Published On: Sat, Apr 14th, 2018

How your business can offer alternative payment methods

If you have a well-designed marketing system with an effective sales funnel but you’re losing customers at the last step, or if you’re just not attracting the numbers of customers that rivals with similar approaches do, it may be time to look at how you manage payment. There are few things more frustrating to a customer than reaching the end of a lengthy process of product selection only to find that they simply can’t get their payment accepted – it happens all too often. Some people don’t feel comfortable with some payment types, some find themselves unfairly blocked from using them, and all too often there are issues with browser incompatibility where a system has been embedded in a site. Offering multiple methods makes it much easier to guarantee that you’ll get that sale – and have a happy customer.

alternative payment methods

Traditional payment methods

In the early days of online shopping, before online payment systems were available, people commonly posted checks for their purchases or dialed a number and paid by credit card over the phone. Those options are still in use on some websites, and bank transfers are an option for large payments. It’s always a good idea to have a phone number or online help system available in case of difficulties with payment, and to have some way for customers to save the contents of a shopping basket until those difficulties can be resolved.

In-person payments

If you’re taking payments from customers directly on a stall or in a bricks-and-mortar store, you really need to invest in an NFC (near field communication) terminal. That will allow your customers to use Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay with little extra work required. An EMV terminal, meanwhile, will let you take credit card payments.

Online payment methods

In this age of cybersecurity, people are understandably more cautious about making online payments than they used to be. Using a well-known payment method not only keeps the process simple for customers but helps to allay these fears. The most popular is PayPal, and you can get an app from the PayPal site that’s easy to embed in your own. Alternatively, you can use Pay with Amazon, which lets people pay quickly and conveniently with the details they’ve already registered with Amazon – and with the retail giant effectively taking responsibility for security.

Moving money internationally

When you want to move larger sums of money internationally, options like PayPal don’t work out as well because they don’t offer a great exchange rate. A better option when you want to send money from the USA to UK as part of a B2B transfer is to use a bespoke system designed for the purpose. Automated Clearing House (ACH) is well set up for doing this online and functions like an electronic check. Alternatively, you can arrange a SWIFT international money transfer, but that is slightly more complicated and requires you to know the recipient’s IBAN.

The diversity of payment systems now available means there’s really no excuse for only having one available to your customers. You could be losing money as a result.