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6 Payment Methods in the 21st century

Sep 18 2017

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How did you make your last payment? Cash, card or with your phone? There's a chance it wasn't even one of the methods mentioned above! With today's technological advances, payment options are growing and we are now spoilt for choice! So, what are some ways you can make payments in the 21st century?

Cash

Cash is king! We might be moving away from cash in the 21st century but there are still some cases where it rules supreme. For example, in real estate, a cash offer is difficult to compete with when investors are swooping up properties.

Depending on your customers' demographic, they may prefer cash over card. You'll also have no transaction fees and less hassle. It doesn't come without downsides though, being easily mishandled or lost in accounting. The idea of handling numbers on a computer screen is a lot easier than handling a tangible object.

Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin and Ethereum have been making a lot of news lately, people are starting to lean toward crytocurrency as a legitimate form of payment.

More and more businesses are accepting crytocurrancy as a payment. You can even get prepaid debit cards loaded with cryptocurrency.

While business owners haven't had to concern themselves with this type of payment as yet, don’t be surprised if something like bitcoins become a valid payment option in the near future! We could see goods and services being exchanged for cryptocurrency very soon.

Credit and Debit

Credit is only second to cash when talking about accepting payments. Plastic provides a lot of incentives for people when purchasing: Cash-back offers, rewards programs, and the simple fact you can track and monitor your purchases!

For a small business, there are some processing fees that are involved with taking credit card payments. That is a common reason for small businesses to refuse credit card payments entirely.

Small business should however adapt and take on all payment forms. At the end of the day, the preferred method will be decided by the customer and if you don’t accept it, you are leaving money on the table. Giving a small percentage in transaction fees is a lot better than losing 100 percent of a sale!

Auto-Debit

There are many advantages to collecting payments through auto-debit or direct debit. The most important advantage is... no invoices!

You don’t have to chase anyone up after filling out weekly or monthly invoices. With these pre-arranged recurring payments, you can appreciate the fact that money is transferred into your account in a timely manner, usually at the same day and time. The entire payment process is automated.

Most importantly, you can have a peace of mind knowing the money will be in your account. You don't have to worry about anything after the initial setup process!

Mobile Payments

What would we do without smartphones?! They can do it all, and that includes accepting and making payments!

There are a few ways one may accept payment with a smartphone. Having a credit card reader that connects to your device is not as uncommon as you may think. Other techniques include applications that accept payments when another person is using the same app.

The use of smartphones for accepting payments will only progress in the near future and soon we could be using them for all payments. Smartphones are taking a key role in everyday processes and are becoming more accessible to everyone... why wouldn’t we use them to send and receive payments?!

Cheque

Cheque... perhaps the most outdated form of payment! While similar to cash, we can see a paper trail when cheques are used. Older companies may still pay vendors with this form of payment.

You can now deposit cheques from your smartphone so there is no longer the need to go to the bank. Accepting cheques takes time, and people are often not willing to wait long periods of time. Waiting for a cheque to come in the mail was something of the past!

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If you have an online store, make sure you’ve got your shipping solutions sorted!  Be sure your items are not classified as Dangerous (e.g. items which contain lithium batteries). If it is, make sure you’ve got a shipping partner like PACK & SEND who can help you through these issues at the outset and support your business every step of the way – from start-up to success!

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