Payment processing isn’t a glamorous part of the retail industry, or any industry. But it’s one of the fundamental parts of your business. If you can’t get paid, or if your store can only handle a few different methods of payment, you’re going to lose business. Data security is also a very real concern. If you have even tangential access to credit card information, your company is a tempting target for an online attack (especially if you don’t think you are). While updating your payment processing technology doesn’t guarantee either safety or profits, it can certainly help. Here are three changes you should make.

If Your Store Doesn’t Take Credit Cards, You Are Going to Lose Impulse Shoppers

Impulse shopping is one of the last big advantages that physical stores have that online vendors haven’t quite captured yet. You want people walking into your store on a whim and regular customers buying more than what’s on their shopping list. But if you restrict your payment methods to cash, check, and debit, they might not be able to make purchases. This can devastate return business in two ways. 1. If you posted a sign near the front of your store, new visitors will turn and walk out. 2. If customers don’t find out until they bring their items to the check-out area, they’ll be offended and uncomfortable when they have to walk away. They certainly won’t be back.

If Your Credit Card Readers Don’t Accept Chips, You’re on the Hook

Major credit card companies have been embedding chips on the cards for the past few years. They’re more secure than magnetic strips, and they remove a lot of the burden credit card companies face regarding fraudulent purchases and stolen data. But stores were slow to adapt to the technology and buy new readers. So now the generally accepted norm is that the side who didn’t upgrade their security — either the credit card company not adding a chip or a store not adding a chip reader — is the one who has to deal with the damage.

Your Online Store Should Never Touch Credit Card Information

Unless you’re a major corporation with a team of lawyers and a data compliance team, you don’t need the liability that comes with customers’ credit card information. So reroute your online checkouts through third-party services that focus wholly on safely storing and processing credit card orders. They can keep up with changes in regulations and hacking technology. Also, as more and more small companies make third-party shopping carts the norm, you don’t have to worry about customers’ impressions.

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