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Is 2015 the year your small business takes payments mobile?

Small business owners and sole entrepreneurs whose businesses have them jumping from place to place often overlook how they are processing payments. They accept cash and checks, and that’s about it. There is a mistaken notion that only businesses with a large infrastructure and POS systems accept cards. The truth is, whether you run a catering business or are a in-home masseuse (or just about anything in between), accepting cards via mobile payment can completely revolutionize how (and how much) money is earned.

Credit and debit card payments are increasingly popular forms of payment, if they haven’t completely taken over the payment method game already. A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco revealed that credit and debit cards together comprise 42 percent of all transactions. The study is conducted every three years so this year we will learn the results of the growth in card usage since that time. By comparison, cash makes up 40 percent of transaction but only 14 percent of total value (cards pull in a hefty 40 percent). How much revenue are you missing out on by not accepting this form of payment? 

Using a credit card also does something to people that make them want to buy. The United States Small Business Administration reports that shoppers are more likely to make impulse purchases when paying with a card. Maybe standing in line to pay for too long dissuades shoppers from making the extra purchase. After all, cash payments take longer to process than cards do. When a customer pays with cash, they either have to count out the exact change (and it is then recounted by the cashier), or the cashier must count out change. Card payments just take a swipe and a signature (or PIN).

It can never hurt being able to accept payments anywhere, anytime. Your customers will appreciate this, as is evident by a weekend spent at a craft fair. People walk stall to stall and ask if the merchant accepts cards. Using a card makes people feel more secure than using cash, especially carrying cash around with them. In return, however, you have to focus on your customer’s security. Pick a payment processor that has a sound safety infrastructure and uses encryption to protect your customer’s private data from hackers.

Mobile payment processing has the potential to completely overhaul the way you manage your company’s finances and even the way you market your business. The recordkeeping power of this payment platform streamlines payments and automatically records every detail of the purchase. Later you can go back and run reports and analyze where your money is coming from, no matter where you are. 

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