It might seems counter-intuitive that changing your payment system will grow your business. After all, if customers intend to buy, they will, whether you charge them cash or check, right? On the surface, this might feel true. But in reality, academic studies show that, statistically speaking, we are more likely to make a purchase when we use credit cards instead of cash–and that we spend more when we do. Somehow, the process of swiping a card feels psychologically painless in comparison to counting out coins and notes.
Incidentally, paying by smartphone pushes the so-called “pain of paying” even lower. So if you can get customers to pay by credit cards and payment apps, that can raise your revenue significantly. What’s the trick? It may be a matter of speed. When you’re taking individual bills out of your purse or wallet, there’s a cognitive pause as you process what you’re doing. With a credit card, you’re swiped and done before you can stop to think about it. The faster customers’ cards get processed, the better it is for your business.
Another theory is ‘loss’. As you hand over your cash, you can feel the acute absence of the cash you’ve just given away. In your bag or pocket, you may literally see the gap where the money used to be, and it definitely can feel bad. This might make you hesitate–or even stop you in your tracks–until you stuff some bills back into your wallet, and let go of your intended purchases. With a credit card, there’s no physical change when the cash leaves your account, so you won’t feel the difference until you review your statement.
Similarly, credit cards give us this invincible feeling. Yes, we have credit limits, but in the moment of purchase, it can feel like you have all the money in the world. You can buy now and worry about it later, so you’re likely to spend more. As a business, if every customer is soothed into spending, say, a mere $20 more than they had planned, it adds up to a hefty sales jump–and some customers will spend much more than that. This way, credit card acceptance expands your business, one swipe at a time.
With credit cards, you can open multiple business sites and keep them all in the same system. You won’t have to worry about employees skimming the till, because all credit card payments go straight to the bank. And you can integrate your check and ACH payments into the system too, because many merchant processors offers streamlined bookkeeping.
Beyond that, a merchant account provider that issues free POS devices will save you money. You might also consider opening an online store. That way, customers can pay directly on your website using their credit cards. Then, you can work out the shipping and other delivery details. This avenue isn’t possible without web-based credit card payments.
For more information on growing your business by accepting credit cards, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.