Contactless has become a phenomenon in the world of transactions, so much so that many businesses see it as essential practice to equip their shops with readers that enable contactless and NFC (Near-Field Communication, like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay).
As a pop-up business owner, equipping your team with such cutting-edge technology might seem like a bold step to take. But the ease of which transactions can be made could have a great impact on your profit margins.
Here, we’ve created a small guide on what you need to know and do, in order to set up contactless payments for your pop-up business.
Why is contactless essential?
Pop-ups are designed to be a short-term project, so is it worth digging into your budget to provide customers with alternative methods of paying for goods and services?
Well, take a look at your business model. If you’re going to be receiving payments of £30 or less, and expect to deal with high volumes of customers at peak times, then yes – you’ll almost certainly benefit from setting up contactless payments in your store.
Moreover, the time saved by allowing people to pay by simply tapping their card onto a reader can’t be underestimated. When customers pay in cash, the process of interacting with the counter to provide change can make a big difference for queuing times of waiting customers. Likewise, chip and PIN enabled card readers take significantly longer to accept transactions.
This might go some way to explaining the popularity of contactless. The UK Cards Association claims that in April 2017 there were 108.4 million contactless cards active in the UK, and in the same month nearly 4 billion was spent using said cards.
Furthermore, contactless payments have become standard practice for many members of the public, and businesses failing to keep up run the risk of alienating their customer base. The method suits shoppers who hate to carry change and those who would be willing to leave a shop if the queuing process is taking too long. It’s also an excellent way of freeing up staff to concentrate on improving customer experience, rather than dealing with time-consuming transactions.
Setting yourself up for contactless
As a pop-up owner, you may or may not already have a card reader available to use. If you already do, and it’s able to accept contactless payments, then you simply need to get in touch with your payment provider and get enabled, given they support contactless payments.
If your existing card reader is a little bit older, then it may not be able to accept contactless payments. Once again, by getting in touch with your provider, you can swap your older machine with a new one.
If this is your first customer-facing business venture, then you may not be as experienced in having card readers set up. Don’t worry, getting yourself ready to accept contactless payment is an easy process.
Organisations like SumUp, iZettle, Square and WorldPay among others provide great low-cost contactless card readers that are ideal for pop-up ventures. The cost of acquiring the machines typically range from £30 to £80 and simply require creating an account with the provider to handle your transactions. By using these types of terminals, there will be a transaction fee included, which ranges from 1% to 2.75% of a purchase. Be sure to take these costs into account – if you’re unwittingly paying 2% of 1,000 purchases per day, it can make a sizeable dent into your cashflow forecasts.
Some readers also come with small monthly rental costs of up to £29. This is also worth remembering when deciding on which contactless reader is best for you. Although the efficiency of having this form of payments enabled should pay dividends in the rate of transactions you’re able to process at one time.
So you’ve decided to set up a contactless card reader for your business, and it’s ready to go in time for your big opening day. If you really want to make the most of your new transactional medium, there are still a few things you can do.
Firstly, it’s important that customers know that you support contactless payments. If they can’t see a card reader on show, then there’s every chance that they’ll assume you’re only accepting cash. Be sure to have your readers on display if you receive payments over a counter – even if the machines are portable, by having one in the customers’ line of sight, then it could make a big difference.
Also, advertise that you accept contactless in-store. You can buy stickers for very cheap to place around your shop, as well as notifying customers via a noticeboard, or even in online marketing campaigns.
To get the very best out of contactless, it’s also advisable that you train staff to embrace the technology. This may seem like a simple process, but not all of the team will be familiar with contactless card readers. By explaining how to set up this form of payment on your device, and advising them to ask each customer to offer customers a contactless option of transaction, it will make for a seamless experience for all parties involved.
Remember that some customers are still wary of contactless payments, so it’s imperative that staff ask permission before proceeding to settle a bill.