When it comes to payment, US consumers have options: credit, debit, cash, and check. With choice comes change: the options available change how consumers prefer to pay. Once upon a time, cash was king—but not so much, anymore. And when was the last time you saw someone paying by check? Cash and check were the go-to payment methods in the not-so-distant past. But to keep up with changing times, you need to make sure that you’re ready to meet customer expectations at check-out. Here’s what that means for your small business.
Crash Course in Credit
Credit cards deduct payments in the form of a loan from the issuing financial institution, with cardholders agreeing to the institution’s repayment terms, which include interest charged against the loan, and penalties for late/non-payment. Credit cards are generally issued in 4 categories: Standard, Rewards, Secured, and Charge. Standard cards are a simple line of credit, while Rewards cards incentivize the cardholder to make purchases, through travel points, cash-back, or other bonuses. With Secured cards, the issuing institution requires a cash deposit as part of enrollment, which is held as collateral. Charge cards don’t have fixed spending limits but require balances to be paid in full every month, instead of rolling over from month to month with a minimum payment due. Credit can be a slippery slope, so responsible credit card use is completely subjective. Credit cards can be dangerous for people prone to overspending, yet tremendously rewarding for consumers who pay their bill in full every month.
Credit Card Benefits
The key takeaway with credit is, to paraphrase Shakespeare, “Know thyself.” Credit card benefits include:
- Easy accrual of perks such as cash back, travel
bonuses, and other rewards, especially for consumers who diligently pay their
balance in full
- More comprehensive consumer protection via
warranties and fraud protection
- Enables consumers to make big-ticket purchases
and spread out payments
- Improves credit score by creating a history of
expenditures and regular, on-time payments
- Ability to use in places where debit isn’t
accepted, such as some car rental agencies, hotels, or pay-at-the-pump fueling
Card is the New King
Convenience and speed are the driving force behind the shift from “Cash is King” to “Card is King.” It’s much easier to swipe or dip a card than to count out cash and change or write a check. Credit cards keep track of your day-to-day expenditures more efficiently than a checkbook ledger and a stack of receipts, providing a better budgeting tool. There’s also the added benefit of security: a credit card can be cancelled if you lose your wallet, whereas if you lose a wallet with paper money in it, you’re probably going to have to kiss your cash goodbye. Checks take a while to clear, so it may be days before you discover fraudulent activity and have a longer process to reimburse funds. Credit cards have the built-in advantages of consumer protections in their user agreements, and fraudulent activity is more easily discoverable. And, perhaps the most obvious, credit cards are small, compact, and easy to carry with you.
Give Your Customers Convenience with Vagaro
More and more consumers are using credit cards for everyday spending rather than just saving them for large-ticket purchases. As a business owner, it’s imperative to integrate card payment processing to stay competitive. Cash-only businesses will only have a more difficult time keeping clients happy and retaining them. Customers say that their greatest pain point is a slow checkout, so enabling card payment is one of the easiest ways you can speed things up and keep your customers happy. Remember—a happy client is a return client!
Vagaro’s merchant services are your way to give your customers the payment convenience they want and send them out the door smiling. And for you, it’s the smart choice because with Vagaro’s merchant services, you’ll be able to activate an online storefront and collect payments for online purchases of products, services, and memberships. It’s easy to get approved, and there’s no credit check. Plus, you’ll get a free EMV chip card reader with your new merchant services account so both you and your customers will have an additional level of protection that’ll make them feel confident when they hand you their card. You want to talk about success? It’s in the cards!
Card is King! Get Vagaro Merchant Services to claim your crown (and by crown, we mean “Free EMV chip card reader.”)
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