Payment for goods and services has change drastically in the last 100 years. Even in the last 45 years, consumers have changed their payment behaviors with the introduction of a “general-purpose credit card”. Source.
Since the first century BC, it is rumored checks have been used instead of carrying large amounts of gold and silver. Source. Significantly lighter and easier to transport than precious metals, cash allowed you to make all your weekly purchases in one day! Furthermore, writing a check for your bills guaranteed a receipt of payment once your check was returned.
Now, the only proof of your check is electronic. Checks are no longer returned and direct deposit and debit cards have made the “everyday” check for fuel, groceries, etc., nearly obsolete. I’m sure all you business owners know how important it is for you to acceptplastic! If you don’t accept debit/credit cards it results in a “dear-in-the-headlights-look” from your customers who must go to an ATM because, more than likely, their checkbook is at home.
More recently customers ask if there’s a way to pay online. For some businesses, not allowing an option to electronically pay an invoice or bill is almost as taboo as not accepting credit and debit cards. As proven in a previous blog, customers definitely want to pay online. Especially customers who are under 35.
Even more interesting is the trend towards mobile payments. The technology can be utilized in multiple ways by multiple types of businesses. A great example is a business that operates from a cart or kiosk where a cash register is not convenient.
And what do all these transitions have in common? Convenience. Whether the time savings is for the business or the customer, it’s valuable to watch the trends and keep current with the ways customers pay because if you don’t, competitors will.
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