The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we eat, work, socialize, and go to school. Naturally, it has affected how we conduct transactions as well. It is exacerbating a trend we’ve already been seeing in recent years to transition from in-person payments to online merchant account payments as a method of paying everything from our medical bills to our shopping costs.
This may not immediately mean the death of the credit card swipe machine, but it is certainly going to change preferences and affect the future of payment industries across the board.
What businesses are affected?
Many brands have been able to make the transition to using online merchant accounts to conduct business with their newly homebound customers. Some have had to get creative with new tactics, such as beauty technicians who are now offering paid virtual assessments and tutorials over facetime in an effort to retain some of their business.
Even these merchants have had to forgo their POS systems, however, and are not presently receiving any return on the investment they’ve made in their credit card swipe machines, even as they hunt for an online merchant account to manage their customers’ credit card transactions.
Businesses like grocery stores, whose products have no virtual equivalent, have had to make major changes to their business model. Many now charge customers through online merchant accounts to create shopping carts that they can then have delivered or pick up curbside from the store. Since the credit card swipe machine interaction is off the table, businesses now have to form relationships with online payment providers to secure business in this trying time.
How businesses can adapt
Without being able to see store inventories in person or pay on a credit card swipe machine, customers have to be eased into the process of using virtual stores to shop and online merchant accounts to pay for everything.
Businesses would be wise to change the methods used on their websites to attract customers under these different conditions. Many have added relevant keywords to the search parameters on their online stores, such as “at home” and “quarantine” to make search results more relevant.
In addition to expanding their relationship with online customers, some businesses are scaling back on charges to make their websites more attractive in an increasingly competitive online marketplace. Some retailers like Nike, for instance, no longer charge premium service fees for their website’s training and workout services.
In the absence of credit card swipe machines, businesses may have to scale back on the transactions they want to keep track of, in addition to utilizing online merchant accounts to prioritize those transactions with either their customers or suppliers that are still essential, even in lockdown.
Face-to-face transactions are no longer currently the norm as the coronavirus pandemic drives everyone inside and drives transactions into the online space. Online merchants are booming businesses, as credit card swipe machines are not very useful during the pandemic.
Many experts predict that even after the lockdowns are over, many of these new processes may be permanently changed as new habits replace old ones. People will continue buying online and expecting their services to include options for online payment.
Businesses need to get ahead of this curve to stay relevant by changing their online relationships to their customers. They need to refine their technology for online merchant accounts as well. Even after this is all over, this may still be the payment method of choice.
Call (888) 924-2743 or visit Charge.com to see the wide array of options available to you when it comes to accepting payments from your customers using an online merchant account.