Picking the right payment options: bridging the gap between no custom and repeat custom

Picking the right payment options
Picking the right payment options

Regardless of the size of your business, what you are selling and where you are selling it, it is paramount that your customers’ experience is positive.

Arguably one of the most important aspects to consider when developing your customer journey is the payment process: get this wrong and prospective and existing customers may drop out before making a transaction, resulting in lost sales. But get it right, and they could turn into brand loyalists who return time and again while also recommending your brand to others.

Based on our 50 years of experience in working with SME partners, we have developed a series of pointers designed to help you ensure you’re choosing the most suitable payment methods for your customers:

Identify the right payment methods

Businesses of all sizes face a significant challenge when it comes to identifying the right payment acceptance methods. The sheer volume of payment options now available - including everything from traditional online systems and in-store methods such as contactless and mobile, right the way through to in-app payments – throw up a number of questions. It’s important to make sure that whichever options you choose, you are confident that they speak directly to your customers’ needs, so start by asking yourself whether your customers are likely to be accessing your products on a website, via a mobile device, in a store, or through a combination of channels to narrow down your options.

Know what you’re paying for

Many providers will offer different packages of payment acceptance options, designed to suit a variety of needs. Taking the leap to sign up to one of these packages may feel like a big decision and a significant investment. Make sure you’re crystal clear on how much you will be paying, and whether this is the right package for your business. You can do this using Barclaycard’s new online tool, which has been developed to help you get an idea of the costs associated with a variety of payment solutions. We recently overhauled our offering to ensure we are providing SMEs with advice on the best package at the best price, so you can be sure you’re not paying over the odds for what you need.

Lean on your provider

Once you have landed on a decision, it is important that you pick a provider who will partner with you to navigate the complex challenges which come hand in hand with accepting any kind of payment – and that you can contact them when you need them. Whether you’re grappling with the implications of new regulations, or trying to measure if your chosen package is delivering the best possible ROI, your provider should be the ideal partner to offer that continued support as you grow and your requirements change.

Review your options to stay head of the pack

With technology advancing at a rate of knots, it is highly unlikely that your first package will remain the most cost effective and relevant one forever, so you should regularly review your options. Work with a payments provider who will help you to review your package on an annual basis to allow you to continue to offer the most up-to-date and relevant service to your customers, simultaneously making sure you’re not paying over the odds to do so.

Whilst there is not ‘a one size fits all’ solution in the payments space, keeping abreast of new payments technology and changing consumer demands will help you cement the success of your business. Through carefully considering your options from the get-go, then regularly reviewing your decision with your payments acceptance partner, you can ensure that you continue to provide the most relevant service to your customers – even as both your needs evolve.