By Erica Houskeeper on May 29, 2020
Cash may no longer be king. Consumers are avoiding paper currency to steer clear of the novel coronavirus. Public officials and health experts have said that the risk of transferring the virus person-to-person through cash is small.
Still, an increasing number of businesses are no longer accepting cash, and some countries are even advising their citizens to stop using banknotes altogether.
Alternatives to Cash
Credit and Debit Cards
Businesses must accept credit and debit cards to remain competitive. The majority of consumers use credit or debit cards to purchase just about everything. Businesses need to set up merchant accounts in order to process these transactions. Keep a traditional countertop credit card terminal at your business, but also consider adding a wireless card reader. The wireless readers give you an easy way to complete transactions on-the-go or while you’re conducting business remotely.
Accepting Virtual Payments
Along the same lines, a virtual terminal for virtual payments can be a helpful solution for accepting credit cards. Virtual terminals are ideal for online services, over-the-phone payments, and card-not-present orders. Merchants can process payments anywhere with an Internet connection, create one-off or recurring payments, and key-in card information and store it for future use.
Contactless payment technology allows customers to pay by tapping their cards to a point-of-sale terminal. The cards are a faster alternative to chip-and-PIN payments, and require less physical interaction. Consumers may also start to increasing use “tap and go” transactions through digital wallets, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, to avoid handling cash and credit cards.
A third-party processor is a service that lets you accept online payments without a merchant account of your own. A third-party processor, such as PayPal and Amazon Pay, will allow you to use their merchant account. Many consumers prefer to pay through these channels as they will shield them from fraud. Keep a wireless card reader handy for servicing customers who prefer to use this payment option.
Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
An EFT is a transaction processed over a computerized network, either among accounts at the same bank or to different accounts at separate financial institutions. EFTs can be initiated by a person or a business and don’t require much more than a bank account in good standing.
Electronic Check (eCheck)
An eCheck is a type of EFT that relies on the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network to process payments. Funds are electronically withdrawn from the payer’s account, sent via the ACH network to the payee’s banking institution, and then electronically deposited into the payee’s account.
The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing many businesses to rethink how to accept payments, and merchants and customers are shifting to other payment methods to avoid the risk of infection from handling cash. More than ever, now is the time to start making changes to avoid any lasting impact on your revenues.
To learn more about setting up new payment options, contact Sekure today.