Now more than ever, Canadian consumers are choosing cards over cash. While exacerbated by COVID-19, research from Interac illustrates the sustained decline in cash. In 2009, cash accounted for 54% of all payments. By 2017, this figure had dropped to 30%. The reason: credit, debit, and now, contactless and other forms of digital payments are on the rise. Billions of in-person transactions that were once cash payments are now digital. And with consumer interest in e-commerce showing no signs of slowing down, for small businesses, digital payments are the way of the future.
Here are some steps to help your business move toward digital payments transformation:
- Adopt contactless payment systems that accept digital wallets;
- Install self-checkout stations, or make it possible for employees to handle checkout anywhere in the store, and make these payment options as contactless as possible;
- Offer mobile or online ordering, so customers can order wherever and whenever is convenient;
- Offer real-time order and delivery updates using SMS messaging; and
- Offer your own mobile app so customers can “shop and scan,” then pay for their purchases, all from their phones.
The 2020 Visa Back to Business Study, which looked at global small business and consumer insights, showed that two-thirds of small businesses worldwide have upgraded their digital payment options. This will pay off in Canada as more than half of Canadian consumers surveyed said they would switch to a new store if it offered contactless digital payments. The survey also said that more than two in five small businesses in Canada have adopted new contactless payment approaches since the start of the pandemic, so it’s clear that many small Canadian businesses are paying attention.
The 2020 Visa Back to Business Study, which looked at global small business and consumer insights, showed that two-thirds of small businesses worldwide have upgraded their digital payment options.
Customers also increasingly want to support their local businesses, and digital payments help make that possible. In addition to ordering food online for delivery or takeout, many people are now making mobile or online payments for groceries and other household items, rather than shopping in person.
Many small businesses have also embraced e-commerce, bringing their offline sales strategies online by formulating a unified commerce sales strategy. The rise in popularity of curbside pick-up, in-store pick-up, click and collect and contactless delivery are results of combining the ease of purchasing online with the convenience of picking up in person.
Referred to as social commerce, small businesses can also drive sales by advertising on social media platforms and linking these with their e-commerce websites. Social posts can reach a wide audience so making it easy to purchase from within these platforms for curbside pick-up or in-store pick-up is a great way to build a larger customer base.
Digital as the way forward
Small businesses can no longer ignore accepting digital payments for commerce growth moving forward. If there’s only one thing on your payments strategy for the next year, make it to enable digital payments in all their forms. It’ll pay off in dividends.