The COVID-19 pandemic forced a surge in technology adoption across numerous industries, including payments and banking. Even with the adoption of mobile payments, when it comes to making payments, consumers want the option to use the method that works best for them—including cash.
A recent nationwide study of 1,500 people by Cash Connect and OnePoll revealed that 40% prefer to use cash as their payment method, and 51% of respondents agreed that using cash helps them budget their money, underlying the notion that cash remains a mainstay.
Knowing these preferences among consumers, it’s important that businesses continue to accept a variety of payment methods from credit cards to mobile wallets to cash.
But how does a business balance consumer preference with the various costs associated with each method of payment and securing those payments?
There are many payment options and cash management solutions available that can help make businesses more efficient and safer, allowing them to continue to offer a variety of payment methods to meet customer demand without adding stress on their operations.
Not sure where to start? Here are things to consider that could help you better manage your business’ payment options and cash flow cycle.
- Check out types of payments: To accept many forms of payment, you will need a merchant services account, available at many banks, which allows payments via Visa, MasterCard, etc. to be transferred to your business bank account. Business owners should also check out online payment systems like PayPal, which allows you to make payments to anyone with an e-mail address through their credit card or checking account. Other popular forms of payment are mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, providing ease-of-use with added security. Work with your bank to help find merchant services, a key component for your business, that best fit your needs.
- Make Cash Digital: Safety and efficiency are two very valid concerns that business owners and financial decision makers often cite about handling cash. By making cash digital, these safety and efficiency concerns can often be mitigated. Great – so how do we do that? Solutions like smart safes can help digitize cash. Smart safes allow businesses to deposit money directly into a secure safe that automatically calculates the amount of money deposited, removing human error from the equation. The money deposited is then available in the business’ bank account the next business day, without having to visit a bank in person. Safety, check. Efficiency, double-check.
- Move Money More Easily: Now that the money is in your smart safe – how do we transport it to the bank? Many businesses (75%) currently utilize the “cash to bank” method, meaning someone transports cash at the end of each day from the business to the bank to be deposited. This method is not only risky in that it leaves your business vulnerable to theft, but it is also inefficient from an operational perspective. Solutions like armored carrier management services can help mitigate these concerns. Once you have deposited your money in your smart safe, an armored carrier management service can assist in transporting the money from your business to your bank, removing human error from the equation and returning time to you and your employees.
- Know Your Cash Flow Intimately: Managing a business’ cash flow is one of the most essential functions in any company, as cash flow keeps businesses alive. It is important that business owners and financial decision makers know balances and accounts intimately. By knowing your current accounts, you can budget more appropriately and even uncover any uncollected or unpaid invoices. Similarly, this knowledge will allow you to better forecast for the months ahead, including preparing for the unexpected.
Finding the right balance of what works for your business and customers will help not only grow your business but deliver top notch customer service. Receiving Payments is at the center of every business, and it is important to analyze all available solutions and technologies while keeping your business’ immediate and long-term needs in mind.
Helping you boost your financial intelligence.
Read our financial resources from your friends at WSFS.