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Business

4 Pointers to Help Your SME Operate Amidst a Pandemic – Our Guide

The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted almost all businesses around the world. While some establishments have completely shut down, others have resorted to continuing to operate under various restrictions. 

Given the current situation, small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are dramatically affected, including brick-and-mortar stores, home service providers, restaurants, and many others. However, there are creative ways that you can serve your customers so that your business adapts and thrives during these hard times.

In this article, we will share four valuable pointers for SMEs on how to continue operations  despite the current COVID-19 outbreak:

1. Utilize video conferences for face-to-face interactions

Today, you can communicate and interact with people using video conferencing. SMEs can also take advantage of utilizing video conferences to interact with their customers or clients. 

There are a handful of video applications and software that can be used for this purpose. Even social media channels enable you to talk to and engage with your customers. A perfect example is Zoom, which is a free video conferencing platform, but where you need to pay a subscription fee if you want to communicate for extended periods with your customers. It’s best when using Zoom to set up a private call for all business interactions to ensure security and professionalism.

2. If you must pursue in-person interactions avoid shared surfaces

Some small businesses are still required to operate to cater to the needs of the general public. These include grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants (for delivery or pickup), and other essential suppliers. The challenge, however, is in maintaining social distancing to avoid contact and to keep you, your staff, and customers healthy. 

The good thing is that you can set safety measures in place where you can pursue in-person interactions while avoiding shared surfaces. For instance, customers can have checkout in a supermarket using contactless cards without direct contact with the employees or the payment terminal. 

3. Use text messages to update and communicate

Seeing that communication remains to be the key for many businesses, you should have a variety of  processes for reaching out and maintaining contact with customers. You should make a conscious effort to reach out to your customers or clients via text messages or email. 

It can be a good practice to share real-time updates regularly, especially for updates regarding promotions or COVID-19 health updates. Furthermore, if customers have any questions, issues, and concerns, remember to be highly responsive in answering their queries, providing solutions to their problems, and addressing their concerns.

4. Take advantage of online payment methods

In today’s world, financial transactions do not have to be made in person. This is mainly because there’s a wide range of online payment methods that every business can utilize. 

Online payments can provide customers with various options to pay, such as credit cards, ACH, or other international payment options available in different regions of the world, like iDeal or WeChat Pay. 

Your business checkout process should be streamlined and user-friendly for the customer to avoid any potential errors. Most importantly, the payment form must remain secure for the protection of the customers’ confidential information.

Offering an online payment mechanism is a useful way to offer an easy solution for payments that normally might have been made in person, or through other more complicated means. 

Finding a solution

Overall, there will always be solutions in every challenging situation. As outlined above, you can utilize video conferences to facilitate face-to-face interactions, pursue in-person interactions by avoiding shared surfaces, use text messages and email to update and communicate, and take advantage of online payment methods. 

Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, the current situation doesn’t necessarily have to stop your business from operating and serving the needs of your customers. 

If you need a streamlined and beautifully designed payment form, we provide SMEs with a hosted payment page for accepting payments from across the globe. Get in touch with us today!

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eCommerce

What Entrepreneurs Should Know About Credit Card Payments

One of the biggest factors to consider when running a business is how you’re going to receive payments for any products or services rendered. Without a proper method for receiving payments from your consumers, your business won’t be able to operate as efficiently and as safely as it could.

The best and most secure method of payment is arguably through the use of credit cards. Not only are they safe to use, but they’re also incredibly convenient for making purchases online or through e-commerce platforms. For users, it provides a way to shop without carrying cash—allowing for safer travels and hassle-free payments.

How To Accept Credit Card Payments

Setting up a method for your business to accept credit card payments is quite easy. All you’ll need is to partner with a platform that can handle such a transaction. There are currently three approaches to this: merchant accounts, payment service providers, and e-commerce platforms.

Merchant Account

Merchant accounts are one of the most basic and traditional approaches when it comes to  the credit card payment process, and generally for brick and mortar stores that accept in-person “swiped” transactions only. This involves creating an account with a merchant acquiring bank that will serve as an intermediary with a credit card company, giving a measure of stability and security for both merchant and credit card providers.

Once you’ve selected a credit card company to work with, you’ll have to search for a merchant acquiring bank to approve your new account. They require you to submit certain documents, among which are your business activities, banking information, tax returns, and payment model.

E-commerce platforms

E-commerce platforms, on the other hand, are for online businesses that plan to sell mainly through the internet or accept payments through their website or a marketplace. There are multiple approaches to this, but the gist is to either create an e-commerce platform in itself, to implement an e-commerce capability into an already existing website, or to sign up for a marketplace like Amazon. 

Before setting this up with a third party, you’ll need to provide your employee identification number (EIN) and banking information—so make sure to have those ready before taking this step.

If you create your own ecommerce platform, you’ll still need to have your own Payment Service Provider or Payment Gateway. 

Payment Service Provider (or Payment Gateway) 

Meanwhile, payment service providers, also known as Payment Gateways, are available for many online and physical stores. This is probably the quickest way of accepting credit card transactions without having to create a merchant account. Some of the more popular payment gateways  are PayPal, Square, and Stripe.

Setting up an account is incredibly easy and free, and often utilize a month-to-month flat-rate fee for their service or a percentage based fee for each transaction. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing

It is incredibly important to choose the right provider to keep your business on the right track. Remember that there are two major considerations to think of when choosing a method to accept credit card payments: the overall cost and the specific needs of your business.

The overall expenses change over time—while payment service providers charge a flat-rate either per month or per transaction, it is assuredly more costly in the long run than a merchant account. On the other hand, it’s highly flexible to help you accept online payments with ease, including subscriptions, which can unlock a sustainable revenue stream for your business.

It is important to consider the time it takes to set up the various payment methods, as some are much quicker to process and create than others. 

Get Started Today

Setting up a method to accept credit card payments is essential to make your business more accessible to a variety of customers. Always remember to take careful consideration when choosing the right payment service provider or payment gateway for your business, or you could end up using the wrong provider for your needs.

If you’re looking to accept credit card payments with a simple and beautiful form on your website, then Payment Page is for you. You can easily build a custom payment form to help your business achieve real results, and integrate any of the payment gateways mentioned above.

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eCommerce

5 Payment Options Your SMB Should Integrate in 2021

As businesses continue to innovate and incorporate various forms of technology into their operations, there are now dozens of options by which customers can complete financial transactions with your business online. In this article, we’ll focus on 5 key methods for accepting payments in 2021.

Credit and Debit Cards

As of 2021, 80% of customers prefer to make transactions using a credit card and are, in fact, willing to spend 100% more on products and services when using one. How you go about accepting these types of payments will depend on what kind of business you operate. 

If you’re a brick-and-mortar business, you’ll need a merchant account and card reader to accept credit cards. Merchant accounts allow businesses to receive payments in various ways. 

If you run an ecommerce business, you’ll need a payment gateway to accept online credit and debit card transactions. This will encrypt all information submitted by customers on your payment page, ensuring that their details remain safe and confidential. You don’t want to take any chances with information security, so be sure you’re employing a payment gateway that is PCI (payment card industry) compliant. 

ACH Processing

Monitored by the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Association, this payment method allows customers to disclose their bank account details and routing numbers for online payments. ACH processing is a popular method of accepting subscription or recurring payments. 

It’s proven advantageous to many SMBs, as it comes with lower fees compared to those that accept credit or debit cards. It’s also far more secure than accepting monthly written checks. 

Finally, ACH processing can save your business a lot of time, as payments are automatically withdrawn once you enter the customer’s information into your system. Ultimately, this will improve your cash flow and create a more predictable revenue pattern. 

Stripe is a payment gateway that supports ACH payments of many kinds with a Plaid integration. 

Recurring Billing Subscriptions

To make the working relationship easier between you and your customers and facilitate payments for products and services of all kinds, you can provide your customers with the option to sign up for a subscription plan. Using their debit or credit card, they can make automatic monthly payments that are convenient for them and guarantee that your business is paid on time, providing you and your customers with peace of mind.

PayPal, Stripe, and Square

If you’re using PayPal, Stripe, or Square, you won’t need to set up a merchant account. However, which method you choose will depend on the type of business you run, so be sure to research features that best suit your operations. Of the three, PayPal is among the top 3 highest-ranking eWallets online

Contactless Payment Systems

A new trend in the U.S. is that you can now accept payments wirelessly by asking customers to wave their card or device over a POS system. Without the need to enter a PIN or even scan a card, contactless payment systems are becoming increasingly popular in places like the U.K. and Australia. 

As the U.S. has been slow to adopt the trend, your business can take advantage of how Visa and Mastercard are beginning to offer contactless cards to customers. Additionally, mobile wallet methods such as Android or Apple Pay are becoming increasingly popular with mobile users. 

Payment Solution

Implementing new payment methods onto your website can be complex and take up a valuable amount of time. If you’re a SMB and need to accept online payments, you can team up with us at Payment Page. With our payment page solution, you can start accepting online payments in just a few easy steps using any of the gateways or payment options mentioned above.

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Business

3 Ways Your Business Can Quickly Adapt to Remote Selling

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold all over the world, businesses must now pivot and capitalize on the opportunity to adapt to changing consumer habits. 

Customers are evolving in more ways than business owners initially expected. This is an ongoing development that has seen the birth of new sales channels and innovations in ecommerce. Amid all the various developments taking place in the modern business landscape, there’s one specific update that your business should be aware of: remote selling.

Increase in adaptability

Even though it’s been around for quite some time, remote selling has seen an unprecedented increase due to consumers staying at home and following social distancing. As the population continues life from home, the “new normal” is now online shopping and shipping of goods to consumers’ homes.

Fortunately, the power of the Internet has made it possible for producers and consumers to get what they each need, effectively bridging the gap and eliminating physical contact. By using various digital tools and channels, you can keep the orders coming in and your cash flow running smoothly without worrying about laying off employees or struggling to keep your business afloat.

Get your business back on track with remote sales

Setting up an efficient online channel to receive payments doesn’t necessarily mean an excessive amount of work. In this article, we will share with you three ways your business can quickly adapt to remote selling: 

1. Use social media to your advantage

In the past few months, businesses across industries have seen a significant boost in sales activity by fine-tuning their digital marketing strategies and selling directly via their website, and by connecting with customers through email and chat.

Instead of a storefront, a chat box or contact window can help you maintain personalization in your transactions by getting in touch with your loyal customers via email or live chat. Using various social media platforms also makes it possible to reach out to customers and answer any questions that they may have before buying your product or service. This means that you can interact with your customers and meet your sales goals too. Just because you can’t interact face to face doesn’t mean your business has to forego all customer service interactions. This brings us to our next point. 

2. Set up a chatbot

One of the biggest challenges with adapting to the new form of transactions and the ins-and-outs of remote selling is that customers will always expect a reply, no matter what time of day they message. This is where a chatbot comes into the picture. 

It can help you avoid losing potential sales by having a system that automatically answers any questions or concerns that customers may have right away! For more complex inquiries, you can respond directly to the customer in a short amount of time.

3. Get started on your payment page.

Since more and more people have been conducting their transactions online, it should come as no surprise that the demand for online payments will grow exponentially in the coming months.

With the days of cash-only payments long gone, this is your opportunity to start offering online payments on your web shop, and the best way to do so is with a hosted checkout page! By using a checkout page building tool – such as Payment Page – you’ll be able to set up your online shop with a secure payment portal that allows your customers to purchase your products online quickly and securely. 

By combining payment gateway options into one payment page, it makes it far easier for customers to use any option from a targeted mix of payment methods. 

Make a change

Given the state of the world today, companies must innovate to keep business not only running, but thriving. By bringing operations online, businesses can connect and expand their customer base to offer their services in a way that is sensitive to the times. Following the three simple, yet practical, tips mentioned above, you can immediately see significant results and get your operations back on track in no time!

We offer a WordPress plugin and hosted payment page that provides all types of businesses with an easier way to take payments online. Customize your own payment page or let us host your page to accept online payments without all the hassle of setting up an entire website!

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eCommerce

4 Considerations When Choosing a Recurring Payment Processor

When it comes to doing business on the internet, accepting recurring payments can sometimes be a complicated matter. Not all payment solutions provide this functionality, and setting up recurring payments on payment gateways that do offer support for recurring payments can be complex.

To help you in this matter, we’ve compiled a list of questions you should consider before committing to any specific recurring payment processor. These questions should help you in making the right decision.

1. Which payment options do you want to accept?

There are a wide range of different payment options available when it comes to online transactions, and the number of choices only continues to grow. Credit cards are perhaps the most common for recurring payments, but you might want to offer your customers more flexibility depending on their location, target market, and other factors.

Make sure you choose a payment gateway that works with your specific business, and ensure they’re a partner that can meet your full needs. By doing so, you can guarantee that you will continue to receive and process payments smoothly in the future.

2. How technically proficient are you with payment gateways?

Configuring a payment gateway can often be a technical process that involves many complex steps. Do you have the ability to navigate your way through APIs or API keys, plugins, or other methods of actually accepting payments on your website, or would you be willing to take the time needed to become familiar with setting all these types of requirements up?

Depending on your answer, you will need to find a solution that matches your own level of proficiency. After all, you can’t expect to manage a payment gateway properly if you don’t know how to operate or set it up.

3. How would you like customer disputes to be handled?

Customer disputes are extremely common in the world of online transactions, especially when it comes to recurring billing. You can expect to run into these issues on a regular basis regardless of the type of recurring payments business you have, which means that you need to be sure that you are thoroughly prepared.

Finding a payment solution that makes it convenient for customers to file a dispute, to have a mediator to resolve the issue, and for you to preserve your interests all at the same time is an important consideration. In doing so, you can be certain that your business continues to uphold its integrity and reputation to continue attracting customers.

4. What other systems should your payment solution integrate?

A payment gateway is by no means separate from all the other aspects of your business. In fact, the opposite is true, and most of the other infrastructure that sustains your operations can be linked to your payment gateway to automate your business operations.

From marketing automation to transactional emails, you will need to ensure that the different functions of your business can be integrated seamlessly with the choice you make so that you can manage everything effectively and efficiently.

What we can do for you

To make accepting online payments easy, we’ve partnered with Stripe and other payment gateways to ensure that all these concerns are addressed and to offer you a wide range of supported gateways with Payment Page. We offer a simple solution that makes it possible for you to receive recurring payments without hassle or headache, and we’d be more than happy to guide you through every step involved in setting things up.

If you’d like to learn more about Payment Page to pave the way for your business’s long-term growth, don’t hesitate to connect with us.

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eCommerce

4 Ways Payment Processing Services Make Collection More Efficient

Small businesses should streamline the processes involved in receiving and disbursing funds.  The reason why many companies fail is simply because of unsustainable cash flow, therefore it is important that customers make their payments on time.

Late payments can prevent a company from carrying out a variety of actions, such as hiring new employees, paying salaries, investing in equipment, or providing a marketing budget for the month. Failure to pay any of these expenses can hinder the growth of a small company.

Fortunately, as a business owner, you can make the payment process more accessible to clients. Some clients are put off by convoluted systems, and it can help to make the process of paying easier for them. Finding the right payment system for your business is about knowing what options are available. Here are 4 things you should ask when considering payment processing services for your business.

1. Does it allow integration with existing platforms?

A number of payment processors team up with other companies to deliver their service. For example, Amazon Payments is a good option for small businesses. It integrates into your website and uses the payment information in customers’ Amazon.com accounts. This makes the process quicker from your customers’ point of view.

If your business uses Apple devices as a point-of-sale (POS) machine, you can use Apple Pay to accept payments from customers. This app uses touch ID confirmation, which makes transactions secure. It makes payments easier for people who use Apple devices to buy items online. Apple Pay also lets you transfer the funds to your bank account or make purchases for your business.

Google has its own payment service, Google Pay. It allows money transfers through a customer’s smartphone, through their browser or Gmail account. Google Pay does not share customer data with its partners; all information stays with Google and is protected with multiple layers of security. Considering a platform that already has existing integrations with other platforms can save you time, and it will make your customer’s buying experience much smoother and more convenient.

2. Does it offer customization options?

If you are after customizing the look and feel of your payment form, it’s important that a payment system can be designed so that it looks like a natural extension of your website. You should be able to customize things like checkout forms, confirmation emails, credit card statements, and other messages. Look for options like enabling in-app purchases, which will make mobile fulfillment services on your site effortless.

3. Does it need a merchant account?

For some business owners, especially those that are just starting, PayPal can be a safe option. It allows owners to accept payments without a merchant account, as well as generate and track invoices. Brick-and-mortar businesses can accept in-store payments and still have their transactions processed through PayPal. PayPal doesn’t require a business account, and you can accept payments as an individual.

4. Can it handle streamlined invoicing?

Beyond making payments more convenient, you can also generate invoices faster. Intuit partnered with QuickBooks, and allows you to get paid online from invoices generated through a number of ways.

Your customers can receive their billing through mail, e-mail, print-out, or fax, and pay through your merchant of choice. They can also view their billing history through a secure 24/7 Customer Account Center.

Key Takeaways

Making payments convenient will help you meet your internal financial deadlines while keeping your customers satisfied. Consider these service providers when deciding how to get payments for your goods and services. Even combining them into one Payment Page can be a great idea because you give your customers all the flexibility they need while organizing all your payment options into one website page.

For more information on how to build an efficient payment page, as well as insights on different online payment methods, visit Payment Page. All you need is one of the payment gateways or providers above and you can have a page set up for your business, giving you a seamless checkout experience for your customers.

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Business

5 Benefits of Cashless Payments For Small Businesses – What to Know

There are many advantages to cashless payments, and in today’s society, it makes sense to accept as many cashless payment options as possible.

Small businesses, in particular, can benefit from the use of cashless payments. In this article, we will briefly discuss five notable benefits that you can enjoy by accepting cashless payments.

1. Faster Checkout Process

Compared to cashless payments, paying in cash takes more time not only for the customer but also the cashier during the checkout process. For the sake of efficiency, cashless payments are an obvious choice for a small to medium sized business. Additionally, when handling cash, there is always a chance of human error, which is minimized when accepting cashless payments.

When you go for cashless payments, such as credit cards, everything becomes faster and more efficient.

2. Better Financial Management

Say goodbye to managing cash and receipts. With cashless payments, you won’t have to spend time consolidating money at the end of the day or even making as many trips to the bank! With credit and debit card transactions, everything will automatically be reconciled and paid into your bank account within a few days.

Small business owners are always short on time. By streamlining your financial processes, you’ll be making time to dedicate to other aspects of your business/life.

You can also take advantage of accounting software to keep your finances updated in real-time. By going digital, you will have the ability to see your finances at the click of a button.

3. Reduce Theft

How many entrepreneur horror stories have you heard about cash getting snatched from business premises? Small businesses often don’t have a lot of money to dedicate to security, and cash payments will only leave them more vulnerable.

By accepting cashless payments, your business is less likely to be targeted for theft, which is the last thing any small business owner should have to deal with.

4. More Currencies

When you go for cashless payments, you will be able to accept more currencies, whether American dollars, British pounds,euros, or a variety of other options. This makes it possible for you to serve customers, no matter where they’re from or what currency they prefer to use. Some people are ready to buy, but if they don’t have the currency you accept, they’ll walk away without ever making a purchase. Cashless payments allow you to accept more currencies and make things easier for customers.

5. Wider Audience

Many people now own debit and credit cards, and with the changing times, these cards are being used for cashless payments due to their convenience. We can’t forget that using these cards reduces contact when paying for items, which is extremely important in the current climate.

Most consumers today want the option to pay with a debit or credit card. Giving them that chance allows you to attract a wider audience, which will put your business ahead of the competition.

Consider These Options

Cashless payments are the future, and making this option accessible to your customers will ensure as many people as possible use your small business’s products and services. Consider looking into a Stripe-integrated payment page builder that will make it easy for you to accept as many cashless payment options as possible. That way, you won’t be turning customers away.

Payment Page provides an easy solution for businesses to offer cashless payments to their customers. Get in touch to learn more about the extensive payment options you can unlock using our platform!

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Business

3 Online Payment Options Your Business Should Consider

With opportunities for online growth becoming far more abundant, your business may have an easier time than you might think making your online presence profitable.

Amid all the tremendous changes that have been happening in the e-commerce marketplace, one strategy you can prioritize to ensure profitability is adding more payment options for your customers.

Why the number of payment options you offer matters

It is now more important to provide your consumers with as many payment options as you can. Methods such as Credit Cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and ACH, can provide your business with the necessary means to make your products or services much more available to your customers.

Although it may seem quite simplistic at first, undertaking this very task opens up a wide range of opportunities to conduct even more transactions. The main reason this simple approach works so well is that more and more customers seek convenience in their checkout experience.

By taking advantage of the opportunity to add more payment options to your checkout page, you can make the overall purchasing experience much more comfortable for customers, which is a big incentive in itself. To best understand how your business can capitalize on this technology, let’s go over three online payment options that you should consider:

Credit card processing

Among all the different payment options that online businesses can provide, credit card processing still holds its place as one of the most popular options that customers seek.

With the proper credit card processing system and a linked internet merchant account, you can customize your website with a payment option that allows customers to comfortably make payments in a matter of seconds. Fortunately, setting up a payment page doesn’t have to be a complicated process as today’s hosted payment page options—such as Payment Page—can handle the task for you without the need for you to set up an entire website!

If you’re the DIY kind of person, there’s also a free WordPress plugin to get started.

Automated Clearing House (ACH)

ACH payments are electronic payments that get processed through the Automated Clearing House network. A centralized system then serves as a middleman to facilitate the transfer of funds from one bank account to the intended destination.

Although ACH payments require more information to carry out a transaction—bank name, account number, ABA routing number, and the name of the account owner—this option is cheaper due to lower processing fees compared to traditional checks and credit cards. It’s easier to track, too, with electronic records automatically collected with every transaction.

Apple Pay and Google Pay

Contactless mobile payment systems like Apple Pay and Google Pay are gaining traction these days due to their speed and efficiency. There is no longer a need to slide a card at a point of sale (POS) terminal — all it takes is for the customer to hold their device near a payment terminal (an NFC reader) to complete the transaction. This type of payment option allows for quick and hassle-free transfers, improved efficiency, easy implementation, and enhanced security. 

Final Thoughts

Thanks to modern online payment options, businesses now have a valuable opportunity to make their consumer experiences far more convenient than before. With the help of the right option in place, you’ll be able to see tremendous results in your UX and profit rates in no time!

Payment Page is a WordPress plugin and Website-as-a-Service that allows you to create a simple and easily customizable payment page with your own payment gateways, providing customers a more convenient experience of conducting transactions with your business on the internet. If you want to set up a beautifully designed payment page to accept customer payments, you can get started today. .