How To Get Paid On Time: 8 Tips For Field Service Professionals

Running an operation is not an easy task for field service professionals. Even when you do stellar work and perform the tasks as expected, you often have to chase your clients to get paid for a job well done.

But as tricky as the process might seem, it is still not without its workarounds. By following tips such as turning to merchant account providers and tweaking your invoicing practices, you can shorten the gap between completing your work and getting paid for it.

Here are 8 of the best ways in field service management (FSM) to get paid on time and to help you navigate this uncertain yet manageable world of payments.

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Turn to Mobile Payment Solutions

More often than not in FSM, clients delay making payments due to an absence of cash. Sometimes, they don’t have funds readily available. At other moments, it may be due to friction in the process such as lack of time or other issues that may prevent them from paying on time.

In these situations, you can turn to mobile merchant payment solutions to help you fix these issues. By making use of mobile transaction terminals, your field service team can provide your customers with a more convenient way to quickly process a credit card payment right at the job site. This improves your customer experience and thus increases your customer satisfaction.

In addition to that, you can also make use of modern mobile app payment solutions, which let you turn any mobile device into a payment terminal. By using dedicated apps from your merchant account providers, you can even use your Apple or Android device to accept payments with ease. If you use a payments solution that integrates with your field service management software, you’ll be able to seamlessly manage your work orders from beginning to end.

Perhaps the best part of having your field workers accept mobile credit card payments? You get paid in real-time!

Know Who to Contact For Field Service Professionals

Even when you know the company or individual you have rendered your services to, it doesn’t mean that you know the actual person who is providing payment for the bills.

To get paid on time, you must know this information. Whether you are using online payment methods or mobile payment solutions, knowing exactly who to send the invoice to helps you steer clear of gatekeepers and potential delays.

This simple practice helps you get your payments processed promptly and keeps your company account from depleting when it shouldn’t have to. Store this contact’s information in your CRM portion of your field service management solution to keep it on file.

Digitize Your Invoices

Paper invoices sent by snail mail are a thing of the past. Send invoices digitally via your payment solution instead. Customers find this much more convenient. Some payment service providers may even be able to create self-service customer portals for easy, safe payments. This sort of optimization empowers you to focus on your field operations and service workers.

Keep the Invoice Simple

While it is essential to know who to contact for your payments, it is also imperative to learn how to reach out to them.

Here, it is best to keep your invoice as concise as possible. Keep things clear in terms of billable hours and rendered services. But make sure that you do not overcomplicate by adding in any unnecessary details. This applies equally to any type of payment request, whether you are using traditional merchant services or mobile merchant payment solutions.

It’s because the more details you give to your clients, the more time they will take to understand them. The simpler your invoice is, the faster it will get processed.

Don’t Feel Ashamed in Asking for Quick Payments

Regardless of the kind of services you provide, you offer them in exchange for a set compensation. You know that if you do not receive your payment on time, it can affect your business operations. Keeping this in mind, don’t hesitate to ask for your funds when you deliver the services.

As long as you keep your tone professional and courteous when asking for payment, it shouldn’t affect your relationship with a client. Find out their preferred method to pay and honestly recommend the quickest way for them, and for you, to process their payment.

When you have delivered quality work, your client won’t hesitate to turn to your preferred mobile app payment solutions to transfer payments quickly.

Keep Communication Open

One simple yet effective tip after sending the invoice is to keep yourself available for any questions or clarifications. Mentioning your availability when invoicing, along with your hours of operation, is always a good practice.

This way, your clients know that they can quickly reach out to you to get any questions answered.

Automate Your Invoices

For clients that you service on a regular basis, you can set your invoices up to go to them automatically. Not only does this streamline your back-office workflows by removing a routine chore for you, but it ensures that the invoice gets to your client in time every time. If your invoicing solution is integrated with your field service software you may also be able to set it to send the invoice at the time that your field service technicians close out a work order.

Follow Up On Unpaid Invoices

Don’t be afraid to reach out to customers who haven’t paid yet. Depending on your payments solution, you may even be able to automate notifications to their email or SMS to remind them to pay an invoice. Consider leveraging late fees, as well, when a payment is delayed past a certain date.

When coupled with a capable mobile merchant payment solutions provider that integrates with your FSM software, these tactics can help your field service operations business get your invoices processed quickly and easily, while meeting customer expectations for a modern business (particularly one with a mobile workforce). At Stax, we specialize in integrating our conventional and mobile payment services to operations of any scale, greatly increasing operational efficiency with our software solutions. A digital transformation might be just the thing you need to reinvigorate your customer lifecycle. To learn more about how Stax can help you get paid on time, reach out for a custom pricing quote today.

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How Businesses Can Go Mobile and Increase Sales

The evolution of modern markets and customer expectations have changed the conventional business payments model entirely. In today’s environment, it is now the norm to see a credit card processing terminal at every other vendor. Further, as customers become more engaged with an ever-increasing number of online and mobile options, doorstep delivery for all kinds of products and services is becoming a commonplace preference. But while offering credit card merchant services only needs some simple changes at your end, offering doorstep delivery can be a bit more complicated.

Traditional methods make it challenging to gather and process payment information outside of your existing business and Point-of-Sale systems. However, thanks to modern integrated payment platform services, you can now expand your options to meet today’s customer expectations. By turning to cloud-connected mobile payments you can easily take payments right at their doorstep.

How Modern Credit Card Processing Can Help You Deliver Mobile Services

Today, modern credit card payment vendors have added new ways to help you process your payments efficiently. In addition to traditional on-site payment methods, these integrated payment platform services now offer ways for business owners to use modern devices such as Apple or Android smartphones to accept in-person or online payments.

This way, your employees or delivery services no longer have to depend upon traditional equipment for payment processing. All they need is their phone, with your payment processor app and business’ information. Any payments that they accept are instantly transferred to your merchant account, all without going into the hands of a third party.

As a result, you can deliver your services anywhere you want, anytime you want.

Do you deal with retail products or food delivery? Home improvement services or consultancy? Regardless of the type of business, this method of credit card processing can help you scale it right according to your expectations.

How Mobile Payment Processing Help You Increase Sales

The super-easy way of processing payments at the doorstep is a significant factor in attracting customers to your business. But there’s more to it than meets the eye.

It Offers Clients Peace of Mind

If you offer mobile merchant services as a prominent factor in your solution, you become more approachable and accessible. Customers will ultimately feel more comfortable contacting you for product or service delivery.

It’s because they know that they have the option to make the payment right at their doorstep, after the delivery of their services. This aspect is in contrast to having to pay upfront and risk failure of getting the product and service.

It Promises Additional Security

These integrated payment platform solutions are designed with new security measures. Even being mobile, these payment processing methods are payment card industry (PCI) data security standard (DSS) compliant.

And it protects businesses and their customers against the risks that come with taking their personal and financial information for the payment.

It Encourages Repeat Business

These credit card processing features come together to make your business the go-to choice for your target market. As a result, you can create repeat customers out of what would otherwise be one-time patrons.

This also goes a long way in helping you increase your long-term sales and enables you to scale your business efficiently.

At Stax, we specialize in offering highly secure, efficient, and reliable mobile payment services for businesses of all scales. No matter the size of your operation, Stax can help you accept mobile payments for your services through your preferred Apple or Android devices.

Learn more about Stax services and see how we can help you increase your sales.

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Explained Simply: What is a Merchant Services Provider?

Your Merchant Services Provider is a vital partner that can help you operate and grow your business. They facilitate credit card processing and provide other important services for your business. Essential services offered by a merchant services provider include:

Accepting payments from your customers via credit, debit, and electronic payments allowing for seamless transactions.

Securely managing PCI compliance when processing and storing payment information for your business, making your customer data safe.

Providing your business with technology to track payments, understand business data, and collect outstanding invoices.

Let’s get back to basics to understand the definition of a merchant.

In This Article

TL;DR

  • Merchant services companies provide businesses and individuals with the tools and requirements to accept credit cards, debit cards, and other forms of electronic payment for transactions to take place. 
  • The products that merchant service providers offer to businesses in order for them to actually be able to accept and process payments in a way that works for them and their customers.
  • A Merchant Services Provider grants you the technology and information your business needs to optimize operations. You can learn a lot about your business from the payment data provided to you by your Merchant Services Provider. 

What Is a Merchant?

“Merchant” is a term used by payment processors to refer to their customers. Customers, or merchants, are businesses that accept credit card payments from their clients in-person, online, or over the phone. A Merchant Services Provider offers products and systems to help those businesses run smoothly.

These products and services often integrate with the business tools you already have. For instance, your payment provider may connect to a POS system for your retail store or to your QuickBooks Online for reconciliation. Merchant Service Providers can also provide customer management, inventory systems, and payment reporting.

Who Is Considered a Merchant?

A merchant represents a person or company that sells goods or services. Merchants can sell items in-person or online (sometimes called an eCommerce merchant). Most merchants today operate both in-store and online.

Different Types of Merchants:

  • eCommerce Merchant: A merchant who sells items online.
  • Retail Merchant: A merchant who sells items that they purchase from manufacturers.
  • Wholesale Merchant: Merchants/manufacturers who sell items to retail merchants. 
  • Affiliate Merchant: Merchants who use affiliate networks to sell goods.
  • Direct-to-consumer (DTC) Merchant: Merchants who sell items to consumers that they themselves create.

DTC merchants have become quite common in recent years, as selling goods on the internet has a very low barrier to entry. Most DTC companies are still wholesale merchants, selling their items to retailers who then sell the item to the consumer. 

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What Is a Merchant Account?

A merchant account is a bank account specifically established for business purposes where companies can make and accept payments. Note that a merchant account isn’t the typical bank account. This is a basic assumption that poses a lack of clarity for most business owners. Merchant services accounts allow businesses to accept credit and debit card transactions or other forms of electronic payment from customers, with the aid of a payment gateway.

Merchant account services often come with added fees, but also an array of services. Most often the merchant has to cover the transaction fees from payment processors, the credit card association, and the issuing bank for the merchant account. To that effect, it’s perhaps savvier for the merchant to look out for an option that’ll help cut down the cost per transaction.

On the other hand, a low processing fee doesn’t guarantee reliable service and support in the long run.

Merchant Account Provider vs. Merchant Services Provider

While the two entities overlap quite a bit, there are some distinctions between merchant services and merchant account providers.

The former is a much broader term that’s used to describe an organization that has various offerings for merchants—including payments, technology integrations, businesses services, etc.

Merchant account providers typically stick to helping businesses set up their merchant account—i.e., the type of bank account that enables you to accept credit and debit card payments.

In many cases, these terms are used interchangeably.

How Does Merchant Services Work?

Merchant services companies provide businesses and individuals with the tools and requirements to accept credit cards, debit cards, and other forms of electronic payment for transactions to take place.

There are thousands of merchant service providers in the U.S alone. From ISOs and third-party merchant services providers like Square, Stripe, Paypal, and Stax to big bank-operated merchant services (Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase Bank) each company offers its own tools, services, and fees. Depending on the size of your business, one model will be more expensive than another.

How Easy Is It To Open a Merchant Services Account?

A merchant services account establishes a business relationship between a merchant services provider and a business. Doing so provides the business with the ability to accept debit and credit cards, contactless payments such as Apple Pay, eCommerce transactions, and more. Some payment processing companies like Square don’t require a merchant services account in order to do business with them.

Not having a merchant services account can be a risky choice. Payment processing providers such as Square often accept higher-risk business clients that wouldn’t normally qualify for a merchant account. That increases the risk for the payment processor. If your business falls into that category, you’re more likely to experience an account hold for certain transactions. If the payment processor decides to no longer assume that higher risk, they can simply cancel your account leaving you unable to accept payments from customers.

Merchant Services Products

The next essential part of what makes up “merchant services,” is the different tools available for payment processing. The products that merchant service providers offer to businesses in order for them to actually be able to accept and process payments in a way that works for them and their customers.

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What are the Contactless Payments

Contactless payments include credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Google Pay, Fitbit Pay, and other devices that use near field communication (NFC) or radio-frequency identification (RFID).

Pay on-the-go with Mobile Payments

Mobile payments are payments made for a product or service through a portable electronic device such as a tablet or cell phone. Mobile payment technology can also be used to send money to friends or family members with applications such as PayPal and Venmo.

Swipe, Dip, and Tap: Credit Card Terminals

A Credit Card Terminal also called an Electronic Data Capture Terminal or EDC Terminal is an electronic device that enables merchants to accept credit cards allowing customers to swipe, dip, or tap their credit or debit card to make a payment.

Online Shopping Made Easy: eCommerce Solutions

eCommerce is the activity of electronically buying or selling products on online services or over the Internet. From accepting credit cards and debit cards online to set up your customized web store, eCommerce solutions can bridge the gap when in-person payments are not an option.

Boost Sales with Virtual Terminals

A virtual terminal is a software application for merchants that allows them to accept payment with a payment card, specifically a credit card, without requiring the physical presence of the card.

Upgrade Your Business with POS Systems

A point of sale system, or POS, is the place where your customer makes a payment for products or services at your store. Simply put, every time a customer makes a purchase at your store, they’re completing a point of sale transaction.

Secure Payment Gateway

A payment gateway is a piece of software that works with your website or eCommerce store and allows you to take and process secure credit card payments online. The payment gateway serves in the place of a credit card terminal.

Secure Payment Processing with Merchant Services Provider

A Merchant Services Provider functions as the intermediary between banks, your business, and your customers. This allows you to confidently accept your customers’ preferred form of payment. With a Merchant Services Provider, you can depend on this payment arriving securely in your bank account.

When a customer swipes a card, the Merchant Services Provider moves the customer’s funds to your bank account. The funds will typically appear in your bank account within 48 hours. Many businesses do qualify for next-day funding and can get paid even faster.

Your Merchant Services Provider is where you will purchase or rent credit card terminals and mobile swipers. If you have an online business, they will seamlessly integrate with your eCommerce store. Virtual terminals let you accept payments online or key in payments over the phone. Your Merchant Services Provider will help you find the right payment processing services for your business.

Secure Payment Merchant Services Provider | Nfc Security

Secure Payments: Prioritize Payment Security

Payment Security is vital for businesses processing credit card transactions, online payments, and maintaining card number storage. There can potentially be a lot of risks involved when accepting payments today. According to one Nilson report, 2021 card fraud losses in the U.S. totaled $11.91 billion, an 18% increase over $10.09 billion in 2020. Through Payment Security, a Merchant Service Provider can help you and your clients conduct business transactions safely and securely.

Your Merchant Services Provider can help you ensure PCI compliance. This means that cardholder data stored by your business, including names and card numbers, is secure. Businesses can be proactive in protecting data by using strong passwords and updating their antivirus software regularly.

Meanwhile, your Merchant Services Provider will maintain PCI compliance on the payment end of your business. This includes tokenizing payment information and protecting your business by putting fraud prevention measures in place. Learn more about how Stax protects your payments.

Technology Provider

A Merchant Services Provider grants you the technology and information your business needs to optimize operations. You can learn a lot about your business from the payment data provided to you by your Merchant Services Provider.

  • Which customers are spending the most time and money with you?
  • What times of day, month, or year are you collecting the most payments?
  • Are there products or services on which you could increase your revenue?

Important Questions to Ask Your Merchant Services Provider:

  • How are your equipment costs structured?
  • What are your processing costs?
  • Are there any other costs or fees?
  • What kind of contract is required?
  • What kind of reporting and statements are offered?
  • Is all of your equipment PCI DSS compliant?

Which Merchant Service Is Best?

Every cent counts towards improving your business operations. This is why finding the best merchant service provider is so important. If you need to grow your business and serve your target market, then you need to have proper merchant services in place. There are over 1000 payment processing companies in the U.S. Here are a few things to consider while choosing payment processing platforms for your business.

With all the changes occurring in the economy, it’s imperative to provide a myriad of payment options to your customers. Payment processing solutions such as mobile payments, virtual terminals, and touch-free or contactless payment solutions expand revenue generation opportunities and give your customers a more seamless experience.

In some cases, it also makes sense to partner with a company that offers payment services beyond credit cards. Payments types like ACH and Text2Pay are quickly gaining steam, so it makes sense to use a provider that supports these modes of payment.

What Should You Look for in a Merchant Services Provider?

While looking for a merchant services provider, make sure to take note of their costs. Depending upon the kind of solutions you need, you will most likely have to keep the following charges in mind.

  • Setup Fee
  • Equipment Fee
  • Monthly Fee/Service Fee
  • Transaction Fee
  • Credit Card Processor Fee

Payment Processing Pricing

Flat Rate: Suitable for small retail businesses and startups with a low sales volume, the flat rate is a fixed percentage that’s based on a charge when processing payments. This pricing model is quick and easy to set up and has the best ease of use

Interchange-Plus Pricing: Each credit card issuer such as Mastercard and Visa has specific interchange rates for each card type whether it be CNP or Card present transactions. With the interchange-plus pricing structure, the processor adds a markup to the interchange and takes a cut out of each sale.

Direct Interchange: A direct interchange fee is one where the merchant charges a one-off monthly fee without any percentage rate. It’s not the best for small businesses that generate low volumes of sales.

Tiered Rates: Tiered rates are grouped in different structures that separate each card type(Visa, Mastercard, Discover). It’s not the most convenient for small to medium-sized businesses. Since the fees fluctuate this is not an ideal option for B2C transactions.

Additional Fees to Watch Out For:

  • Account fees
  • Minimum processing fee
  • Statement fee
  • Account setup fee
  • Cancellation fee
  • Chargeback fees
  • NSF fee
  • Early Termination fee

Don’t Forget About Customer Support

Be sure to vet the customer support offerings of a merchant services provider. Payment processing has several moving parts, and tech issues may arise. In these instances, you want a knowledgeable partner who has your back and can ensure that everything runs smoothly.

When selecting a provider, look into their customer service capabilities. Is support available 24/7? What platforms or channels can you use to access the info you need? What are other merchants saying?

The answers to these questions will help you gauge a provider’s reliability when it comes to customer support.

Final Words

Ranked one of the best merchant services companies of 2023, Stax has disrupted the payments industry with our subscription-based pricing model. Stax is a subscription-based merchant service provider with total transparency built into its model. All merchants have access to direct cost payment processing with 0% markups, no contracts, and no hidden fees.

We believe that all of this useful data should be placed in the hands of business owners like you. You can increase your knowledge and make strategic decisions that will positively impact your business. That’s why we built Stax, our all-in-one payment platform. With Stax, you can track payments, create payment links, and collect invoices in one place. Plus, you can also view detailed reports about the state of your business at any time.

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Quick FAQs about Merchant Services Provider

Q: What are the essential services provided by a Merchant Services Provider?

  • Accepting credit, debit, and electronic payments
  • Securely managing PCI compliance
  • Providing technology for payment tracking, business data interpretation, and invoice collection

Q: What is a Merchant Account?

A merchant account is a specialized bank account created for business purposes, allowing companies to make and accept electronic payments, including credit and debit card transactions, with the assistance of a payment gateway.

Q: What’s the difference between a Merchant Account Provider and a Merchant Services Provider?

Merchant Account Provider solely helps businesses set up their merchant account, while a Merchant Services Provider offers a broader range of services, including payments, technology integrations, and business services.

Q: How do Merchant Services work?

Merchant Services Providers supply businesses and individuals with the tools and requirements necessary to accept credit cards, debit cards, and other electronic payment forms for transactions to occur.

Q: What types of payment processing products do Merchant Services Providers offer?

  • Contactless Payments (NFC/RFID)
  • Mobile Payments
  • Credit Card Terminals
  • eCommerce Solutions
  • Virtual Terminals
  • POS Systems
  • Payment Gateway

Q: How do Merchant Services Providers ensure payment security?

Merchant Services Providers use measures such as PCI compliance, tokenizing payment information, and fraud prevention to create a secure payment environment.

Q: How can a Merchant Services Provider help optimize business operations?

By providing valuable payment data insights, Merchant Services Providers can help businesses understand customer spending habits, peak payment periods, and potential areas of revenue growth.

Q: What should a business consider when choosing a Merchant Services Provider?

  • Costs (setup fee, equipment fee, monthly fee, transaction fee, processor fee)
  • Support for various payment types (credit cards, ACH, Text2Pay)
  • Customer support availability and quality
  • Payment processing pricing models (Flat Rate, Interchange-Plus, Direct Interchange, Tiered Rates)
  • Additional fees (account fees, minimum processing fees, statement fees, contract cancellation fees, etc.)

Top 7 Payment Trends to Watch in 2024 and Beyond

Payment processing has never been more complex than it is today. This is, in part due to the abundance of options, and the continual advancement of technology.

The payments industry is constantly adapting to meet the needs of businesses and consumers alike, and staying informed about the latest trends is crucial for success in this evolving landscape.

The payment processing ecosystem continues to evolve with new capabilities, and businesses must stay up to date on trends to provide the best customer experience possible.

Financial institutions play a vital role in facilitating digital payments. They serve as intermediaries between merchants, consumers, and payment processors, ensuring seamless and secure transactions. As the payments industry continues to evolve, financial institutions are adapting their services to meet the changing needs of businesses and consumers.

They are investing in advanced fraud detection and prevention technologies, enhancing transaction security, and exploring partnerships with fintech companies to provide innovative payment solutions. This collaboration between traditional financial institutions and fintech startups is driving the industry forward and fostering a culture of innovation.

As we look to the future, the payments industry will continue to witness the rise of mobile payments. With the widespread adoption of smartphones and the increasing availability of internet access, consumers are relying on their mobile devices for various activities, including payments. Mobile payment apps, such as Stax Pay, PayPal, Venmo, and Alipay, are gaining popularity worldwide, offering a convenient and secure way to make transactions on the go. Businesses that embrace mobile payments can tap into a growing customer base and provide a seamless shopping experience across multiple channels.

With multiple payment channels available to merchants, deciding which to accept can be a daunting task. Digital payments are leading the way in the payment industry with continuous innovation and security measures that modernize the shopping experience, both in-person and online.

To help you make sense of the payments landscape, this post sheds light on 7 payment trends for businesses to watch.

In an era marked by technological advancements and changing consumer preferences, digital payments have emerged as a cornerstone of the modern economy. The convenience, speed, and security offered by digital payment methods have revolutionized the way we transact and interact with money. We will explore the transformative potential of digital payments within the ever-evolving landscape of payment trends.

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Background on the Payments Industry

The payments industry stands at the forefront of financial innovation, reshaping the way we transact and exchange value. As financial services organizations seek to meet evolving consumer demands, technological advancements and changing market dynamics are propelling the industry forward.

The rise of e-commerce and digital marketplaces has given birth to a surge in online payments. Consumers now expect seamless, secure, and frictionless experiences when making digital purchases. As a result, financial services organizations are adopting innovative payment solutions to meet these demands. From mobile wallets and digital payment gateways to instant payment systems, the industry is witnessing a remarkable shift towards online payments.

The global cashless payment volumes have been on a steady rise, driven by convenience, security, and speed. Consumers are embracing digital payment methods such as credit cards, mobile payment apps, and contactless technologies. This cashless revolution has prompted traditional payments providers to reevaluate their strategies and adapt to the changing landscape. To remain competitive, they are enhancing their digital capabilities, fostering collaborations, and embracing new technologies.

The payments industry continues to undergo a remarkable transformation, driven by technological innovation, evolving consumer behaviors, and the need for enhanced digital experiences. Financial services organizations must navigate these changes, embracing online payments, collaborating with fintech firms, and prioritizing security to stay competitive. As the industry adapts and evolves, it holds the potential to revolutionize financial transactions, promote financial inclusion, and shape the future of commerce.

Financial Services

The financial services industry has long been a pillar of the global economy, providing individuals and businesses with essential services such as banking, investment, insurance, and more. In recent years, this industry has experienced significant transformations driven by technological advancements, changing customer expectations, and evolving regulatory landscapes. We will explore the latest developments and trends reshaping the financial services industry, and the opportunities they bring for both financial institutions and consumers.

Digital Transformation and Customer-Centricity

The advent of digital technologies has propelled the financial services industry into a new era of convenience and accessibility. Financial institutions are leveraging digital platforms to streamline processes, enhance customer experiences, and expand their reach beyond traditional brick-and-mortar establishments. Online and mobile banking services enable customers to access their accounts, make transactions, and manage their finances conveniently from anywhere, anytime. The focus has shifted towards customer-centricity, with personalized offerings, tailored recommendations, and intuitive user interfaces becoming standard practices.

Fintech Disruption and Collaboration

The rise of fintech startups has disrupted traditional financial services, challenging established players to adapt or risk falling behind. Fintech companies leverage innovative technologies to offer specialized financial solutions such as peer-to-peer lending, robo-advisory services, digital wallets, and blockchain-based payments. To stay competitive, traditional financial institutions are embracing collaboration with fintech firms through partnerships, investments, and incubator programs. This collaboration brings together the expertise and infrastructure of traditional institutions with the agility and innovation of fintech, fostering a dynamic ecosystem of financial services.

Rise of Mobile Wallets and Contactless Payments

One of the prominent payment trends in recent years is the widespread adoption of mobile wallets and contactless payments. Mobile wallet applications, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay, allow users to securely store their payment information and make transactions with a simple tap or touch of their smartphones. The convenience and contactless nature of these payments have gained significant traction, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, where hygiene and contactless interactions have become paramount.

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Payment Solutions

P2P payment solutions have transformed the way we exchange money among friends, family, and colleagues. Platforms like Stax, Venmo, PayPal, and Cash App have made it incredibly easy to split bills, repay debts, and send money instantly. P2P payments have become an integral part of our daily lives, simplifying transactions between individuals and enabling seamless digital transfers.

Integration of Digital Payments in E-commerce

The e-commerce sector has experienced tremendous growth, fueled in part by the increasing popularity of digital payments. Online shopping platforms, from global marketplaces to small-scale businesses, have embraced digital payment methods as a means to enhance customer experience and drive sales. The integration of secure checkout options, such as credit cards, digital wallets, and even cryptocurrencies, has expanded consumer choices and facilitated frictionless transactions in the digital marketplace.

Biometric Authentication and Enhanced Security Measures

As the digital payments landscape evolves, so do the security measures to protect user information and transactions. Biometric authentication methods, including fingerprint recognition and facial identification, have become more prevalent in ensuring secure digital transactions. These advancements in security technology add an extra layer of protection, making digital payments not only convenient but also highly secure.

Financial institutions are investing heavily in robust security measures to safeguard customer data and protect against cyber threats. Additionally, evolving regulatory frameworks, such as PSD2 in Europe and open banking initiatives, promote greater transparency, competition, and data sharing among financial institutions. Compliance with these regulations is crucial to ensure trust, maintain integrity, and protect consumer interests in the financial ecosystem.

Internet of Things (IoT) and Connected Devices

The proliferation of connected devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) has opened up new possibilities for digital payments. With IoT-enabled devices, such as smartwatches, fitness trackers, and voice-activated assistants, users can make payments seamlessly without the need for physical interaction. For example, a smart fridge could reorder groceries and make payments automatically when supplies run low. The integration of digital payments with IoT technology simplifies transactions, making them a natural part of our connected lives.

1. Going Cashless Leads the Way for Digital Payment Trends

Common cashless transaction types include credit and debit, mobile wallets, ACH transfers, and any eCommerce transaction. Cashless transactions are expected to increase tremendously in the coming years, and businesses need to be prepared.

Going cashless is part of a larger revolution in the payments industry where processing companies and businesses seek to evolve their practices. Customer demand for digital transactions and the expectations for payment options to suit their needs is a driving force for the evolution of payment processing.

2. Mobile Wallets Become Table Stakes

Mobile wallets were already commonly used in recent years thanks to their convenient, contactless, and secure nature. The use of digital wallets is popular for in-person transactions through the near-field communication (NFC) technology, and eCommerce transactions.

Users can store their debit and credit cards with an end-to-end encrypted digital wallet and make secure transactions easily. Gone are the days where retailers can simply accept cash, and digital wallets provide a safe, secure, and seamless customer experience at the point of sale.

Though mobile wallets may not be universally used like traditional payment options, more and more people are leaving their residence without their analog wallets.

Providing multiple payment options is now table stakes for any business accepting secure payment from customers, and digital wallets will continue to grow as a payment trend.

Digital Wallets | Payment Trends

3. Tap-to-Pay with Contactless Credit Cards

Another trend that’s showing rapid growth and popularity? Contactless credit card usage.

More retailers are offering this as a safer payment solution and providing information about how contactless payments work is important to educate wary customers. Contactless card transactions typically process faster than inserting the chip, and also incur less wear and tear on the card. Additionally, contactless cards are more secure than swiping a card’s magnetic strip and are processed with end-to-end encryption.

Though not all banks issue cards with contactless capabilities, there are currently over 190 million contactless Visa credit cards, with 300 million total expected to be in circulation by the end of 2021. Additionally, most major card issuers are now sending these out by default and replacement cards are frequently getting this upgrade.

American Express states that most of its products have contactless technology, and many other financial institutions such as Bank of America, Capital One, and Chase have several options available.

Combined with mobile wallet tap-to-pay adoption, businesses should consider accepting contactless payments, as this payment trend continues to be widely adopted by consumers.

4. Paving the Way for More P2P Payments

Peer-to-peer payments (P2P) are more commonly known by their app names. Venmo, Cash App, PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Zelle are popular apps that allow users to transfer money from linked bank accounts or credit and debit cards to another user.

While this is often used by consumers to transfer money between individuals, some businesses can easily implement this payment method to provide a more seamless experience for their customers.

Although P2P payments are not suitable for many businesses, some do offer pay-to-merchant (P2M) options, with PayPal leading in this space and accepted by many retailers. However, there are some drawbacks for businesses seeking to offer P2M.

These payments may take longer to process, incur larger transaction fees, and may be less secure than other payment methods. This method may not be suitable for all businesses, but for some, the streamlined payment experience for the customer could be a deciding factor.

P2P Payments

5. Buy-Now-Pay Later is Gaining Popularity

Buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) is a payment option that allows customers to spread out their purchase payments in a way that resembles a personal loan. The terms of these loans vary, with some including interest, and others dividing the purchase into multiple interest-free automatic withdrawals.

Other differentiators of BNPL payment services include whether there is a hard or soft pull on the customer’s credit, late fees, and payment cadence, and loan duration. One example of a BNPL merchant partnership is Amazon’s partnership with Affirm, which allows customers to use this service on purchases of $50 or more without a credit check or interest on the purchase.

These transactions are different from typical credit card transactions and can sway customers who are on the fence to make a purchase. According to McKinsey, BNPL was used as a payment option for 30% of respondents, and 29% of people report that they would have made smaller purchases or not purchased at all without BNPL.

Depending on the average price point and shopping habits of your customers, adding a buy-now-pay-later option could lead to significant increases in business, especially around prime shopping seasons. While it may not be suitable for every business, this payment method is certainly making waves and has several providers available for merchants to consider.

6. Cryptocurrency and Cross-Border Digital Payments

The use of cryptocurrency for payments has increased in recent years, with about 21% of survey respondents citing this as their primary reason for entering the cryptocurrency market. Cryptocurrencies are known to be volatile in their value, but the investment potential is the leading reason for ownership, with 43% of survey respondents citing this as their motivation for holding cryptocurrency. Major companies such as Microsoft, Tesla, Expedia, and WeWork now accept cryptocurrency payments. This digital payment trend is one to keep an eye on, as the usage has evolved to be more mainstream.

The digital payments landscape is evolving rapidly, driven by technological advancements and changing consumer expectations. Businesses must stay informed about the latest payment trends to navigate this complex ecosystem successfully. Embracing digital payments, leveraging emerging technologies, and collaborating with financial institutions are key strategies for businesses to thrive in the ever-changing payments industry. By staying ahead of the curve, businesses can deliver exceptional customer experiences and drive growth in the digital economy.

There is also a rising trend in cross-border payments using cryptocurrency. These transactions often process faster and automatically convert to local currency, creating a seamless customer experience. PayPal has one of the most notable offerings for cross-border transactions, allowing customers to buy, hold, transfer, and use multiple cryptocurrencies in transactions around the world.

Another emerging trend is the use of blockchain technology in the payments industry. Blockchain, a decentralized and immutable ledger, offers enhanced transparency, security, and efficiency in transactions. It enables peer-to-peer payments without the need for intermediaries, reducing costs and settlement times. Financial institutions are exploring the integration of blockchain into their payment infrastructure to streamline cross-border transactions, improve remittance services, and simplify compliance procedures.

Digital payments have emerged as a driving force in the payments industry, transforming the way we conduct transactions. With the rise of digital wallets, consumers can securely store their payment information and make purchases with just a few clicks. Digital wallets, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay, provide a convenient and streamlined checkout experience, both in-store and online. As more consumers embrace this technology, businesses must ensure they are equipped to accept digital payments to meet customer expectations and stay competitive in the market.

In recent years, the concept of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) has gained significant attention and sparked intriguing discussions in the world of finance and technology. CBDCs represent a new form of digital money issued and regulated by central banks, aiming to combine the benefits of traditional fiat currencies with the efficiency and security of modern digital payment systems. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of CBDCs, exploring their potential impact, benefits, and considerations as central banks around the world explore their adoption.

Understanding Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)

Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) are digital representations of a country’s official currency issued and backed by a central bank. Unlike decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, CBDCs maintain a centralized control structure, with the central bank overseeing their issuance, regulation, and redemption.

CBDCs leverage advanced digital technologies, such as blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT), to provide a secure and efficient means of transferring value. This technology ensures transparency, traceability, and integrity of transactions while maintaining central bank authority and regulatory oversight.

Benefits of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)

Enhanced Financial Inclusion: CBDCs have the potential to extend financial services to unbanked or underbanked populations. With CBDCs, individuals without traditional bank accounts can access digital wallets directly provided by central banks, enabling them to participate in the digital economy and gain access to essential financial services.

Efficient Cross-Border Transactions:

CBDCs can streamline cross-border transactions by reducing intermediaries and associated costs. With the instantaneous nature of digital transactions, CBDCs have the potential to enhance the speed, transparency, and efficiency of international money transfers, benefiting businesses and individuals alike.

Improved Monetary Policy Implementation:

CBDCs provide central banks with greater control and visibility over the monetary system. The digital nature of CBDCs enables real-time data analysis, facilitating more effective policy implementation and economic decision-making. Central banks can respond swiftly to changing economic conditions, making monetary policy more agile and targeted.

Strengthened Security and Financial Integrity:

CBDCs offer enhanced security features that help combat illicit activities such as money laundering and fraud. The use of advanced cryptographic techniques and immutable transaction records on a distributed ledger ensures the integrity of CBDC transactions, reducing the risk of counterfeiting and unauthorized access.

Considerations and Challenges

While CBDCs hold great promise, their implementation presents certain considerations and challenges that require careful evaluation:

Technological Infrastructure:

Deploying CBDCs requires robust technological infrastructure to handle large-scale transactions securely and efficiently. Central banks must ensure that the underlying technology is scalable, resilient, and capable of accommodating the needs of a digital payment ecosystem.

Privacy and Data Protection

Balancing privacy and security is a crucial aspect of CBDC implementation. Central banks must establish robust data protection frameworks to safeguard individuals’ financial information while complying with regulatory requirements and preventing illicit activities.

Interoperability

Achieving interoperability between different CBDC systems and existing payment infrastructures is crucial for seamless cross-border transactions. Collaboration among central banks and international regulatory bodies is essential to establish interoperability standards and protocols.

User Adoption and Education

The successful introduction of CBDCs relies on user adoption and acceptance. Educating the public about the benefits, functionality, and security features of CBDCs will be essential to build trust and encourage widespread adoption.

7. Security Through AI and Machine Learning

Given the amount and variety of fraud retailers face, businesses must rely on AI and machine learning to enhance their security measures. AI and machine learning monitor for real-time fraud indicators and decline transactions as appropriate, and provide insights into trends in fraudulent transactions.

Payment processing companies are advancing to include real-time analysis of transactions to look for fraud and provide valuable insights to retailers. For businesses of any size, using machine learning to evaluate the massive quantities of data from transactions helps to optimize operations and work proactively against fraud.

One of the key payment trends to watch in 2023 and beyond is the integration of digital payments with emerging technologies. For example, the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in payment processing is revolutionizing fraud detection and prevention.

AI algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data in real-time, identifying patterns and anomalies that may indicate fraudulent activities. By leveraging AI-powered solutions, businesses can enhance security measures and protect both themselves and their customers from potential threats.

Final Words

In the era of speed and convenience, innovations in payment processing are foundational to the customer experience. The adoption of an integrated payment platform, such as Stax, provides a secure and scalable way to serve customers. Helpful analytics and 24/7 support mean your business can rest assured that you and your customers receive best-in-class service.

Just as there are many options available to customers for their shopping needs, there are options in choosing your payment processor. Stax operates without hidden fees, contracts, or markups. Our integrated payment system has solutions for every business and works with existing software applications seamlessly – saving your business time and money.

From small businesses to large enterprises, choosing the right provider for your payment processing needs is critical, as is the need to prioritize the customer experience.

With Stax, your business and your customers experience innovative and scalable payment solutions with award-winning service. Get in touch with us to learn more.

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FAQs About Payment Trends

Q: What are payment trends, and why are they important?

Payment trends refer to the evolving methods, technologies, and consumer behaviors that shape how transactions are conducted and processed. Staying informed about payment trends is crucial for businesses to adapt, enhance customer experiences, and remain competitive in the ever-changing landscape of the payments industry.

Q: What are the top payment trends to watch?

The top payment trends to watch include:

  1. Rise of digital wallets and mobile payments
  2. Expansion of contactless and biometric payments
  3. Growth of peer-to-peer (P2P) and instant payments
  4. Integration of blockchain and cryptocurrencies in mainstream transactions
  5. Adoption of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)
  6. Advancements in voice-activated and Internet of Things (IoT) payments
  7. Increased focus on security and fraud prevention measures

Q: How will digital wallets and mobile payments shape the future of transactions?

Digital wallets and mobile payments offer convenient, secure, and contactless options for consumers to make purchases and transfers. These methods eliminate the need for physical cards or cash and provide seamless integration with smartphones, making transactions quick and easy. They are expected to become increasingly popular, driving the shift towards a cashless society.

Q: What are contactless and biometric payments, and why are they gaining traction?

Contactless payments involve using cards, smartphones, or wearables near a contactless-enabled terminal to make a payment. Biometric payments use unique physical attributes, such as fingerprints or facial recognition, to authorize transactions. These methods enhance convenience, speed, and security, reducing the need for physical contact and improving the overall payment experience.

Q: How do peer-to-peer (P2P) and instant payments revolutionize money transfers?

P2P and instant payments enable individuals to send money directly to others quickly and effortlessly, often in real-time. These payment methods are reshaping the remittance industry, simplifying bill splitting, and facilitating transactions between friends, family, and businesses. They eliminate the need for traditional intermediaries and offer immediate access to funds, enhancing financial inclusion and transaction efficiency.

Q: What role do cryptocurrencies and blockchain play in future payments?

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology provide secure, decentralized, and transparent transactions. With growing acceptance, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are being integrated into mainstream payment systems, enabling faster cross-border transactions and reducing costs. Blockchain, the underlying technology, ensures trust, immutability, and accountability in financial transactions.

Q: How will Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) impact the future of payments?

CBDCs are digital representations of traditional fiat currencies issued and regulated by central banks. These digital currencies have the potential to streamline payments, enhance financial inclusion, and improve monetary policy implementation. CBDCs aim to combine the benefits of digital payments with the stability and oversight provided by central banks, revolutionizing the way we transact and exchange value.


 

NFC Security: How to Safeguard Near Field Communication Payments

Contactless payments are gaining popularity as consumers continue to seek convenient and secure payment methods. The technology behind contactless payments is near-field communication, a two-way encrypted way of transmitting payment information at the point of sale. This post explains how NFC contactless payments work and how retailers can ensure POS systems that process NFC transactions are secure from threats and compromises.

TL;DR

  • Near-field communication technology allows two devices in close proximity to each other—the card reader/POS and the NFC-enabled card or mobile device—to transmit payment information and process transactions.
  • To minimize security risks, you must choose a PCI-compliant payment processing system and keep your NFC payment infrastructure up-to-date.
  • All payment devices should be equipped with user authentication and access control to ensure sensitive information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

How do NFC Payments Work?

Near-field communication technology allows two devices in close proximity to each other—the card reader/POS and the NFC-enabled card or mobile device—to transmit payment information and process transactions.

There are two ways that NFC payments work: with mobile wallet apps, and with NFC-enabled contactless cards. With mobile wallets, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay, the user connects their card to the mobile wallet and uses their device at the payment terminal instead of their credit or debit card. NFC technology is also available with tap-to-pay card payments that work with the same technology as a mobile wallet at a payment terminal.

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What is the difference between EMV credit card payments and NFC card/mobile payments?

The EMV chip was introduced to credit and debit cards as a measure to improve payment security over the magnetic stripe, which was a frequent target of fraudsters. EMV chip card payments require the customer to insert their chipped card into the payment terminal for authentication during the transaction. EMV card readers only process payment information while the card is inserted. Nowadays, very few payment systems operate without the secure element of an EMV chip reader.

NFC technology is faster and simply requires customers to tap their NFC-enabled card or mobile wallet to the payment terminal, taking a fraction of the time for the payment processing to complete. The difference between the two is frequently explained as “tapping” for contactless cards and “dipping” for EMV chip payments.

NFC security: How Secure are NFC Payments?

NFC payments are even more secure than traditional EMV card transactions. And consumer awareness of the security of NFC payments is growing—in fact, a recent Harris Poll reported that 42% of consumers view tap-to-pay as the safest payment method.

One key reason is during the NFC debit or credit card processing period, the customer must be within inches of the payment terminal, and the actual transaction takes seconds to process. This means there is very little time or opportunity for interception.

Further, PCI-compliant and up-to-date software in NFC terminals transmit payment information that is two-way encrypted. Meaning that even if fraudsters attempt to intercept the information, the card information would be shielded.

There are a couple of additional security measures specific to mobile wallets, the first is card number tokenization. This means the credit card number in a mobile wallet is different than the physical card, making mobile wallet NFC payments even more secure for the customer.

Additionally, with mobile wallet payments, the customer must initiate the transaction on their payment device and provide multi-factor authentication, either with biometrics or a passcode. Because of these additional measures, a mobile wallet used for a tap-to-pay transaction is very secure; the main threats to this transaction type are compromises to the mobile device itself.

Security Threats to NFC Payments

The biggest threat to NFC payments is vulnerable hardware and software that fraudsters could target. Business owners should ensure the hardware and software used for payment processing are updated regularly and PCI compliant. Another related NFC security threat is an unsecured wireless network that can be accessed and used to collect payment and other sensitive information.

5 Tips to Prevent Security Risks when Accepting NFC Payments

There are several ways to prevent your payment systems from being compromised. Below are five tips to prevent security risks to your payment processing system.

Choose a PCI-compliant payment processing system that provides ongoing support  

Though the payment information is encrypted, NFC transactions transmit sensitive information that must be safeguarded. Choosing a payment processor that maintains PCI compliance for hardware and software is the foundation of thwarting fraudsters. Additionally, since hardware and software sometimes need maintenance and support, it must happen quickly to avoid downtime.

Stax offers the payment solutions your business needs, including PCI-compliant hardware and software and payment terminals enabled with NFC technology. Our solutions are scalable as your business grows and integrates between in-store and eCommerce transactions.

Should you need assistance at any time, we’re available 24/7 for customer support—and with a 95% customer satisfaction score, you can feel confident you will always have the support your business needs.

Keep your NFC payment infrastructure up-to-date

As mentioned earlier, out-of-date hardware and software and unsecured wireless networks are the biggest threats to payment security. Keeping your NFC payment infrastructure current means the payment terminals and software are updated and PCI compliant.

With Stax, you can rest assured that we will keep your technology compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), an essential standard for preventing breaches and protecting sensitive information.

Enable authentication and access control with NFC payment gateways

Payment terminals, especially mobile POS systems, are a weak point if not protected. All payment devices should be equipped with user authentication and access control to ensure sensitive information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. This includes the devices’ physical security, training employees to keep mobile POS systems secure, and enabling access controls to all payment terminals.

Make sure your NFC payments are encrypted

The transmission of payment information during an NFC transaction must be encrypted to most securely protect that data. Business owners should only choose a PCI DSS compliant payment processor that encrypts transaction information.

Develop a plan of action for a potential breach

It’s widely said that those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Though there are a number of best practices to protect your business, breaches still happen, and customer data can be compromised. When a breach happens, how a business responds can immediately affect revenue and customer trust. In such an event, it’s important to have a plan in place to mitigate any damage and communicate with affected people.

Developing a plan before something happens helps businesses respond faster, resulting in less downtime and financial loss. Communication and mitigation plans that are well developed also help to show customers that you value their trust and act in their best interest.

Final Words

There are many benefits to adopting NFC payments in your business. As NFC technology continues to gain traction in the marketplace, business owners should consider expanding their payment offerings to keep up with demand—and experience the benefits of accepting more payment types. Our integrated payment system has solutions for every business and integrations with the most popular software applications.

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FAQs about Near-Field Communication

Q: What is Near-Field Communication (NFC), and how does it work in payments?

NFC is a two-way encrypted technology that enables two devices in close proximity, like a card reader and an NFC-enabled card or mobile device, to transmit payment information and process transactions quickly. It forms the backbone of contactless payments.

Q: What are the different ways NFC payments can be made?

There are primarily two ways to make NFC payments: through mobile wallets such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay and through NFC-enabled contactless cards. Both these methods use NFC to transmit payment information to the payment terminal.

Q: How does NFC compare to EMV in terms of security and convenience?

NFC payments are faster and require simple tapping of the NFC-enabled card or mobile wallet to the payment terminal. While EMV cards improved the security of payments over magnetic stripes, NFC has further improved the speed and security. NFC is often deemed more secure due to the limited time and proximity required for the transactions.

Q: How secure are NFC payments?

NFC payments are typically more secure than traditional EMV card transactions. NFC payments need the customer to be within inches of the payment terminal, and the actual transaction takes seconds, limiting the opportunity for interception. All information is two-way encrypted, shielding it even if fraudsters attempt to intercept it.

Q: What are the additional securities in mobile wallets?

Mobile wallets add another layer of security to NFC payments through card number tokenization and multi-factor authentication, either through biometrics or a passcode. These features make mobile wallet NFC payments more secure for customers.

Q: What threats does NFC payment face?

NFC payments could potentially be compromised through vulnerable hardware and software or an unsecured wireless network. Business owners should ensure regular updates and PCI compliance of their payment processing systems to mitigate these risks.

Q: How can business owners ensure the security of their NFC payment system?

Business owners can ensure the security of their NFC payment systems by choosing a PCI-compliant payment processing system, regularly updating their payment infrastructure, enabling user authentication and access control, encrypting their NFC payments, and having a solid action plan in case of a potential breach.

Q: What plan of action should businesses have in case of a security breach?

Businesses should have a plan in place that can be quickly implemented to mitigate damage and initiate communication with affected parties in case of a security breach. Such a plan can help the business respond faster, reduce downtime, and maintain customer trust.

Q: What are the benefits of adopting NFC payments for businesses?

NFC payments are fast, secure, and convenient, making them highly attractive to consumers. By offering this payment option, businesses can keep up with payment technology trends, meet customer demands, and benefit from accepting a wider range of payment types.


 

A Guide to NFC Terminals: Overview, Security, and Our Top Picks

Gone are the days of “cash is king.” Studies show consumers now use credit cards for 57% of their purchases, up from 54% two years earlier. And due to the pandemic, cash accounted for 20% of payments in 2021, down from 26% in 2019, with 28% of people completely giving up on using cash.

But businesses aren’t only seeing a rise in debit or credit card payments. Recently, contactless payments using NFC technology have become increasingly popular. In fact, more than 80% of consumers have used NFC contactless payments, and 67% of retailers have provided at least one form of contactless payment in 2021, up from 40% two years prior.

While NFC payments are undoubtedly the latest evolution in accepting payment methods, many retailers and business owners may be unfamiliar with what exactly NFC transactions are and how they work. That’s why we’ve created this guide on what you should know about NFC terminals, including how they work, their advantages, and the top ones on the market.

TL;DR

  • NFC stands for “near field communication”; it’s a type of technology that lets two devices in close proximity to exchange data and communicate with each other.
  • In order for NFC payments to work, merchants need NFC-enabled point of sales/POS system (with wifi) and the consumer’s smartphone or card.
  • NFC payments are just as secure, if not more so, than paying using an EMV card.  

What are NFC Terminals and How Do NFC Payments Work?

NFC stands for “near field communication”; it’s a type of technology that lets two devices in close proximity to exchange data and communicate with each other. For NFC payments, the devices are the NFC point of sales/POS system (which must have wifi) and the consumer’s smartphone or card.

With a phone, the customer needs to start the payment process (usually by selecting the card from their digital wallet or holding their phone close to the NFC POS) and then authenticate the transaction. For example, on an iPhone using Apple Pay, this can be done using Touch ID or Face ID. The NFC technology then exchanges (encrypted) information between the phone and payment system to complete the transaction.

The process is similar when using a smart card: the customer simply needs to wave or tap their card on the NFC terminal, and the transaction will be completed. In some cases, the customer may need to confirm the transaction on the terminal, or enter their PIN code if it’s over a certain amount, but both methods take far less time than traditional payment methods.

It’s common for merchants or retailers to confuse NFC-enabled cards for EMV cards or RFID technology. While there is some overlap, it’s good to know the differences between them.

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EMV credit cards and payments vs. NFC cards and payments

  • EMV cards, which stands for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa, are chip-enabled credit cards (note that they’re not chip-and-signature cards). They allow users to dip their cards into a card reader and make payments, and are more secure than the older magnetic stripe cards.
  • Meanwhile, NFC payments allow customers to pay by simply tapping or hovering their card or smartphone near a payment terminal, using a form of RFID tech, and generally takes less time to complete a purchase.

RFID technology vs NFC technology

  • RFID stands for radio frequency identification and is a contact-free technology using radio waves to transfer data via tags or cards.

RFID tags typically communicate one-way only, usually from the tag to the reader, and cannot transmit large amounts of or complex data. That said, it has a range of a few hundred feet and is mostly used for access cards or in warehouse inventory and asset tracking.

  • NFC technology uses a subset of RFID technology, operating on one of the same frequencies RFID tags use. It allows for two-way communication and can transmit more complex information, making it ideal for NFC payments, but has a very limited range, or proximity, of under four inches.

Why Businesses Should Use NFC Mobile Payments

Retailers that don’t keep up with evolving consumer demand may find themselves losing customers and revenue, so it’s imperative to stay ahead of the curve, especially with studies projecting that 87% of debit cards will be contactless by the end of 2022.

In fact, industry data shows that over half of Americans use at least one kind of contactless payment, and 51% of consumers either use cash less or not at all.

Another factor to consider is speed: all the buyer needs to do is wave or tap their card, significantly streamlining up the purchasing process, which improves the buyer’s experience. Plus, it can help make your business’ operations more efficient, particularly if you have a high amount of transactions.

There’s also a major advantage we haven’t spoken about yet that we’ll get into in the next section: security.

How Secure Are NFC Terminals?

Good news: NFC payments are just as secure, if not more so, than paying using an EMV card. In fact, there are three key features in particular where NFC terminal security shines.

Proximity

As mentioned earlier, NFC cards only work in a range of under 4 inches. This makes it hard for hackers or fraudulent users to intercept your transmission, as they would need to be in that range to do so.

User initiation

To complete an NFC transaction, the buyer needs to start the process by bringing their card close to the NFC terminal, or opening their mobile wallet app (like Samsung Pay). This means a hacker can’t trigger a fraudulent transaction remotely. Additionally, most phones require an additional form of authentication, such as a fingerprint, PIN code, or facial recognition.

Secure element validation

Just like EMV cards are validated each time a transaction is made through the chip, NFC payments have a similar process. The smart card will validate the transaction and cardholder’s identity after establishing a connection using the Secure Element chip, while digital wallets use tokenization for extra security.

What Are the Best NFC Terminals On the Market?

There’s no shortage of available NFC POS systems available on the market, all with different features, selling points, and advantages. No idea where to start? Here’s our pick of the top 5 NFC terminal providers available today.

Stax

If you’re looking for an all-in-one payment processing platform, look no further than the contactless payment solutions at Stax. Whether you’re a medium- or large-sized business that needs NFC terminals, we provide the hardware and software to streamline your checkout process and payments reporting, all while providing world-class security.

And since Stax Pay comes with transparent, straightforward pricing, you’ll never be hit with unexpected fees when you let us help you modernize your business.

Square

Square is a popular credit card processing alternative for smaller businesses, as they offer low rates, a free POS app, and flat-rate pricing models for their Square Credit Card Reader. However, there are no discounts for higher-volume businesses, so it might not be the best choice in the long run as your business grows, and there have also been some complaints of users having their funds placed on hold.

SumUp

SumUp offers easy-to-use NFC card readers at extremely low prices and no ongoing costs. It’s one of the most popular options for contactless payments for micro-businesses, especially in international markets. However, in exchange for their low prices, they offer limited customer service, and their overall ranking online from reviewers is rated “poor.”

PayPal

PayPal also offers an NFC card reader through PayPal Zettle, targeted at early-stage businesses with low fees and quick setup times. There’s no long-term contract, but they charge substantial transaction fees, and don’t offer 24/7 live support, which could be a deal breaker for some businesses.

PayAnywhere

Offering a wide range of POS features for online or in-person payments, PayAnywhere is a popular option for low-volume businesses with low fees and a free reader. Their focus is on contactless and EMV payments, but they charge fairly high transaction fees and aren’t the best option for higher-volume merchants. Plus, they have fairly low online reviews, so that’s something to take into consideration.

Wrapping Up

It’s undeniable that allowing your customers to make NFC payments when checking out offers a more seamless purchase experience, all while futureproofing your organization. By finding the best NFC card reader and payments provider tailored for you, you’ll be able to grow and scale your business for the long run.

Stax’ contactless payment solutions help businesses of all sizes modernize their business in no time. With Stax Pay, you get an all-in-one online and touch-free payments solution provider with upfront and transparent pricing. To get an NFC reader contact us today and we’ll walk you through your options.

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How to Get a Credit Card Machine for Small Business

Are you looking to accept credit or debit card payments for your business? While the process may appear difficult, small business credit card processing is easier than it sounds.

Credit card usage has been on the rise, and this trend isn’t showing signs of slowing down. As of 2020, 79% of American consumers had at least one credit card or charge card, and experts are expecting that number to continue to grow.

Needless to say, small business owners that don’t accept credit cards are leaving a lot of money on the table. If you want to keep up with modern consumers, you need to ensure that you have the systems in place to accommodate their payment needs.

Doing that starts with evaluating different credit card processing services and selecting the right solution for your business.

Credit Card Payments and Your Business

One of the first steps to getting started with credit card processing for businesses is determining your specific needs. Ironing out your requirements will make it easy to evaluate credit card processing companies and figure out the best option for your business.

To that end, below are some helpful questions that can surface your business needs.

What Types of Credit Card Brands Do You Want to Accept?

Understanding what debit card and credit card brands to accept is very important for your business and customers. Credit cards contain their own unique set of rates and interchange fees which can be costly. As a business owner, you pay for the convenience of accepting a chosen payment method in order to accommodate the interests of your customers. Visa and Mastercard are standard, but then you also have American Express and Discover.

It’s important to note that each of these card networks have varying processing fees and policies, so be sure to consider them when deciding on the credit card types to accept.

How Will You Accept Payments?

List the methods you’ll use to accept card payments. Are you accepting in-person payments or online? Will you be accepting mobile payments or contactless payments like Apple Pay? Do you plan to take credit card payment info over the phone? What about online payments?

The answers to these questions will enable you to figure out what hardware and software you need to effectively set up and take credit card payments. For example, if you’re a large retail business that focuses on in-store transactions, then having a robust pos system that integrates with your credit card processor and credit card machines is a must.

If you’re selling online, see to it that your payment processor integrates with your e-commerce shopping cart.

There are many credit card processing solutions you can choose from. Depending on the industry, some payment types will serve as a default with additional options to expand payment collection methods from customers. Customers can make payments on your website or through a POS terminal next to the cash register.

You can process payments on your smartphone with a mobile card reader or you can type payments into a virtual terminal. Payment preferences are continuously changing so it’s important to know how customers want to pay as well as how your business wants to charge.

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How Much Sales Volume Do You Expect to Be Credit Card Transactions?

The number and amount you process are major factors that credit card processing companies consider when setting your rates. As such, you should understand your transaction volume before hunting for a merchant account service.

Step 1: Choose the Right Payment Gateway

The first step to small business credit card processing is setting up a payment gateway account— which is different from a merchant account provider. All your transactions, no matter what type, are channeled through a payment gateway. The payment gateway’s role is simply to decline or approve a transaction. Here’s a look at how payment gateways work:

  • The customer goes through the checkout process and pays for a good or service with their credit card.
  • Next, the authorization needs to be checked. The payment gateway service sends the transaction data to the merchant bank’s processor, who then routes the transaction data to the cardholder’s bank account.
  • The transaction now needs to be verified. The cardholder’s bank will either approve or decline the transaction. Then it will pass that information back to the credit card processors. The processor then passes the information to the cardholder and the merchant.
  • For a card that was accepted, goods or services are delivered. The transaction is completed.
  • The customer’s bank sends the required funds to the credit card processor. The processor forwards the funds to the merchant’s bank. Once you research the different payment gateway options available to you, contact the one that’s right for your business to get started. Be sure to look for the following features when choosing a gateway account for your business.
  • PCI DSS compliant
  • SSL (Secure Socket Layer)
  • eCommerce integration
  • Report generation
  • Customer support

Step 2: Set Up Your Merchant Account

The second step to processing and card machines for small business is choosing a merchant account provider (your payment processor). This involves thorough research into the best credit card processor for your business. Be sure to review not only the credit card processing fees from the payment processor, but also the overall pricing structure.

Some gateway service providers also include merchant services, but you should shop around before settling on that option. You should also note that some payment processors actually have gateway services of their own or have partnerships. It is important to find the right credit card processor for your transaction needs.

You want to find a payment processor that has all the credit card processing solutions you need to make transactions, and you want the best rates for their services.

How To Get A Credit Card Machine For Small Business | Person Using Pos System

Keep These Key Features in Mind When Choosing a Payment Processing Company

Not all payment processors are created equal. To figure out the right payment processing solution for your small business, be sure to take the following factors and features into consideration when researching a credit card processing company.

  • Digital application and rapid setup time. You operate in a fast-paced environment, so it’s important to partner with a payment processor that makes account and equipment setup quick and easy.
  • Favorable pricing structure and low transaction fees. Ask about the pricing model of your payment processor. How much is their markup? What processing fees do they charge? Ideally, your processor should offer transparent pricing and clear details about their rates. Or better yet, choose a payment processing provider that doesn’t take a cut out of your sales. At Stax, you are charged a flat monthly fee for unlimited access to the direct cost of interchange rates.
  • No ancillary or hidden fees (see below). Stay away from providers that tack on additional processing fees beyond credit card processing.
  • Fraud protection. You want a provider that looks out for you and helps prevent fraudulent transactions from taking place.
  • Supports the payment processing solutions you need.  Depending on your business, this may include integration with your POS system, EMV-compliant equipment, support for your shopping cart, POS terminal, virtual terminal, mobile card reader, etc.

Processing Fees You Should Avoid

  • Termination fees
  • Customer service fees
  • Statement processing fees
  • IRS fees
  • Batch processing fees
  • Annual processing fees
  • Contract fees
  • PCI compliance fees

Step 3: Accept Credit Card Payments

Once your merchant account is set up, you’re ready to accept credit card payments. This can be as simple as logging into a software product or entering your customer’s payment information.

In some cases, you’ll need to set up your equipment (i.e., POS system, credit card readers, etc.) Whatever credit card payments solution you choose for your business, it should be simple and easy to use.

If you don’t like the payment processor or the services you’re receiving after a few months, it should be easy to switch payment processors— unless you signed into a contract. Many contracts will have a hefty termination fee you have to pay in order to cancel. Try to get the fee waived or simply choose a credit card processor that doesn’t have contracts.

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FAQs About Getting A Credit Card Machine

Q: What is a credit card machine, and why do I need one for my small business?

A credit card machine, also known as a point-of-sale (POS) terminal, is a device that allows your small business to accept credit and debit card payments from customers. It is essential for modern businesses as it enables easy and secure transactions, expanding your customer base and increasing sales.

Q: How can I get a credit card machine for my small business through Stax Payments?

Getting a credit card machine through Stax Payments is simple. You can visit our website and request a call from our team once you provide some basic information about your business. Once registered, you can browse through our range of credit card machines and choose the one that best suits your business needs. Our team will guide you through the application process and provide assistance every step of the way.

Q: What types of credit card machines are available for small businesses at Stax Payments?

Stax Payments offers a variety of credit card machines to cater to diverse business needs. Our selection includes traditional countertop terminals, wireless terminals for mobility, virtual terminals for online transactions, and mobile card readers for on-the-go businesses.

Q: How secure are the credit card machines offered by Stax Payments?

Security is a top priority for Stax Payments. Our credit card machines are equipped with the latest encryption and compliance measures to protect your customers’ sensitive data. Rest assured that your transactions are safe and compliant with industry standards.


Ready to Set Up Credit Card Processing for Your Small Business?

If you’re looking for the perfect payment processing solutions for your small business, you’ve come to the right place. Stax Pay offers subscription-based integrated payment processing services at a direct cost— without any markups, ancillary fees, or contracts.

Top 8 Payment Methods and How to Accept Each Payment Mode

As business owners, it’s important for you to accept multiple payment methods from your customers, giving them the option to pay for goods or services in their preferred payment method.

This does mean, however, that you will have to keep up with both traditional and modern payment systems. To help you select the payment methods best suited for your business, this post lists 8 different modes of payment and the pros and cons associated with each.

Preparing your business to accept payments

In addition to legally creating your business and opening a business bank account, you will need to decide how you want to accept payments. If you are just starting out and only want to accept cash, you can easily track sales on paper or in a spreadsheet. In today’s day in age businesses usually need a little bit more technology for tracking inventory and sales. And customers often prefer to pay with cards or digital payment methods, so if you only accept cash, you may be missing out on lucrative sales.

What should you consider when choosing a payment option?

Just like your customers, payment methods come in all shapes and sizes. Different payment types have various benefits, drawbacks, and in most cases, fees. Needless to say, deciding on which modes of payments to accept will depend on your specific business and customers.

Here’s a rundown of the common payment modes that you should consider.

Pros and cons of different payment types

1. Credit Cards

Credit cards offer a quick and convenient way to make financial transactions both large and small. With a credit card, clients use a set credit limit from the company issuing the card to make offline and online purchases. Some companies like American Express and Mastercard offer contactless credit cards that use radio-frequency identification to authenticate card information, saving customers the trouble of swiping their cards against a card reader and making the process more secure.

If customers pay back their credit card balances regularly, they can build up a good credit line. However, if they have trouble meeting their payment due dates, they can be charged interest and their credit card rating can go down. To provide your clients with the best options for paying with credit cards, contact Stax to learn about the most secure ways to incorporate credit card payments into your business model.

2. Debit Cards

Debit cards withdraw money directly from an attached bank account. A debit card payment usually doesn’t come with annual fees and does not charge payees interest, which can encourage use. However, they also come with limited fraud protection and don’t build a client’s credit score, causing some customers to prefer using credit cards.

To accept debit card payments, you’ll need to comply with all the regulatory requirements in your industry. You’ll also need to choose a payment process to facilitate payment card transactions. In-store, the equipment you need to process debit cards are the same as the ones for credit cards. Online retailers, be sure to set up your payments web page to accept financial transactions from debit cards and optimize this page for mobile devices so clients can enter their debit card information through their smartphones.

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3. Automated Clearing House (ACH)

Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers are electronic, bank-to-bank money transfers that provide a fast and convenient way for businesses to pay vendors (including payroll via direct deposit) and receive payments from their clients. These ACH payments are also sometimes called direct debit payments or bank payments, and they allow customers to pay directly from their bank account to another bank account. Bank transfers and wire transfers are usually used for larger and more frequent payments where cash is not a good fit.

This mode of payment is helpful for businesses like mortgage and utility companies since their customers can set up automatic recurring transfers to pay their bills. However, some banks do impose limits on how much money can be sent through an ACH transfer and multiple ACH transfers can trigger an excess withdrawal penalty for savings accounts. Since there can be delays in ACH transfers, some clients may be hit with late fees if their transfer completes after the due date.

To accept ACH transfers, you’ll need to sign up with payments provider that supports ACH. This gives your business access to the ACH network and allows direct withdrawals from customer bank accounts. You’ll also need to request authorization from your customers and collect their payment details, making sure to verify this information.

4. Cash

Exchanging cash remains a simple (albeit cumbersome) payment option used by both local markets and major companies. It’s particularly popular among older customers and clients who are less tech-savvy and prefer to use physical currency.

That said, paying in cash is difficult if a client needs to make multiple expensive purchases. Cash users also need to carry the currency of the country where the transaction is being made. Finally, unless you keep careful records, cash transactions carry a higher risk of accounting errors.

5. Paper Checks

Paying via paper check is a convenient way to make large financial transactions. The payer can also cancel the payment until the payee presents the check to the bank, adding extra security. However, it takes time for a check to clear, making this an inconvenient mode of payment if you make several day-to-day transactions.

Businesses that accept checks as payment should create a check acceptance policy for their clients. This policy should detail the types of ID clients who pay by check should display, the dollar limits for the checks, and the information on the check—such as the payer name, bank ID, and signature— that needs to be verified.

6. eChecks

eCheck payments are conducted online. In the U.S., businesses use the ACH merchant network to withdraw money from the payer’s checking account and deposit the funds directly into the payee’s checking account. Customers validate their eCheck payments by authorizing the transaction on a website or signing a contract.

This mode of payment can be processed faster than a paper check and may offer lower processing fees than certain credit cards. However, there is the potential that online hackers can gain access to customer banking information and computer glitches can lead to faulty withdrawals.

To accept eChecks, businesses use an ACH-supported merchant account to withdraw customer funds online. They also need their customer’s banking information, including routing and checking account numbers.

7. Digital Payments

Beyond credit and debit cards, digital payments include paying by PayPal, Venmo, and Zelle as well as through digital mobile wallets like cell phones and smartwatches. According to McKinsey, 82% of Americans already use digital payments.

All of these payments enable money to be transferred from one account to another electronically. Customers appreciate these payment options for their fast transaction speed and the reduced dependency on cash.

Businesses that choose to accept digital payment need to invest in a Point of Sale (POS) system that can handle multiple types of digital payment methods. You’ll also need to consider your return on investment (ROI) when factoring in the setup fees, per purchase fees, and flat monthly usage fees that come with processing digital payments.

Digital Wallets

Digital wallets are available in various payment modes such as credit and debit. A wallet typically needs to verify customers’ identities (such as address, email address and phone number), to pay. These often use biometric verification like a fingerprint or face recognition software (ex: Apple Pay and Google Pay).

8. Money Orders

Usually issued by a government or banking institution, money orders are certificates that allow your business to receive cash on demand. Since money orders do not include personal information like bank routing numbers, they are considered safer than paper checks. Money orders can also be cashed in other countries, making them useful in international business dealings. However, you may need to pay a fee to cash a money order and the lack of personal information makes them hard to track.

If your business accepts money orders, you should endorse each certificate with your business name, your name, and your job title. Be prepared to present personal identification as well as proof of your position in your company. Having a business checking account also makes it easier to deposit the funds.

Electronic Funds Transfers (EFTs) and Other Options

Electronic Funds Transfer is a term you may also hear, but this is an umbrella term for all types of digital payments, including credit card payments, debit card payments, mobile payments, PIN transactions, and online purchases.

Wire transfers are usually used for larger and more frequent payments where cash does not fit. In most cases, payments by manufacturers to suppliers are made via wire transfers, especially for domestic transactions. The ACH is commonly employed for direct deposits in payrolls by a business. Although both electronic transfers exist, the differences are between ACH and wire transfers. ACHs only operate in the United States. Sometimes they require a couple of days to fully process them.

Choose the right payment strategy for your markets and channels

Providing a variety of payment options to customers is easy if the payment API integrates with your existing system. Using the API, payments can be seamlessly integrated into your other applications. With Stax, our innovative technology easily and quickly connects you and your customers to your chosen online payment methods or offline payment method.

Woman Making Purchase At Counter With Payment Mode

Payment Methods: Final Words

Providing your customers with multiple modes of payment improves your customer service experience and facilitates stronger relationships with your clients. Given the number of payment options today, it’s important to invest in a secure payment platform like Stax that provides you and your clients with the best-in-class service.

Stax doesn’t have any hidden fees, contracts, or markups. Its integrated payment system is also designed to work with multiple software applications and provide your business with a number one rated payment processor that saves you time and money. Make sure you’re accepting the right payment methods. Our specialists are standing by.

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FAQs about Payment Methods

Q: What are the top 8 payment methods that businesses should consider accepting?

The top 8 payment methods are credit cards, debit cards, Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers, cash, paper checks, eChecks, digital payments, and money orders.

Q: How can a business accept credit card payments?

To accept credit card payments, businesses should contact a payment processing service like Stax to learn about secure ways to incorporate credit card payments into their business model.

Q: What are the requirements for accepting debit card payments?

To accept debit card payments, businesses need to comply with regulatory requirements in their industry and choose a payment processor to facilitate payment card transactions. For online retailers, it’s important to set up a payments web page that accepts debit cards and is optimized for mobile devices.

Q: How can businesses accept ACH transfers?

To accept ACH transfers, businesses need to sign up with a payments provider that supports ACH, giving them access to the ACH network and allowing direct withdrawals from customer bank accounts. Businesses also need to request authorization from customers and collect their payment details, verifying this information.

Q: What steps should businesses take to accept eCheck payments?

To accept eCheck payments, businesses need an ACH-supported merchant account to withdraw customer funds online. They also need to collect customers’ banking information, including routing and checking account numbers.

Q: How can businesses accept digital payments and digital wallet transactions?

Businesses need to invest in a Point of Sale (POS) system that can handle multiple types of digital payment methods. They should also consider the return on investment (ROI) when factoring in setup fees, per purchase fees, and flat monthly usage fees that come with processing digital payments.

Q: What is the process for accepting money orders as a form of payment?

Businesses should endorse money orders with their business name, personal name, and job title. They should also present personal identification and proof of their position in the company. Having a business checking account makes it easier to deposit the funds from money orders.

Q: How can Stax help businesses accept various payment methods?

Stax offers a secure, integrated payment system that works with multiple software applications, providing businesses with a top-rated payment processor. Their specialists can help businesses determine the right payment methods to accept and how to leverage them.

The Best Mobile Credit Card Readers for Small Businesses

Going cashless is becoming the norm for consumers. People are not carrying cash like they used to. And the evolution of mobile credit card processing technology means consumers have more choices when it comes to how they pay. So what does that mean for small businesses, especially businesses on the go?

Mobile credit card readers are the perfect solution for on-the-go payments. You can accept both EMV and magstripe cards, while some readers also accept NFC apps like iOS’ Apple Pay for contactless payments. Whether you’re using a mobile card reader with your phone or a terminal, mobile readers for small businesses can streamline the entire payment process. Here are some factors to consider while looking for a mobile reader:

Is Your Point of Sale Mobile?

To utilize a mobile credit card reader, your POS system must be able to function on a mobile device. These days, there are many options for mobile POSs, but whether you’re completely functioning on iPads everywhere or a desktop POS in store and an android phone on the go, you’ll need a mobile device to use a mobile card reader. 

Can You Accept EMV and NFC?

A good mobile credit card reader should have the ability to accept both EMV chip cards and NFC credit card payments. This means in addition to a classic magstripe reader, the reader needs to have dip or tap functionality. Customers have more options when it comes to how they pay. Mobile payments like Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay have grown in popularity recently. 26% of people worldwide now use mobile wallet payments (in addition to using classic options like debit cards or magnetic stripe Visas, Mastercards, etc). Accepting payment besides cash increases your business’ cash flow. Mobile swipers like the Chipper 2X BT connect via Bluetooth, so you can accept and manage payments from a mobilen app. These readers are great if you often work outside of a typical brick-and-mortar store.

RELATED: An Ultimate Breakdown of Credit Card Readers

Are Mobile Credit Card Readers Reliable?

Mobile readers need to be secure and reliable. All businesses that handle cardholder data must be PCI compliant and your mobile payments need to be compliant as well. Non-compliance results in fines anywhere starting from $5,000 up to $100,000 a month. If you use a mobile payment app with your mobile credit card reader, it must be PCI compliant. Stax uses tokenization and encryption all the way to settlement. Whether you key-in information or use a card reader, your data is secure.

Can You Connect Over 5G and WiFi?

Poor connectivity and technical issues slow down check out and cause long lines. Connecting your reader multiple ways can be an insurance policy against those issues. The Dejavoo Z1 and Z9 are both wireless, so you can take them on the go and connect over WiFi or 5G to prevent long lines from forming. They’re a perfect payment processing solution for busy times of day at stores, or if you have a pop-up stand event.

Are There Extra Features Without Extra Costs?

Extra features on your mobile reader shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg while giving flexibility to how you do business. The Dejavoo Z1 reader can email customers their receipt, while the Dejavoo Z9 offers a built-in receipt printer. The Chipper mobile swipers connect via Bluetooth for mobile payments. A good mobile reader should offer useful features to make mobile payments easier.

Choosing the best mobile credit card readers for small businesses boils down to capabilities and functionality. Along with those features, your credit card processor must support mobile payments.

Some other considerations as you consider mobile card readers:

  • What transaction fees , processing fees, or monthly fees does the merchant services provider you’re looking at charge?
  • Does it work with Android devices or just Apple ones, like iPhone?
  • Does it integrate with your eCommerce software (like Shopify)?

Stax’s mobile payment processing solutions are fully integrated. Business owners can track, manage, and accept in-person and online payments from wherever you are. And as a Level 1 PCI compliant service provider, with the highest level of compliance available, you can be confident that your data is secure. Stax’ transparent pricing means you don’t pay extra to process payments—without a contract. And our unbeatable customer support will be there to ensure your success.

Also Check Out: Ways to Save on Credit Card Reader Machines

Ready to see what Stax mobile solutions can do for you? Contact us today.

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The Complete Guide to Mobile Payment Processing

From navigation to banking and shopping, many important business and consumer tasks today can be handled through smartphones (iPhones or Android) or tablets (iPads and others). Customer or merchant, life is made easy thanks to our nifty mobile devices.

This is particularly true for small and medium merchants. Mobile card readers became popular initially for SMBs. Those on the move, such as mobile dog groomers, market stall sellers, handy home service providers, and others, were able to see the value of mobile payment processing quickly.

As the market developed, solutions like Stax Pay’s mobile reader, Clover Go, Squarespace,  and Swipe Simple’s Mobile Chip Reader became practical options for small business owners with physical locations that didn’t want or couldn’t support the hardware of a full-frills POS system.

And with consumers increasingly expecting more convenient ways to shop, the mobile credit card reader has now shown its value in stores of every kind. With mobile payment devices, there’s no need for customers to come to the counter to process payments. Staff can meet them wherever they are and process their payments in real-time.

In 2022, the transaction value in the mobile POS payment segment is forecasted to hit $540 billion USD , according to Statista. This figure will grow even more, as analysts are projecting the total amount to reach $1.28 trillion by 2027. Further demonstrating the popularity in terms of mobile payment users, nearly 95 million are expected to use mobile POS payments by 2027.

If you’re one of the many merchants going through due diligence to understand the value of and processes behind the mobile payment options, look no further. This post shares the key things you need to know about mobile payment processing.

What is Mobile Credit Card Processing?

Mobile credit card processing pertains specifically to transactions that are processed through mobile technology. This encompasses transactions made from a mobile wallet, transactions processed via a mobile credit card reader, and other transactions processed from someone’s mobile phone, such as in-app purchases or transfers.

The conversation around mobile payment processing can get confusing when so many payment methods fall under this term. For merchants, this conversation is really about mobile card readers. But you need to understand the other technologies involved, to accurately weigh up what you and your customers need.

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4 Types of Mobile Payments

Not all ways to pay through mobile will be relevant to all merchants, but you still need to be aware of the four primary types so you can understand what providers refer to and what you need.

Mobile credit card readers

When we talk about the mobile POS statistics above, this is what we’re referring to. This could be a mobile phone using an app that lets it process transactions or a piece of hardware that plugs into the phone to accept the transaction—think of the small square readers that became popularized when mobile payments first became an option for small businesses. However, there are many more options now available for merchants to choose from and you can select hardware based on your needs. 

 Mobile wallets

Any customer that uses their smartphone to make a contactless payment is using a mobile wallet. These are run through Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Google Pay, and others to let customers complete transactions as they would with a credit card, without the card needing to be physically present (all they need is their mobile device).

Mobile eCommerce

Any transaction that is processed from someone’s mobile phone is considered mobile eCommerce. Say, for example, you have an eCommerce store. If a customer purchases from your online store using their mobile phone, that is considered mobile eCommerce processed through your virtual terminal. It doesn’t matter whether this transaction happens via an app or a webpage on their mobile. It’s all considered mobile eCommerce.

Venmo, PayPal, and other P2P mobile transactions

Less relevant to merchants but still within the mobile payment umbrella are peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions. Using Venmo or PayPal to pay back a friend or transfer money to a vendor at a pop-up store would all fall under the peer-to-peer category. 

However, while P2P payments are most commonly used between consumers, many of these same apps are allowing for B2C transactions. Applications like PayPal, Venmo and the Cash App can also be used by merchants in lieu of card transactions for some businesses — offering an easy way to accept payments that also feels intuitive for your customers.

Mobile Wallets vs. Mobile Payments

Accepting mobile payments is just as important as being able to accept those payments with your mobile device. Hence, there’s sometimes some confusion between mobile wallets and mobile payments. Merchants know that both are needed, but sifting through data and information to figure out which is which can be frustrating. Let’s make it simple.

Mobile payments = mobile point of sale

Mobile payment solutions are the whole service that lets merchants accept card payments from a smart device. This includes:

  • Hardware: perhaps a card swiper or near field communication (NFC) reader that connects into a smart device or a Bluetooth-connected device that doesn’t need to be plugged.
  • Mobile payment app: all mobile payment solutions connect through an iOS or Android app to facilitate the processing solutions.
  • Software: within the app will be a suite of tools that give the service its functionality, such as invoicing, inventory management, loyalty programs, barcode solutions, and more, depending on the provider.

You can do everything you can from a traditional POS system through a mobile credit card terminal, as long as you have the right technology.

When you’re looking for mobile merchant services providers, look at their solutions with your payment types in mind. If you still have customers with magstripe cards, you will need a card swiper (and bear in mind that many Visa and MasterCard gift cards are equipped with just the mag stripe). If you have to read chip cards, you will need an EMV chip reader. These two payment types require hardware, while contactless payments can often be accepted with nothing more than a smart device and an app.

Mobile wallet = bank cards on mobile

Mobile wallets can connect with customers’ credit and debit cards to allow them to make credit card payments without needing the card to be physically present. Card information is stored in the mobile wallet, and merchants just need an NFC reader to be able to take these types of payments.

If you’re not sure if you can accept mobile wallets, just check if you can accept contactless payments with a physical credit card. If yes, your point of sale system has the near field communication technology to accept mobile wallet payments.

Through these wallets, the host (Samsung, Apple, Android, etc.) is connected with the card providers (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, etc.) to process the transactions. These are processed exactly as a credit or debit card would be. The payment processor will charge fees based on the type of card (credit or debit) at the same rate as if the card was present.

What to Look for in a Merchant Services Provider

Now we understand the difference between mobile wallets and mobile payments. If you’re planning to implement them, be sure to consider the following factors in your merchant services provider.

NFC reader

Contactless is largely becoming table stakes, and the use of mobile wallets is on the rise. Near-field communication is the technology that lets us tap those cards or phones. All small businesses, big businesses, and sizes in between should be taking contactless payments. 

Currently, there are more that 190 million contactless Visa cards in circulation — that number continues to grow and doesn’t even account for the other card providers that have contactless cards in circulation. Between mobile wallets on Apple and Android devices, and contactless-enabled credit and debit cards, having an NFC reader is critical for businesses of all sizes.

PCI compliance built into merchant accounts

Data security is serious business. A breach hits your credibility hard and can cause chaos for your customers. The merchant provider you use must comply with all PCI requirements. This includes a secure payment gateway for credit card processing and compliance regarding the storage of payment information such as transaction history and customers’ credit card and bank account details.

While the majority of payment processors adhere to PCI compliance, it is important for merchants to also understand the basics and choose a provider that prioritizes strict data security standards. For more information about PCI compliance, check out this blog.

Affordable pricing

Payment processing fees and transaction fees still apply to mobile payments. Your costs will vary based on the type of card used, as well as the fee structure of your payment processor. The most cost-effective route for you will often depend on the size of your business, your sales volume, and what functionality you need. 

Many payment processors have payment structures that charge excessive monthly fees in addition to payment and transaction fees. As such, if you’re looking to minimize your mobile payment processing costs, look into providers that offer reasonable pricing and provide high-value products and services. 

Integrations

Leading payment solutions providers, such as Stax, also provide helpful integrations to give merchants access to helpful information to make informed decision about their business. Some of these integrations include QuickBooks, Slack, Hubspot, and more, to better connect your business functions to your payment processing

Strong customer support

The easier it is to contact support, the easier it is to get set up and settle issues. Look at provider reviews to make sure they are responsive, helpful, and have customer support solutions to solve your problems quickly and effectively.

Step-by-Step Guide for Implementing Mobile Processing Payments

Assuming you’re starting at the very beginning, implementing mobile payments will look roughly like so:

Make a list of your needs

Think of what types of payments you will be accepting and what kind of software you need in your business. For example:

  • Do you need to accept both EMV and NFC mobile payments?
  • What software solutions do you need? E.g., invoicing, inventory management, loyalty programs, recurring payments, or a virtual checkout.
  • How quickly do you need payments to reach your bank account?
  • What kind of sales volume will you process?
  • Do you expect to grow your business? Do you need a provider that can grow with you?

Choose a payment processor

The answers to the questions above will help inform your decision on which payment processing platform to select. When looking into credit card processors, evaluate the breadth of features they offer, the payment types they support, and their fee structure.

At Stax, we strive to provide everything you need to run and grow your business. In addition to supporting various payment methods and technologies (e.g., mobile payments, Text2Pay, ACH, etc.), our subscription pricing model allows you to have the best payment processing rates in the market.

Rather than charging a markup on your transactions, Stax simply bills you a flat subscription fee every month for all your payment processing needs. You get access to wholesale interchange rates and Stax won’t take a cut out of your sales.

Set up an account

Most merchant accounts can be set up quickly. Your processor should help you with the setup process and get your hardware (if you need it) shipped out as soon as possible, so you can start taking payments within the week.

Offer the best mobile credit card, debit card, and mobile wallet payment options to your customers

If you’ve got a reader able to handle all payment types, you’re ready to accept credit cards, debit cards, loyalty cards, and mobile wallets — all bases covered from a simple mobile solution.

Analyze and iterate accordingly

Analyze your transactions and get a sense of what sells and what doesn’t, as well as which types of transactions you process the most. With this information, you can be better informed to customize your offerings and adopt other payment processing technologies, should you need to.

Final Words

To effectively implement mobile payment processing, you need to have the right merchant services provider on your side. Choose a vendor that can equip you with the best technology and can facilitate payment processing in the most cost-efficient manner. It also helps to have a vendor that provides superb customer support and who has your back 24/7.

Stax meets all of that criteria and more. If you need a provider to power your mobile payment processing needs, get in touch with our team and we’ll walk you through the process.

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FAQs about Mobile Payment Processing

Q: What is mobile payment processing?

Mobile payment processing pertains to transactions performed through mobile technology. It includes transactions from a mobile wallet, transactions processed via a mobile credit card reader, and transactions processed from someone’s mobile phone, like in-app purchases or transfers.

Q: What are the types of mobile payments?

Mobile payments could be made through mobile credit card readers, mobile wallets, mobile eCommerce, and peer-to-peer (P2P) mobile transactions like Venmo, PayPal, etc.

Q: How do mobile payments and mobile wallets differ?

Mobile payments typically encompass the overall service that lets merchants accept card payments from a smart device. This includes hardware like a card swiper or near-field communication (NFC) reader, a mobile payment app, and software features like invoicing inventory management. On the other hand, mobile wallets can connect with customers’ credit and debit cards to allow them to make payments without needing the card to be physically present. Card information is stored in the mobile wallet, and merchants just need an NFC reader to accept these types of payments.

Q: What factors should a merchant services provider consider for mobile payment processing?

Factors to consider include whether the service provider offers a near-field communication (NFC) reader, ensures compliance with Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards, offers affordable pricing, seamless integrations with key business tools, and provides strong and responsive customer support.

Q: How do I implement mobile processing payments?

To implement mobile processing payments, start by identifying your needs, such as the kinds of transactions you’ll be accepting, additional software services you need, how quickly you want payments to reach your bank account, and expected sales volume. Then, choose a suitable payment processor. Set up an account with your chosen processor, offer diversified payment options to your customers, and constantly review and adapt your approach based on analysis of your transactions.

Q: What is the projected growth for mobile POS payments?

The transaction value in the mobile POS payment segment is expected to hit $540 billion USD in 2022, according to Statista. This figure is forecasted to reach a whopping $1.28 trillion by 2027.

Q: What is the role of mobile wallets in processing payments?

Mobile wallets, connected with customers’ credit and debit cards, allow users to make payments without needing their card to be physically present. Information is stored in the mobile wallet, and merchants just need an NFC reader to process these types of payments.

Q: How does data security factor into mobile payment processing?

A credible merchant provider must comply with all PCI requirements to ensure data security. This includes a secure payment gateway for credit card processing and strict standards for the storage of payment information such as transaction history and customers’ credit card and bank account details.

Q: What is a mobile point of sale (mPOS)?

A mobile point of sale (mPOS) is a smartphone, tablet, or dedicated wireless device that performs the functions of a cash register or electronic point of sale (POS) device. It enables businesses to accept payments anywhere, as long as there’s an internet connection and is especially beneficial for businesses that operate mostly on the go.

Q: What tools are essential in a mobile payment ecosystem?

Key tools in a mobile payment ecosystem include a hardware card reader (for swiping or reading chips), a mobile payment app (for processing solutions), and software tools (for features such as invoicing, inventory management, loyalty programs, barcode solutions).