We’re lucky that we didn’t live thousands of years ago, when we had to pay for a sack of potatoes with a sheep or a goat! Payment for goods and services has come a long way from when the barter system was introduced by wandering tribes in Mesopotamia. Under this system, there were no standard values and it all depended on how much each party wanted what the other had.
This system existed for nearly 12,000 years until “money” was introduced circa 2000 BC. Paper notes made their debut in 800 AD, checks were late entrants in 1826 and the modern credit card arrived in 1950 in the form of the Diners Club card.
Since then, there’s been no looking back. Today, industry sources report that cards have elbowed cash/check payments out significantly. The average American owns at least 3 credit cards and uses it more than 30% of the time.
Benefits of Accepting Credit Card Payments
- Boost sales and revenue: A 2012 study by Intuit estimates that 83% of businesses that accept card payments report increased sales and revenue when they offer these facilities. There are a variety of reasons for this. Social scientists link it to the fact that using a card to pay for goods and services is similar to using chips in a casino or tokens at gaming and entertainment centers. The disconnect between actually handling “cold hard cash” and a piece of plastic or clicking buttons remotely, helps consumers to purchase more freely.
- Equal opportunities: With a majority of businesses, both small and large, offering card payment facilities, why be the odd one out? Customers are notoriously fickle and switch to the shop-across-the-street if you don’t provide easy, quick and secure card payment options.
- Legitimacy and trust: Customers trust cards and the card-companies that issue them. The simple fact of seeing the familiar logo displayed on your website or in your store gives them the reassurance that they’re dealing with a trustworthy, legitimate business.
- Impulse purchases: It is well known that accepting card payments encourages the impulsive shopper. Cards are universally used today, for big ticket purchases and regular payments for utilities, dining out, travel, entertainment and mundane purchases like groceries, fast-food, and so on. Whether it’s online or in a brick-and-mortar store, impulse buys form a significant part of revenues.
- Better productivity and Cash flow: Card payments are highly automated. Your staff needn’t waste precious time on accounting and trips to the bank or compiling data. Your overheads on postage, chasing bad checks, printing and mailing invoices etc can be reduced. Card payments are almost instantly deposited into your bank account, unlike checks that need to be cleared. The safety aspect of holding large amounts of cash is addressed and you can plan for growth and expansion with a smoother flow of cash.
As a small business owner, if you haven’t moved to a cashless system already, or you’re unsure about it, the clock could be ticking for you.
For more information on 5 benefits of credit cards that will boost your business, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.