While the idea that a completely cashless society might be a little bit far-fetched — at least for the near future — cash is certainly becoming less and less important. As of 2012, cash only accounted for seven percent of the money in circulation in the United States, according to the American Institute for Economic Research. On top of that, poll results released by the Rasmussen Report in May 2012 showed that 43% of people have gone an entire week without using cash to buy anything. Those trends, especially when combined with the massive boom of online shopping in recent years, stress the importance of accepting credit card payments for businesses looking to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace.
Unfortunately, because there are lots of steps involved in credit card transactions, especially online, the process for businesses is much more complex than it is for consumers. As a result, many owners will need to get help processing debit and credit cards. Most of the time, partnering with merchant service providers is the best way to make sure that every transaction is completed accurately and in a timely manner.
Many owners who have little or no financial background could struggle to understand the finer points of accepting credit card payments and might even have a difficult time getting organized. Consequently, they could fail to complete every transaction and cost themselves money or, even worse, charge customers extra. Plus, the growth of the digital age and computer access has led to more hackers and all kinds of security issues. So finding ways to make accepting credit card payments secure is always important.
Business owners looking to provide the most convenient buying experience will also have to consider mobile payments and make it easy for customers to make purchases right from their smartphones or tablets. Estimates suggest that consumers could spend up to a trillion dollars right from their phones by 2015, and Harris Interactive found that 44% of American smartphone users say they would be interested in using their device for in-person payments and more than 60% think phones will eventually replace credit cards. Because of that, businesses working to accept more than just cash will have to think about both the present and the future.
In the past, cash was the easiest way to make a purchase and even now there are still a handful of businesses — mostly local bars and restaurants — who do not accept credit or debit cards. But in today’s marketplace, businesses who want to grow and be as successful as possible will have to make accepting credit card payments a priority.