More small businesses cashing in on cashless payments

PayPal CEO Bill Ready says customer demand is driving more entrepreneurs to offer alternatives to cash and credit card payments.

By Steve Strauss, USA TODAY

I was talking recently with PayPal CEO Bill Ready about some easy and simple ways in which small businesses can grow their business. He shared something I thought was key.

While most online sellers tend to sell on only one marketplace (Amazon, eBay, Etsy), according to PayPal stats, “Sellers who sell on more than just one platform experience three times the growth than those who sell in only one place,” Bill told me.

Wow. Talk about a quick and easy way to triple your business. 

Bill definitely knows from whence he speaks. PayPal has some 20 million small-business customers worldwide (including my small business), who use their cashless payment services. We do so for a lot of good reasons: 

• PayPal is a brand people know and respect. It was the first online payment merchant business, begun in 1998 and then merged with Elon Musk’s in 2000.

• It is highly trusted by consumers with more than double the amount of people saying they have used it (80%) as compared to the second place company, Google Wallet.

• PayPal One Touch has a whopping 120 million worldwide customers. And, last but not least, PayPal conversion rates are twice that of the competition.

So yes, cashless payments in general and PayPal specifically make a lot of sense. And if you think you have noticed an increase in the number of cashless payment options available in both physical as well as virtual settings, you are correct. Pass Go and receive $200 (via online payment, of course.) 

According to Ready, small businesses are adopting cashless options in droves, basically because customers are demanding it. Indeed, non-cash payments are increasing at an annual rate of about 6% a year, and in the last quarter of 2018, some $164 billion in cashless payments were transacted. Of that, almost half were mobile payments. 

Why have cashless payments caught on?

First, as a society, we increasingly want things quicker, faster better. 

Moreover, security has become an increasingly important consideration. Ironically, cashless payments, with their layers of fraud protections and ability to be tracked transparently and easily, are now generally seen as more secure than checks for example, or cash.  

For the small business, offering cashless payment options (aside from credit cards of course), makes sense: 

• It’s what people increasingly want, demand and expect. 

• It streamlines bookkeeping. 

• It makes life easier for your customers. 

Example: Last weekend I went out with my family to the first farmer’s market of the season. As usual, I stopped at the ATM on the way. But unlike years past, almost every vendor this year didn’t require cash; instead they allowed me to pay either with a credit card using Square and a mobile phone, or simply with an app and a digital wallet (in my case, PayPal and Apple Pay) .

Speaking of digital wallets, you may be wondering exactly what they are and how they work. Essentially you have a few options, and the process for each is the same: Customers choose the mobile wallet option they like, then they download the appropriate app onto their phone, and then they add their credit card or bank account info into the app. When it comes time to pay, they simply tap their phone to the compatible reader next to a register, and voila! Payment made, sans cash.  

Your options are: 

Apple Pay: Apple Pay gives customers the ease of using an app on their ubiquitous iPhone combined with security, as all transactions on iPhones or iPads require Face ID, Touch ID or a passcode.  

Google Pay: Google Pay is the equivalent of Apple Pay, allowing customers to pay using their Android devices. Another similar option is Samsung Pay

The bottom line is that, with people increasingly moving away from cash, and also being ever more dependent on their mobile device, and especially with younger digital natives, it would behoove you as a small business to offer as many of these cashless options as possible. 


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Finance Magazine: More small businesses cashing in on cashless payments
More small businesses cashing in on cashless payments
PayPal CEO Bill Ready says customer demand is driving more entrepreneurs to offer alternatives to cash and credit card payments.
Finance Magazine
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