Cash flow is key no matter how big or small your landscaping business is and one of the ways to keep money coming in on a more consistent basis is to accept mobile payments.
Mobile payments have become more mainstream as customers are far more likely to use a debit or credit card over cash or check. There are several different types of mobile payment possibilities.
Remote payment is when the customer is making the purchase online or within an app. PayPal is an example of a remote payment provider. Proximity payment requires the mobile phone to make contact with a payment terminal, commonly using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.
This is the category that Apple Pay and Android Pay fall into. Although the awareness of these mobile wallets is well-known, with 56 percent of Americans and Canadians saying they are “extremely aware” they can use their phone as a payment device, majority choose not to.
According to MarketWatch, nearly 40 percent said that cash and cards already met their needs for paying. Most consumers have expressed an interest in loyalty functionality in mobile wallets, but currently retailers are fragmenting the market by making mobile wallets of their own.
Business Insider predicts that if the barriers are overcome, usage will surge over the next few years. However, in the meantime the remaining mobile payment option are the point of sale systems, like Square, that allow companies to turn their phone into a credit card reader.
Below are some of the benefits of offering mobile payments and how to find the best system to suit your company’s needs.
Customers may be willing to spend more
According to the business consulting firm Bain & Co., on average, mobile payment users spend twice as much through all digital channels than those who don’t use mobile payments. Consumer behavior research shows that customers are less price sensitive when they use credit compared to cash.
For example, if your employee just finished mowing the lawn for a client and the customer points out some shrubs they wish to have trimmed as well, the crew member has the opportunity to go ahead and tack that fee on right then and there with a quick swipe of a card.
Accepting personal checks from customers inherently introduces risk to your business: Until you deposit the check with your bank, you don’t know if it’s backed by sufficient funds. If it isn’t, you could incur costs for the bounced check, in addition to the follow-up communications you’ll be forced to have with the customer to recoup the money you’re owed.
Mobile payments can eliminate such risk. If a secure Wi-Fi connection isn’t available, most mobile payment providers allow you to collect the customer’s payment data securely but suspend processing until you can connect with secure Wi-Fi.
Billing takes time and spending time driving to the bank to make deposits, reconciling cash and check payments, and documenting such information for tax filing all take time that could be spent growing your business.
Mobile payment transactions allow funds to be transferred directly to a business bank account (often in less than 48 hours), including a record of which customer made the payment.
Data collection and personalization
“Small businesses using mobile payments can now track what product and services they are selling to better understand customer demands,” Gene Signorini, vice president of mobile insights at Mobiquity told OPEN Forum. “Not only can they now capture payment information, but they can learn about their customers and use that information to improve service.”
This data can also be used to integrate and increase incentive programs, saving customers from having to keep up with punch cards. It also allows you to reach out to clients when they are most likely to be interested in hiring you for a service, based on previous records.
How to choose the best payment solution
When it comes to mobile payments, it’s never one size fits all. To determine what works best for your business, follow these steps. Evaluate your client’s journey as a customer. Are there opportunities where a mobile payment option offers a more pleasant or efficient experience?
If part of your business is a retail garden center and long lines are an issue, it might be better to have employees check out customers on the spot after helping them find the plants they need.
Investigate the existing use of mobile payment in your area and customer segments. There’s no point choosing a payment method that isn’t already popular or well-known where you are located, as customers will be wary to try it. Likewise, if majority of your clients prefer Apple Pay, you wouldn’t want to offer Samsung Pay instead.
Analyze your existing infrastructure and formulate a case that proves it would be helpful and improve the customer experience. Then you can go about selecting whichever service is best for your operations.