel offers and weekly ad coupons, along with the 5 percent REDcard discount.

“Wallet in the Target app makes checkout easier and faster than ever,” said Mike McNamara, Target’s chief information and digital officer. “Guests are going to love the convenience of having payment, Cartwheel offers, weekly ad coupons and gift cards all in one place with Wallet.”

Target has further noted that gift cards and other rewards will also soon be storable within the Wallet. Echoing a theme, the company’s payments upgrade comes in the context of a broader digital push that has seen it moving more aggressively on eCommerce and omnichannel pursuits.

The retailer recently announced its new GiftNow service powered by Loop Commerce. The GiftNow option can be selected when viewing products on Target.com, allowing customers to assemble and send a gift electronically. Recipients can view the gift online, select the size or color of the product or pick another item entirely, thus saving time and money for both Target and its customers by ensuring gift recipients are sent items they will want to keep.

It has unveiled it would be adding 12 exclusive brands by the end of 2018, eight of which were already available during the 2017 holiday shopping season. The brands being introduced this year include products for babies and kids and apparel for both men and women.

“While there’s an incredible amount of change happening across retail, we’re focused on doing what’s best for our guests and leaning into what makes Target special,” said Target CEO and chairman Brian Cornell. “We’re making progress against our long-term strategy.”

The PoS Free Future

In other digital trends, it appears customers don’t want to wait in line at the point of sale (POS). The overwhelming success mobile payments has enjoyed while enabling line-busting at quick service restaurants (QSRs) all over the map speaks to that quite clearly.

In a recent interview with PYMNTS, Visa’s vice president of innovations, Shiv Singh, noted we are only really seeing the beginning of that trend as regards coming trends in mobile payments commerce for the next 18 to 24 months, according to his company’s Innovations For A Cashless World report. According to its findings, retail will soon be a world in which lining up at the cash wrap will no longer be a universal experience.

“We can look at Uber, or how Starbucks now takes 20 percent of its orders through mobile order-ahead,” Singh noted. “Can you imagine going to an Apple store and lining up at a cash register to pay? No, of course not. And now we have Amazon rolling out Amazon Go — it really is only a matter of time before that experience is part of Whole Foods as well.”

Anecdotally, one has seen the “POS everywhere” concept rolling out at retailers of all sizes and shapes nationwide. AmazonGo’s convenience store of the future, through which customers can select goods off the shelf and be automatically and correctly charged due to the magic of sensors. The company has had some notable execution issues with the tech, though, and those have necessitated some delays.

Walmart’s solution is a bit less high tech, but customers in Sam’s Club locations nationwide can already scan their purchases while walking the isles. Each item’s barcode is scanned through an app, which keeps a running tally of all items in the cart. Said app also offers checkout and payment options, as well.

When they are done shopping, Sam’s Club customers can tap to pay and have a receipt sent to their phones — no need to stop at the cash registers. That receipt is then shown to a Sam’s employee on the way out the door, much the way physical receipts are checked to ensure customers are actually paying for all their items. There are rumors that a similar service is coming soon to Walmart locations, though those rumors have not been confirmed.

But as solutions proliferate — and they surely will — one thing is becoming increasingly obvious: Mobile payments as a one-to-one replacement for credit cards may not have much of a future, and the adoption numbers seem to keep singing that same tune in a variety of keys in report after report.

But mobile payments that can exceed what credit cards offer — including faster checkout, clipping-free coupons and the ability to skip the front-of-the-store POS line-up, among others — those experiences seen to really have a hold on consumers.

Which means retailers have every reason to build them, and we look forward to reporting on their efforts.

 

Source: (Pymnts, 2017)

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BITCOIN A Cryptocurrency With “No Purpose” Has Raised $700M

According to The Wall Street Journal, this is the largest initial coin offering to date, with block.one’s market value now at around $4.5 billion. The sale of the token, called EOS, has benefited from a boom in ICOs – overall, 165 firms have raised more than $4 billion in 2017 through coin offerings.

Launched in late 2016 and registered in the Cayman Islands, block.one is a software company that writes code for its main project: a bitcoin-like operating platform that hosts any variety of applications.

EOS is the idea of Brendan Blumer, a 31-year-old internet entrepreneur in Hong Kong, and programmer Dan Larimer. Brock Pierce, a prominent bitcoin investor, is a minority partner and adviser.

Block.one is planning a full rollout of the software next June, which Pierce recently predicted would be “like Windows launching, but much bigger.”

But unlike Microsoft, block.one plans to only write the initial code for EOS and then release it publicly. Instead of building or developing the platform itself, the task will be left to unrelated third parties. As a result, the EOS tokens have no relationship to the software. In fact, a purchase agreement that investors must sign states the tokens “do not have any rights, uses, purpose, attributes, functionalities or features.”

Despite the reveal that the tokens have no real purpose, investors have been eagerly bidding for them. Investors in many countries, excluding the U.S. and China, can participate in a daily auction where block.one sells two million new tokens to investors.

Mosala Sehloho, a 32-year-old media producer in Johannesburg, said he understands the EOS tokens made no contractual promises, but he thinks the $10,000 worth of tokens he bought will rise in value. “I’d buy more” if the price dropped enough, he said. “This will be the technology that will be the best of its kind.”

And Matthew Roszak, one of block.one’s early investors, isn’t worried about the tokens. “I don’t think it’s fair reading into that language too tightly,” he said. Given the “regulatory environment is as clear as mud,” he said block.one needed to write something to provide the broadest protection possible.

Block.one’s EOS deal is now about three times as large as the next biggest coin offering. It plans to keep raising money until next June, and is on pace to raise “well north of” $1 billion, according to Pierce.

The company will use that revenue to invest in companies that could develop the EOS code into products.

 

Source: (Pymnts, 2017)

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Tech note, everyone – wearable technology is on the move!

We have often associated wearable technology with the fitness industry. Companies such as FitBit have produced spectacular results in this field, harnessing the ability to track and manage anything from distance run to calories burned over a certain period of time.
However, wearable tech is now leaving the wellbeing scene behind and advancing on to a period of world domination.
Advanced wearable biometrics can be used as a form of authentication for a number of things.
NEC corporation has recently adopted the software to identify people placed on ear readings – something previously unprecedented in the industry.
“The system enables biometric authentication via the otoacoustic emission, a sound made by the inner ear when the cochlea is stimulated, arising from the vibration of hair cells,” reports mobileidworld.
“According to a statement from NEC, its earbud device’s “otoacoustic authentication technology… recognizes the characteristics of a user’s ear”, suggesting that the emission is used to map the shape of the inner ear, which is presumably unique to the individual.”
The advancement of contactless, wearable technology is a clear indication of the continued progress of our industry.
The technical possibilities are endless – and NEC confirms this with future plans to commercialise the technology soon.
NEC plans to offer “services that combine individual authentication, indoor positioning, acoustic AR (augmented reality), vital sensing and other technologies”, according to NEC Business Development Division General Manager Tomonori Kumagai.
The contactless revolution has only just begun – don’t get left behind.