Credit Card Processing

How COVID-19 may change how your business takes payments

Before COVID-19 your customers never gave a second thought about entering their PIN number on your credit card terminal or grabbing the pen from your store’s clerk to sign a receipt.

Now consumers are anxious about the spread of COVID-19 and are being cautious about what they touch in public. Even though you may have instituted new policies around cleaning your credit card machines and screens, according to a Mastercard study, 50% of consumers worry about touching these devices.

From IBM’s creation of the Magstripe in 1960 to EMV in 1994, advances in payment technology have always played a big role in how consumers interact with businesses. In fact, just over the last 5 years, innovation and technological advances have again drastically changed how you accept payments.

From digital wallets and wearables such as smart watches to ‘tap and go’ (Near Field Communication or NFC) cards there has been a huge shift in how consumers purchase goods and services. And, while the United States has been slow to adopt contactless payments, the international market has been full speed ahead for over a decade.

How COVID-19 is changing the way customers pay you.

In a recent study conducted by American Express, the impact on in-store purchases shows 58% of consumers who have used a contactless payment method state they are more likely to continue this form of payment now.

Further, the study shows that the handling of cash is down as well. According to the study, more than 16% of consumers no longer wish to partake in cash transactions. The study also found 15% of consumers say they no longer wish to insert or swipe their credit or debit cards.

Fifty percent of consumers also agree that using contactless is safer for personal health than using cash or swiping a card and it is more convenient and faster with both bolstering an almost 10% increase in the past 8 months.

What can you do to keep your business current with consumer desires

Below are some of the easy things you can do right now to keep your business up to date with today’s consumer

Upgrade payment processing equipment

  • Call your merchant service provider to see if they can provide an upgrade to your credit card terminal for NFC or ‘tap and go’ transactions
  • Upgrade your POS (point of sale) equipment to utilize NFC transactions
  • If you have age-appropriate wares upgrade to a digital scanner to confirm the age of your customer

Improve your online store

  • Make it easier for people to shop and pay online so they can pick up at your store
  • If you don’t have a website with eCommerce ability contact Stafford Technologies to help you move your inventory online
  • For the foodservice industry, be sure your menu is online and interactive
  • Make it easy for people to understand the number they need to call to order and pay over the phone

Advertise contactless payment at your business

  • Put signage in your windows letting people know you have contactless payment options
  • Ensure your website reflects all your contactless payment and pickup options
  • Include a banner in all your advertising alerting consumers you have contactless payment options

COVID-19 has created a change for the better in how consumers and businesses interact

Consumers are seeing the benefits of interacting with your business through contactless payment and, this form of payment is quickly becoming the consumer’s favorite way of paying for goods and services.

As a business owner, while you do want to remove as many hurdles as you can to make visiting your business and buying from you as easy as possible, there is the added benefit of lower costs in labor, increased productivity, and more efficient payments.

Improve the way you take payments today.

Business Credit Card Processing

How To Keep Your Hard-Earned Money

Let’s face it, the way we do business has changed and you may be accepting more payments without a card present.  A card-not-present (CNP) transaction is when a customer buys something online or over the phone and you don’t have access to the card used. From curbside to online, here are a few ways to help prevent card not present disputes no matter how you’re doing business.

You can prevent disputes and fraud with these handy tips

Online Orders:

  • Cancellation and Return Policies: Clearly display your policies. Provide tracking once order ships and use an “I agree” checkbox prompting policy acknowledgment during the order process.
  • Confirm Identity: Confirm the customer’s identity by asking for the complete billing address and the CVV code on the card.
  • Tracking: When shipping products, send tracking information once the order ships.
  • Recurring Transactions/Subscriptions – Send an email reminder before each cycle

Telephone Orders:

  • Cancellation and Return Policies: Clearly communicate your policies with your customers.
  • Verify Shipping Information: Confirm you are shipping to your customer’s billing address. If not shipping to the billing address, ask for a “ship to” address and send tracking information once the order ships.
  • Shipping & Delivery Expectations: Set clear expectations on delivery time frames and update customers if there are changes.
  • Send Order Confirmation: Includes details of the order and relevant policies. For services, be sure you clearly communicate your terms & conditions and cancellation policy.

Curbside Pickup Orders and Deliveries:

  • Order Confirmation: Send confirmation as soon as the order is completed that includes your policies and pick-up instructions. If someone other than the Card Member is picking up the order, be sure to note this on the order invoice and confirmation.
  • Get Receipt Acknowledgment: Have the customer sign the credit card receipt when the order is picked up or delivered. If the customer’s email address was captured when the order is placed, send an order status with pickup details such as the date, time, and person who received the order. NOTE: This can act as a supporting document in case of a dispute.

Best Practices for Managing Disputes with Card Not Present Purchases

There are three types of chargebacks where the customer calls his or her credit card company or bank to reverse a charge. Below we’ll look at all three and ways you can insolate yourself from giving back your hard-earned money.

No knowledge on the part of the Card Member

  • Use the name your customers know your business by on your merchant account. This way your customer recognizes the charge on their card statement.
  • Include the customer service phone number on statements
  • Explain auto-renewal and auto-shipment terms for free trials, reiterate your cancellation policy in your confirmation emails and include the steps the cardmember should take once their trial ends

The Card Member claims that the transaction was returned or canceled

  • Clearly display return and cancellation policies
  • Note “non-cancellable” or “non-refundable” purchases
  • Call out advance payments that are billed immediately
  • Send a reminder 10–30 days before auto-renewals or recurring billing
  • Issue refund credits promptly

The Card Member claims that the goods/services were not received

  • Hold the charge until shipping or service date
  • Notify customers about delays in fulfillment
  • Confirm when subscriptions will begin
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