Nearly two billion debit and credit card transactions were made across the country in June 2021, a 42.4% increase from 2020 according to UK Finance.
It’s not a new trend, but it is an accelerating one.
COVID-19 along with new payment technology – specifically mobile payments – have made it far more popular and convenient to pay for items with a debit card, credit card or mobile wallet on a smartphone.
Plus, with the contactless limit rising to £100 in October 2021, it means shoppers can pay for everything from single items to full weekly shops using a card or mobile wallet.
Today, even small corner shops are becoming reliant on card payments, with many simply refusing to accept cash at the height of the pandemic, and even now still preferring to accept card payments whenever possible.
This means having a card machine from Handepay for your small business is crucial.
If you’re still not convinced, here’s seven benefits of investing in a card machine.
You can take more payments with a card machine
When it comes to speedy payments, it really doesn’t get quicker than using a card machine, especially when you use contactless.
All the customer needs to do is tap their card against the payment machine and the transaction will be approved in a few seconds.
Occasionally they may be asked to enter their PIN number as a security measure, but it’s still quicker than waiting for customers to find the right money in their pocket, or count change back to them.
Without messing about with notes and coins you can keep queues moving quicker and get through more payments in a shorter period.
More customers are using contactless payments
About 90% of card payments in 2020 were contactless, according to Computer Weekly.
Maybe not surprisingly, the total value of contactless payments rose by 7% in 2020 compared to the previous year, even in the middle of lockdowns. And that’s increasing again this year as shops reopen and customers feel more confident getting back on the High Street.
One of the things the last 18 months did to the benefit of businesses using contactless machines, was force more customers to use them.
These were customers who may have been reluctant to use contactless or card payments in the past because they didn’t understand the technology, or had concerns about security.
But after being forced to use them, these same customers have now seen the benefits and aren’t likely to return to cash in the future.
This is backed up by a report by Capgemini in April 2020 looking at the changing attitudes towards contactless card payments.
They found that 45% of consumers have increased and will continue to increase their use of digital payments in stores in the future.
Another 40% said they prefer shopping in stores that offer contactless payments.
It’s important to introduce a contactless card machine to your business if you haven’t already so you’re able to meet your customer’s expectations and don’t fall behind on sales.
Card machines are safer than cash
Accepting contactless payments is a lot safer than cash or Chip and PIN transactions – for both you and your customers.
Despite what you might have heard or read before, fraud rates are actually extremely low for contactless payments.
Less than 2p in every £100 spent using contactless is thought to have related to fraudulent activity – according to Which?.
From a business perspective, it’s incredibly safe to use contactless machines.
Payments are only authorised if the customer has funds in their account to cover the transaction, and there’s no way they can stop the payment once it’s made.
On the other hand, counterfeit bank notes are a bigger problem, and can be much harder to catch when you’re busy.
About 144,000 fraudulent £20 notes and 20,000 fraudulent £50 notes were removed from circulation in 2020, according to Statista.
Keep in mind those are only the ones that were identified and there are likely many more still in circulation.
And if you accept a fraudulent bank note, there’s no way to get compensated.
You’ll have less admin work at the end of the day
At the end of a busy day all you want to do is restock, tidy up and get home.
The last thing you need is to spend hours counting cash and matching your day’s takings to till receipts.
That’s not even thinking about what happens if your totals don’t match and you have to start again or figure out why.
With a contactless card machine, you’ll have an automatic audit trail of payments received into your account, so you can be 100% certain what payments you’ve taken and where they’ve come from.
Future proof your business
It’s just a fact that while cash will always have a place, it’s becoming less common in the face of better payment technology.
When it comes to customer expectations, it’s now the norm to accept cards for any transaction value and customers are more shocked by businesses which don’t accept cards than those that do.
Given that cards and digital payments are now the majority method of paying for goods and services, at minimum you need a card machine in your business.
Realistically, you need one that’s ready to accept contactless payments and those made using digital wallets on smartphones and other mobile devices.
That way you’re better prepared for an increasing reliance on card payments in the future.
Customers spend more when using card payments
Contactless card machines offer your customers a quicker, convenient and more flexible way to pay.
With a contactless transaction completed in a matter of seconds, you’re able to serve more customers and reduce queueing time.
The more efficient you are, the more encouraged customers are to keep shopping with you.
Introducing contactless machines to your business also reduces the limitations of cash, and without the restrictions of cash in their pockets, your customers will naturally spend more and are likely to make more impulse purchases.
It’s more hygienic to accept cards than cash
There’s no getting around the fact that handling cash is extremely unhygienic.
This is one of the reasons governments and world health bodies encouraged people to use contactless cards more often during the covid pandemic as a way of reducing transmissions of viruses.
Contactless cards remove all these risks.
Are contactless card machines really worth it?
As a small business, having a contactless card machine is no longer an advantage, it’s a necessity.
It’s important to do your research.
Finding a card machine provider that matches your needs will help you start seeing the benefits for yourself.