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3 advantages of mobile payments

April 7, 2015 -  By

mobile-paymentAs landscape professionals start fulfilling their spring contracts, Kristen Gramigna shed light on the importance of the tools that support your customer experience and internal operations, namely mobile payments.

To that end, the chief marketing officer for BluePay, a credit card processing firm, provided three advantages mobile payments can offer landscape business owners.

They are as follows.

1. Expedited collection of installment payments

Whether your business billing policies include collecting portions of the total amount due as work progresses or billing the customer for payment in full upon job completion, mobile payments are a cost-efficient way to ensure you get paid, without overhauling your existing financial operations.

Because the only equipment required to process mobile payments is a mobile device and an approved merchant account, anyone on your team you deem authorized to accept customer payment transactions can do so from anywhere—including your place of business, over the phone or at a job site.

Because funds are electronically transferred to the business bank account of your choice (usually within 72 hours), mobile payments can ensure the liquidity needed to complete payroll, secure job materials and pay vendors. You’ll also save the time and expense associated with making deposits at your bank’s branch—and waiting for funds to become part of your available balance.

2. Increased upsell opportunities

You absorb inherent business costs for traveling to a job site, paying laborers and potentially missing the opportunity to acquire more work when your schedule is booked to capacity. Though some expenses simply are associated with being in the landscaping business, the better you manage and, ideally, offset such costs, the better your profitability potential becomes.

Consumer behavior research repeatedly indicates consumers have a different perception of price: Credit card users tend to be less price sensitive and more impulsive in deciding to buy, compared to those parting with cash. You can leverage this reality of consumer behavior with mobile payments. By letting the customer know you accept credit cards when they receive their estimate, they may be quicker to arrive at a “yes” when approving quotes. As a result, you may find opportunities to increase profit margins and upsell additional materials that ensure the health of your customer’s landscaping once it’s installed.

Additionally, mobile payments may help you overcome purchase hesitancy consumers experience when choosing to work with a local business, compared to a national franchise or chain. If, for some reason, they’re concerned you won’t complete the job as promised, they can file a dispute with their credit card company for investigation.

3. Reduced overhead and risk

Accepting any form of customer payment other than debit or credit cards inherently introduces a business risk. If a customer pays with a personal check that “bounces,” your own financial institution may impose fees, in addition to the time and effort you’ll have to reinvest to collect another valid form of payment. Instead of checks, mobile payments allow you to process debit cards for payment. You will know immediately if the customer account doesn’t support the funds.

Though cash may seem like a hassle-free way to get paid, there are risks, costs and inefficiencies associated with it, too. You’ll need to produce supporting paperwork to substantiate the transaction for tax purposes and provide a valid paid invoice for the customer. Mobile payments inherently provide formal documentation for your business records and give the customer the option to receive a receipt via email or text. If you can’t personally collect at every job, you also must task and trust staff to carry large amounts of cash and bear the risk that it could be lost or stolen and never recovered.

Introducing mobile payments into your business model may not require you to invest in any new hardware or software, adjust processes significantly or even spend additional time on your finances and accounting. Because they rely on the devices you and your team likely already own—and leverage the technology and payment flexibility to which consumers are accustomed—they can present a cost-efficient means of enhancing your revenue potential.

Photo: iStock.com/38512768

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