“Buyers Expect Convenience”: How Various Payment Methods Help Entrepreneurs Follow Their Passion | When more of us play, we all win

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Now that wallets are digital, cards are tapped and phones are hectic, shopping and transacting has never been easier – creating more and more opportunities for people to turn their passion into a business. .

According to Summary of UK Payments Markets 2021cash was used for less than a fifth (17%) of all payments in 2020, while contactless cards accounted for 27% of all payments.

The trend towards digital payments is expected to continue as people adopt mobile payment apps. Global Business Outlook predicts that by 2023, 72% of UK adults will use their phones and watches to make payments. Meanwhile, the UK e-commerce market, already the world’s third largest, is set to grow by a quarter by 2025 to over £260bn, according to a report published by financial technology company FIS.

If entrepreneurs want to take advantage of this mobile payment boom and make their business passion a success, it’s essential that they offer their customers a variety of trusted transaction methods across multiple channels – whether through digital wallets, secure mobile terminals, stored account details, cash registers or Click to pay. “A diversity of buying options for customers can mean a more diverse customer base,” says Martin McTague, national president of the Federation of Small Businesses, which carries advice and support on transactions on its website.

One person who has embraced these new opportunities is 28-year-old Anita Lo, who has turned her passion for old things into a thriving business. “Growing up, I always enjoyed browsing antique shops and collecting trinkets,” she says. “During confinement, I decided to pursue my hobby and create the vintage clothing and antique store, Clara’s box.” The majority of sales come from online buyers, but Lo also trades at antique shows, which means she has to offer payment options.

“I have to be flexible because I trade a lot online and my clients come from all over the world,” she says. “I realized that it was important to go beyond one platform and make it easy for people to use their own preferred method.”

It is important that online payments are fast and secure, because any blockage risks losing a customer. Photography: Victor Bordera/Stocksy United

To research indicates that customers increasingly expect smooth transactions and will stop shopping with businesses that slow them down. Customer experience is now a unique selling point, which means businesses are focusing on delivering a streamlined checkout experience across all channels.

“Developments in technology mean we can find, buy and pay at the touch of a button,” says Zoe Bayliss Wong, who sits on the advisory board of everywoman, a women’s business network. “The next generation of shoppers expect convenience and easy access as standard.”

the enormous 69% dropout rate for online shopping carts is partly blamed on complex and clunky checkout processes that confuse customers. Once these customers leave this site, the danger is that they will never return.

Business and marketing consultant Angie Taffs has extensive experience in moving businesses online and accepting payments. “Everything needs to be completely streamlined now,” she says. “The process has to be fast, otherwise… you’ll lose the client.

Lo describes the checkout process as a learning curve. After initially launching its website with just one payment option during the first lockdown in 2020, it has since broadened its appeal to offer several.

“I feel like people trust digital payments if they see you’re using the big brands. It’s simple and secure, and they have a record of the transaction. I also want few barriers to buying as possible,” she says. “When I buy stocks, I have the same attitude. It can be time consuming to get vintage materials ready for sale – that’s what I want to focus on.

Optimizing payment systems can also increase profitability by reducing costs and making operations easier to manage. Digital records can help entrepreneurs better manage their inventory and save money, for example by buying in bulk at the right time. Small stores can track their sales and use the information to improve inventory management. The payment stage is also an opportunity to offer customers added value, such as consumer credit, loyalty points or other forms of commitment. For catering points, there is no longer any need to cash in and discover an unbalanced checkout.

Digital payments can also boost casual commerce, and with contactless limits in the UK now set at £100, this can be important, especially for small businesses selling their goods in marketplaces using terminals. mobile point of sale.

“I work with a lady who sells makeup and skincare lines,” says Taffs. “Now that she uses a card reader, she finds that customers are happy to make larger purchases.”

Small businesses rarely have it easy, but making sure they can accept payments in every possible way increases their chances of success.

When more of us play, we all win
Competition is at its best when everyone really gets a chance to participate. That’s why Visa is a proud sponsor of UEFA Women’s EURO 2022. And Visa’s support goes beyond the pitch.
Visa is committed to digitally empowering 8 million small businesses in Europe by the end of 2023, providing technology and tools to help turn small ideas into big businesses, wherever they are. To learn more about how Visa champions access and inclusion, visit: visa.co.uk/wUEFA2022

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