As a small business owner, you want to make payments as easy as possible for your customers. Last year saw a lot of talk about alternative payment methods, especially with the stratospheric rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, other cash alternatives, like Apple Pay, PayPal, and Square, have become increasingly mainstreamed as mobile freedom becomes more and more central to our lives.
Is your business ready for the cash-alternative revolution? Take a look at the cash alternatives that are generating the most buzz to decide which ones might make sense for your small business to consider adopting.
Electronic payment methods like PayPal are now the second-most popular non-cash method of payment after credit cards. There are many electronic payment methods out there, but PayPal is definitely the most well known, with more than 200 million users. For small businesses that sell goods online, allowing people to pay for their purchases with PayPal could greatly increase their market reach.
While PayPal may be the most widely adopted electronic payment method among consumers, Apple Pay is a more popular option for businesses themselves to offer. The advantage of Apple Pay is that it makes payment with a mobile device simple and easy. The disadvantage is that your business will need to upgrade its payment terminal to one with near-field communication (NFC) technology if you want to offer Apple Pay as a method of payment.
Square has been a game changer for small business owners. Instead of needing to invest in a clunky payment terminal, Square allows businesses to process credit card transactions on their smartphones or tablets. However, there are disadvantages to Square, including relatively high credit card transaction fees and no bank transfer availability.
Venmo is another electronic payment option that works similarly to Square or PayPal. The fees with Venmo are similar to what you would pay with other electronic payment services, but what makes Venmo different is its social media presence. People can choose to let their friends see when they have transferred money or made a payment, which in turn could mean free marketing for your small business.
The fact that technology giant Google is behind Google Wallet makes this digital payment option worthy of consideration. Google Wallet has more going for it than just the Google name. It is seamlessly integrated with other Google products, including Gmail, and it comes with comparatively low transaction fees and speedy processing.
Bitcoin has probably generated the most headlines in recent months. In fact, the value of a single Bitcoin rose from about $900 at the beginning of 2017 to nearly $20,000 by the end of the year. That astronomical rise is great if you're a Bitcoin owner, but small business owners should pause before attempting to offer Bitcoin as a payment method. A currency that is subject to such market volatility and has yet to be authorized or accepted in most countries around the world is not a practical method for buying or selling goods and services, at least at this time.
While cash may not be disappearing entirely quite yet, alternative forms of payment will continue to grow in popularity. AmVenture specializes in bespoke insurance solutions, so we understand the need to stay flexible in a fast-changing business environment. Get in touch with one of our representatives to find out how our insurance lines can help your business worry less about risk and more about keeping customers satisfied.