COVID-19 is giving cash a bad name. Once the most convenient of payments, hard currency has become viewed by customers as a potential source of health risk as the world continues to take anti-pandemic measures.
While the science suggests banknotes and coins aren’t the scourge they seem, consumer confidence in the shopping and service experience has demanded that alternatives be found.
Thankfully, digital cashless payment options are now common, and you can set up a COVID-proof way of serving your customers and earning their trust in just a few simple steps.
Every Available Payment Option
Despite the COVID-19 concerns, cash remains the second-most popular form of payment in the US, so you’ll be making life difficult for your clients if you start saying “no” to currency altogether.
Instead, you can offer a range of options that suit most customers through your door. In addition to cash, this includes:
- Credit/debit cards
- Online transactions
- Smartphone apps and third-party providers such as Paypal
- Google/Apple Pay
- Gift Cards
The advantage of the digital era is you can provide all those payment methods and maintain industry-standard security from a single system. In fact, If you follow these 5 steps you can use the COVID-19 pandemic as impetus to streamline your entire operation around a digital cashless solution that gives you greater control over and understanding of your company:
- Maximize your POS potential
- Select the right hardware options
- Strengthen your online position
- Integrate everything
- Follow the money
These steps are a pathway to acknowledging your customer’s cash concerns and still delivering an effective, repeatable consumer experience that can serve you both during the ongoing COVID-19 uncertainty.
Digital, Cashless, Risk-Free
The global pandemic has brought about a need for change within consumer markets in at least two ways. Firstly, there are the restrictions on movement through traditional business, and secondly, there are concerns about disease transference with those outlets that are still able to welcome in-store customers.
Digital delivery and payment options are a workaround for both. It provides an alternative, socially distant delivery platform, and, although there are no known cases of COVID-19 transference through banknotes and research suggests any such threat is low, it removes the perceived danger of accepting cash.
The process of installing such a solution begins with the heart of the system, the point of sale platform.
1. Maximize your POS potential
When you upgrade your POS solution to an all-in-one system each of the digital cashless payment options outlined above becomes an interchangeable add-on. The upgrade means trading out your traditional register for an iPad-powered central hub that connects every aspect of your business across an online network. From a touch-screen simple main hub you can follow every transaction, automate and monitor inventory, and perform more than 100 business tasks in-store at a terminal or remotely via a smartphone.
The leading POS solutions are available on subscription agreements that spread the overheads out over years, and they come with startup and ongoing support so you can build the system in your business’s own image.
2. Select the right hardware options
With a central POS system in place, you can add as needed the physical hardware to perform each of the most popular payment types. A digital POS system is hosted online in the cloud and accessed via any internet-connected device, so you attach the necessary hardware to discrete sale points, such as the popular iPad.
You can add mobile devices to accept:
- Chip and PIN
- Mag strip
- QR Code
- Contactless Payment
Each device connects to your POS register either directly or wirelessly with the ease of attaching a printer to your home computer—and you can mix and match scanners, receipt printers, cash drawers, barcode printers and more to suit your overall business.
3. Strengthen your online position
Once you have chosen digital cashless hardware connected to your in-store POS hub, you can begin expanding your payment and delivery options online. Creating your own site from scratch can be expensive, but if you include the build within your POS upgrade you can include the expense within your subscription.
The ongoing COVID-19 difficulties have driven a huge spike in online retail and services, with total online spending figures from earlier this year reaching more than $80 billion, a 77% year-on-year increase.
You can more effectively reach your travel-restricted customers by replicating your shopping experience online and creating a simple, intuitive, step-by-step system to finding and modifying the goods they need. By tying online sales directly to your inventory, and offering contact-free pick-up or delivery services, you can maintain a relationship with your best customers without having to radically overhaul your existing business—you just need a digital way to extend your business out to your customers.
4. Integrate everything
You can think of your digital cashless payment options as apps on a smartphone, with your POS system being that unifying device. In that scenario, every other aspect of your business can be controlled by its own app on the same system. Digital payments are just the customer-facing end of a 2020s-style digital business where everything is connected, remotely accessible, and controlled with touchscreen tap simplicity.
So, you can make and track purchase orders, maintain your accounts, and schedule your staff roster from the same online platform, accessible from your personal device and protected by a single password.
5. Follow the money
The final step in setting up a cashless and digital system to help cope with the ongoing impact of COVID-19 is to the integrations above to build a more effective business.
As every transaction, purchase order, tax commitment, and employee involvement is tracked across your digital POS system you can follow, live, as every resource becomes profit or loss. Real-time reporting is now a standard feature of the leading POS solutions and can give you instant insights into what’s selling, what’s not, who’s buying, and when. You can use this information to better target your money toward goods and customers that keep you in business.
Under the current market uncertainty, knowing exactly which aspects of your business are viable and which are in need of a refit can make a big impact on your future post-COVID.
A Customized Digital Cashless Solution
COVID-19 is turning customers off the use of cash and making the business world find new, digital means of maintaining the link between demand—which won’t abate any time soon—and supply.
Taking up a digital POS solution that can accommodate any preferred method of payments as easily as tapping the app icons on an iPad maximizes your chances of making your customers feel comfortable enough to continue their relationship with you.
And, as a bonus, you’re setting your business up for the full digital potential of the rest of the 2020s and beyond.
Want to learn more about digital cashless payments?