In this blog, we will look at some important factors that should be considered when selecting a payment platform for a small business.
Sometimes, small businesses make decisions based solely on price. However, many other factors can have a significant impact on payment solutions for businesses and their customers.
Below are what we consider to be six essentials necessary to make a payment platform optimal for any small business.
1. Payment Flexibility
Payment flexibility is a great feature for small businesses to offer their customers, for many reasons.
Some customers simply prefer to pay through certain payment channels, and other customers might only have access to select payment methods.
Allowing customers to pay through IVR, on apps, and on mobile devices provide customers with payment options. Additionally, small businesses that offer their customers alternative payment options for convenience can consider charging convenience fees to offset payment processing costs.
Furthermore, payment platforms that incorporate recurring payment functionality into their design, provide customers with the ability to make automated payments. And, often, automated payments can ensure that customers pay on time and that businesses get paid on time. Another major benefit of automated payment functionality is that it provides small businesses with the technology to offer payment plans to their customers.
The term “accessibility” can mean numerous things in technology. Here, we are specifically talking about small businesses ensuring that customers have access to make a payment through their payment platforms.
Studies show that today, most Americans do own a home computer. However, it is also important to consider that still, not every consumer may own a home computer or have access to a computer when they need to make a payment.
A study from Pew Research, in 2020, found that close to 90% of Americans own smartphones. So, utilizing a payment gateway with a mobile-first design might help certain segments of the population make payments easier.
For some payment situations, customers would rather avoid making payments altogether. And this problem can become amplified when end-users are forced to use cumbersome payment platforms that are difficult to navigate.
Payment platforms that focus on the user experience and develop a payment flow based on research and studies of human behavior often deliver a payment technology that improves payment completion rates and ease of use.
PaymentVision’s independent study found that security was a top concern for both merchants and end-users regarding payment platforms.
This is easy to understand after the multiple data breaches, hacks, and security fails of several financial institutions around the world.
Small businesses should always learn about the security features of any payment platform before implementing it into their business process.
Things like PCI compliance, tokenization, multi-factor authentication (MFA), and other security features can greatly protect small businesses and their clients. And based on our research, security should be a primary focus when developing a payment gateway that merchants and consumers will feel comfortable using.
As new issues arise in payment technology, payment platform providers should also have processes in place that quickly remedy any security issue.
5. ADA Compliance
H&R Block, Winn-Dixie, and other companies have been sued over ADA non-compliance. Although the push for making websites, apps, and other technologies ADA-compliant has been going on for years, still some companies fail to align their organizations with ADA guidelines.
Small businesses looking to serve Americans with disabilities and protect their businesses should pay attention to ADA compliance standards when selecting a payment platform.
6. Information Integrity
Efficient payment processing can drastically improve the payment experience for both small businesses and their customers. Using a payment technology that connects seamlessly with the backend of payments to update and maintain payment records should be a factor when selecting the right payment gateway.
In other words, whether a customer pays through IVR or on their mobile device, information about their payment should all be maintained in the same location.
Recap: The Essentials for a Small Business Payment Platform
If you are looking to find the perfect payment platform for your small business, there are several factors to consider. Payment platforms with features like payment flexibility, mobile-first design, and efficient payment flows can greatly improve payment completion rates. Features such as security, ADA compliance, and others, can help organizations better serve end-users while at the same time protecting themselves from legal issues.
PaymentVision is a payment technology company that offers payment solutions for small businesses and larger organizations. If you would like to learn more about how we can improve the payment experience for your business and your customers, please reach out.