3 Industry Trends to Consider When Choosing Your Payment Processor

If you know what to look for, the trend-driven nature of the payments industry (and commerce in general) can be an asset to your business rather than a liability. But of course, it’s not easy to spot those trends far in advance. However, when new trends emerge in payments, business owners would be wise to consider how the trend might affect their business and adapt to it sooner rather than later. Here are a few recent trends that you should keep an eye out for.

Let’s be real: as an entrepreneur, you already know navigating the payments industry to find the best payment provider is one of the most daunting tasks standing between you and a fully functioning business. But, with a little help from Swipesum, it doesn’t have to be. Yes, the payments industry is unnecessarily complicated; yes, there’s a frustrating lack of transparency; and, yes, it’s a constantly shifting landscape. Even in just the past few years, payment processing has been totally revolutionized by mobile payments and tablet-based POS systems. If you know what to look for, the trend-driven nature of the payments industry (and commerce in general) can be an asset to your business rather than a liability. But of course, it’s not easy to spot those trends far in advance. However, when new trends emerge in payments, business owners would be wise to consider how the trend might affect their business and adapt to it sooner rather than later. Here are a few recent trends that you should keep an eye out for:

The trend: Cutting out the middleman.

Traditional processing setups go through banks, which generally means lots of red tape. It can take days to actually close the loop on a transaction made this way. Many business owners have come to accept the delay that comes with each transaction, but several consumer-side developments have caused the industry to shift to higher speeds.Thanks to improvements in the convenience and security of virtual transactions which remove banks and bureaucratic processes from the equation (think mobile apps like Venmo and Ca$h), consumers are able to exchange funds quickly and easily. Many businesses, however, are being left in the dust, still waiting days to receive funds from a transaction.What it means for you:Every entrepreneur knows having cash in hand makes a huge difference in a company’s viability. Being liquid is how you keep the lights on, and for a small business, that’s not something you can take for granted. Faster, more consistent payouts have huge potential to improve the operations of your business, and in turn, the experience of every customer who comes your way. Getting paid promptly makes it easier to avoid service interruptions and/or fulfillment delays, which leads to a more seamless, stress-free customer experience. And that translates to higher customer retention. So, choosing a provider that gives you flexible, secure options -- like Vantiv’s FastAccess Funding, which guarantees same-day payouts -- is likely a good investment.

The trend: Inconsistent payment methods.

Remember how we just talked about seeing technological advancement as an opportunity? Well, that’s important for more than just one reason. See, the fertile environment for innovation in tech means newer and better (read: faster and easier) payment solutions are popping up, like, daily. And that’s amazing! ...As long as you can keep up.Not too long ago, businesses could survive on a cash-only system. Of course, those aren’t too common nowadays. With credit cards entering the mix, followed by mobile payments, today’s merchants have to be more versatile than ever.What it means for you:It’s a simple fact: more payment options means more customers willing to make a purchase. If your customer can choose to pay with credit card, debit card, Apple Pay, or PayPal, they’re much more likely to make a purchase than they would be if you only accepted cash. Of course, these options are only available if you have the infrastructure to accept all those payment methods. When the next big processing innovation arrives, the businesses that benefit will be the ones with the agility to start accepting that new payment method quickly and seamlessly.Bottom line: Don’t hitch your wagon to a payment processor that ties you to one type of hardware; obsolescence is inevitable. Instead, find a provider with a reputation for versatility and adaptability—especially where hardware is concerned.

The trend: Your customers and their habits.

It’s true, this one is going to take a little homework from you—but it’s homework you should be doing anyway. What payment methods do people tend to use at businesses like yours? For a coffee shop, it might be mostly debit cards; an electronics store probably gets more payments via credit card. Are your customers mostly local/domestic, or do they come from all over the world? These variables can all impact your processing costs and should be factors in your choice of processor. What it means for you:Processing companies charge different rates for different types of transactions. For some, international transactions are no big deal; for others, it comes with a hefty per-transaction markup. Similarly, knowing what payment methods your customers are most likely to use can save you a lot of money. Businesses accepting primarily debit cards should look for interchange-based models, whereas companies accepting rewards cards might benefit from a pure percentage-based model. Knowing your customer is crucial to predicting your payment processing needs. Knowing those needs is the only way to find the payment processor best suited for your needs at the lowest price. And voila. You are now in possession of some of the most closely-guarded secrets of the payments universe. So now it’s time to go out and conquer it!

Michael Seaman

Michael is the co-founder and CEO of Swipesum. A veteran of the payments industry, Michael and his brother Stephen have led Swipesum since its inception in 2016. In his free time, Michael likes to play with his two daughters and skateboard.

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