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Start Accepting More Than Credit Cards Online

now_is_the_time_to_start__69262_130508The world of Internet payment methods continues to expand, and not just by using credit cards but online, where companies such as Apple and PayPal use a simple login and password combination to securely make payments for everything from apples to eBay transactions.

Stating The Obvious

A few months ago, eBay announced it was separating itself from control of its online payment company, PayPal. There were many reasons given for the split, but the most obvious one is that PayPal is simply generating more revenue as an online payment service than eBay was as an online auction site. Investors knew this well and were chomping at the bit for years waiting for the decision to be made.

With the host of data breaches that affected consumer credit cards at both brick-and-mortar and online shopping venues, people are increasing aware and nervous about the possibility of their person information being mishandled. Online payment companies, which in most cases are not directly connected to financial institutions, are safe havens for people who conduct business online.

The Customer Is Key

Businesses constantly make the case that their customers are the most important part of the company. What customers want, and what the alternative payment methods provide, is an easy and efficient way to shop online without having to provide 16 digit card numbers with a 3 digit security code which is then stored online for future use. That means the customer’s credit card data is subject to a data breach. PayPal and Apple, among other companies, do not require any credit card information at the point of sale, making the transaction simple and safe.

What is the Benefit for SMBs?

The most obvious benefit to small- and medium-sized businesses is customer satisfaction. Customers who can conduct transactions in a safe financial exchange environment are more likely to buy from your company. A good piece of advice to follow in this situation is be proactive and not waiting for the marketplace to force your hand in adding alternative online payment methods to your customer purchasing options. You do not have to eliminate accepting purchases made through credit cards, and you may find encouraging customers to use alternative online payment methods will save you money.

Google has increased the efficiency of your sales transaction by including in its Google Checkout payment method the option for the company to generate invoices and statements and send them to the customer’s email address. Google’s method also includes an industry standard fraud protection program that limits the losses for both you and your customers. Both of these features are sure to save the company time and money.

Companies, investors and customers all have realized the importance and value of accepting what are known as alternative payment methods. But the trend is that credit cards will soon be the alternative payment method, while the number of companies offering more efficient and safer methods will continue to grow. Stay a step ahead of the competition and investigate the possibilities, then choose the one that best meets the needs of your customers and the future of your business.

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