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The Ultimate Guide to Processing Debits, NFC, and Contactless Payments

Providing excellent customer service means offering payment options that are convenient and secure. With so many different methods for payment available today, it may be a challenge to decide which are best for your business. Fortunately, most integrated systems make it easy for you to take whichever payment methods your customers prefer, and there is no extra effort on your part once you get up and running.

Companies like Vend UK work with several different payment processors to ensure they can meet your business’s needs, and they even offer their own POS hardware. You can get a cash drawer, barcode scanner, and receipt printer that work with your ePOS software right out of the box, or use your own existing hardware with a minimal setup.

Your card reader will be provided by the payment processor of your choice, and it is usually a good idea to work with your ePOS system provider to decide which processor will best serve your business and customers. 

The most convenient processors offer integrated systems, meaning that you use your POS software to ring up your customers, totals get transferred automatically to your card reader, and reconciliation happens automatically at closing every day. 

Keep reading to learn more about the differences between the current most popular ways to pay, and how each one works.

Debit Cards

Cash used to be king, but debit cards are now the most popular form of payment in the UK. Consumers used their debit cards 13.2 times in 2017, while the use of cash fell 15 percent. Consumers are keeping less cash in their pockets than they used to, and they generally only use it to pay for day-to-day expenses.

Debit cards, on the other hand, are a convenient and secure way to pay for goods and services, and transactions come with no extra cost to the consumer. Businesses do pay moderately substantial fees for each payment made with a debit card, and those fees vary based on the processor.  

As a business owner, you may feel that the fee is not worth the added convenience for your customers. However, in an age where retailers and small to medium-sized businesses everywhere are competing with major corporations like Amazon, you need to make patronising your business as convenient as possible. When you make it easy to pay, you make more sales.

When you choose a processor for debit card purchases, it is of utmost importance that you confirm they are EMV compliant. 

EMV cards have a security chip right on the card, and dipping the chip is far more secure than the old method of swiping. If credit card fraud does happen, the least compliant entity is the one held accountable.

NFC Payments and Contactless Payments

NFC and contactless payments both refer to the same technology, which uses an RFID (radio frequency identification) antenna built into the NFC (near field communications) chip to create a connection between the scanner and the card or device. 

The card or device sends encrypted information that includes a one-time-use code for accessing actual account information, but no real personal data is ever transmitted. The scanning device uses the code sent to complete the transaction.

Your business needs an NFC enabled scanner in order to accept these types of payments, and many ePOS systems work with processors that have made the switch. Fees associated with accepting these types of payments are the same or comparable to those associated with accepting a credit or debit card.

The process is secure, convenient, and quick, which is why many consumers gravitate toward this form of payment once they adjust to using it. The time it takes to run the payment is faster than dipping a card, and coupons, loyalty discounts, and special promotions can all be redeemed instantly through the payment app on a phone.

A drawback that merchants are concerned about, is the potential for an all wallets requirement similar to an all cards requirement. It is one thing for merchants to accept Apple or Google Pay, but a requirement to accept an Amazon or competing company’s wallet seems unfair. 

Competitors would potentially have access to purchase information, boosting the competitor’s ability to target their advertising. This will be an issue that needs to be worked out as the trend toward using electronic wallets continues to gain popularity. 

In 2018, debit cards overtook cash as the most popular form of payment, but NFC and contactless payments are gaining popularity as technology aims to make our bank accounts more secure and payments more convenient. 

The transition to using technology that accepts these kinds of payments is inexpensive and simple, and it speeds up doing business with you so you can serve your customers on their schedule. 

While it is up to you to decide which payment methods are best for your business to accept, your payment processor can walk you through the equipment you need and the associated costs. 

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