Are Americans becoming more “cash-averse”? According to Bankrate.com, 1 in 10 Americans do not carry cash on a daily basis. A survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates discovered more telling data that said 78 percent of Americans carried less than $50 in paper money and 49% carried less than $20 daily. Those that choose not to carry any money at all were nine percent.
This could be attributed to a waning in consumer confidence or simply a sign of the times as we are slowing moving into a cashless society. Whatever the reason, merchants need to be ready to take advantage of this trend to expand their payment method offerings so they can continue to grow and expand their consumer base. Ultimately, this forward-thinking approach will offer consumers more options to purchase their favorite products, thereby boosting merchant sales.
While plastic is still king, who are the players in the alternative payment field?
With rapid innovations of technology in the financial world, we are now up against choosing from more than 200 options! To simply our choices, less take a look at a few.
As the most popular, long-standing payment method for many years, PayPal is accepted in most countries around the world. You don’t need a merchant account to access and use PayPal and you don’t even need a PayPal account.
PayPal encrypts all personal and financial information. The only ding to this method is that it does charge a percentage of your sales (2.9% + $.30), and this can eventually add up. Something to consider before you make your final choice.
Just the name incites consumer trust and confidence. Few people in the world have not purchased an item from this online multibillion dollar behemoth.
It has a “Login” and “Pay with Amazon” option on your website to allow millions of current Amazon customers to seamlessly create their profile and purchase on your site. The price to use this method is based on the percentage of the transaction plus a transaction fee starting at 2.9% +$.30 and as low as 1.9% +$.30 per transaction for a monthly volume exceeding $100,000.
Square is a payment processing app that is available for iOS on iPhones and iPads. The Square Wallet feature allows customers to pay with their phones. Cards and cash are unnecessary.
The Square Register application for the iPad is a great alternative to the old cash register model. It also offers great tools to track sales, tax, and top-purchasing customers. The price is 2.75% per swipe or online sale and 3.5% +$.15 per transaction entered manually.
Visa has come up with a great solution to receive payments and simplify the overall checkout experience for customers. With just a few lines of code, you can add the “Checkout With V.me” button on your website.
To checkout, customers add a username and password and confirm their payment details without leaving your site. It works with any credit or debit card.
In one of their surveys, YouGov discovered that 40% of consumers said that they are more comfortable buying from a merchant who offers a broad range of payment methods versus a merchant who only offers one option. This is a very telling trend of consumer behavior that is not going away soon. It is in the best interest of merchants and their business to expand their alternative payment methods so they can increase their sales.