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Is Your Payment Process Driving Customers Away?

Businesswoman looking at her tablet on a trainTo remain competitive, businesses realize they must make the customer experience as seamless as possible. When the process of getting information, deciding to make a purchase, and paying for that purchase are separate, customers are likely to go elsewhere. With attention spans shorter than ever, it’s important that businesses move shoppers to the finish line as quickly and securely as they can.

Integrated payment solutions provide support to customers through each phase of their interactions with a brand. Using one app, a consumer can book, edit, and pay for an appointment, leaving feedback once the transaction is complete. Professionals can pull reports and even integrate payments with their back-end accounting solutions. But what does a business need to have in place to make this start-to-finish integration happen? Here are a few things you’ll need to know to employ integrated payment solutions in your small business.

The Right Platforms
For many small businesses, setting up a dedicated app that allows customers to make appointments and pay may be too expensive. Additionally, new customers may be less likely to download an app for a business they’re merely considering trying out. For that reason, many new entrepreneurs choose to sign up with booking software that includes payment integration. Service-based businesses will likely be best served by industry-specific apps like MindBody or Booker. For product-based businesses, marketplaces like Shopify and Etsy provide built-in payments. As a business grows, its leaders may choose to switch instead to its own shopping cart service, such as Paypal or MasterCard’s Simplify Commerce, that it places on its website or app.

Read more: Why 2016 Is the Year for Mobile Payments

Security
As you choose payment integration providers, keep in mind that your solution will be capturing sensitive financial data on each of your customers. Look for solutions that promise compliance with PCI standards and never store a customer’s CVV number or print the full number on a receipt. Ensure your payment provider includes fraud prevention features, including Address Verification Service, which matches a customer’s zip code or mailing address to the one attached to that customer’s credit card. If you process credit cards using a card reader attached to your mobile device or in-store POS, make sure you upgrade to EMV, which will read the chip on a customer’s card rather than the stripe on the back.

Accounting Integration
The most effective integrated payment solutions also provide the accounting information you need to maintain your books. Look for a solution that already integrates with your accounting software or, at the very least, can be easily exported and imported into your books each month. BluePay and Shopify have QuickBooks plugins for easy communication between the two platforms. Booker’s information can be imported into QuickBooks in a few steps. This integration will not only save time, but it will also help reduce errors.

Read more: The Smartest Way to Handle Customer Complaints

With the right software, businesses can set up an easy-to-use system for customers to purchase products or services and pay for them. It’s important to consider security in choosing the right solution, as well as ensuring that the software works with existing back-end solutions the business uses, such as bookkeeping software. With the right systems in place, businesses can improve customer experience while also making things easier for their own employees.

Ramon Ray
Ramon Ray
Ramon is a small business evangelist at Infusionsoft, publisher of Smart Hustle Magazine, and blogs about technology and small business at smallbiztechnology.com. He is passionate about helping small business entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Ramon is a bestselling author, journalist and freelance writer, and a frequent event producer, speaker and host. Ramon’s third book is the Amazon.com bestseller, “Facebook Guide to Small Business Marketing.” Ramon has shared the stage with Seth Godin, Daymond John, Guy Kawasaki, Simon Sinek, JJ Ramberg, Peter Shankman and other celebrity entrepreneurs. He interviewed President Obama in the President's first live Google Hangout.

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