I want to start off by saying that my heart has been heavy these last two months for those severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. 360 has been fully staffed and operational as an essential business (although most of us have been working from home) because we take it beyond seriously to make sure you have the resources you need for your businesses and families. Now that many businesses are re-opening, we have been fielding more calls than ever about how to reduce or eliminate contact when accepting payments. I wanted to share with you our advice.
For starters, it is safe to say that consumers now have new expectations about how they will make payments. There is already data that predicts an upsurge in contactless payments for face-to-face transactions, and our internal data is showing that more and more credit cards are being keyed in, whether it’s through the terminal (face-to-face or phone orders) or through online payment portals, Text-to-Pay, emailed invoices with payment links, etc. I encourage you to check out this CNBC article that shows some predicted trends.
So, now what? I put together some answers to the most common questions we are getting and hope they can help guide you:
What is the safest way for me to take payments to protect my staff and customers?
In face-to-face transactions, you should encourage your customers to pay via contactless payments, specifically Apple Pay, Google Pay, or tap pay (usually denoted by an image of a credit card with what looks like a wifi signal symbol next to it). Your employee would type the sale amount into the terminal and ask your customer to hover their phone over the terminal without touching it. The terminal will show an approval like normal. Also, yes, these transactions count as card present! To help you promote contactless payments, we made a “sign” for you to print and post in your business. Click here to get it – you can right click on the image to save it to your computer.
How do I know if my terminal accepts contactless payments?
All of our integrated devices that connect to your software accept contactless payments. If you have a “stand alone” terminal like a Verifone VX 520 or an Ingenico iCT 220, most likely they also accept these transactions. One way to tell is to see if there are any little lights on the top of the screen. Here is an example:
If you do not see any of these lights, test a $0.01 sale with your own Apple or Google Pay and see if it works. If it does not, then please email us at [email protected] so we can figure out a “swap” solution for you.
Do you offer wireless devices?
YES! We have many solutions from wireless terminals to mobile readers. You do NOT need to go wireless to accept contactless payments, though. Many clients are feeling they need wireless devices, but they actually only need to do contactless, so please make sure you think about that option first.
Can I take payments on my website?
Absolutely! We have many solutions to help get you set up with this. Please contact us at [email protected]nts.com and we can go through several options with you, including a basic one that has no additional cost.
What other solutions are there for payments?
360 has evolved over the last decade, so we have A LOT of options. Some very common ones are sending invoices through Quickbooks with our integration, sending invoices with a “pay now” link via email, and we of course have our revolutionary Text-to-Pay product that is available through many of our software integrations today and very shortly as a “stand alone” product as well.
What would you do if you were me?
Every business is unique, but as a business owner myself, I want to provide OPTIONS for my customers. I want every customer to feel SAFE. I would train my staff on how to teach customers to use Apple/Google Pay (hey, once they learn from you, they can teach other businesses, too!) and I would make sure I had some sort of virtual terminal solution available to key cards in or email an invoice off. A customer can read their credit card data to a staff member for them to key into a computer (or the terminal) if they are unable to make a contactless payment.
I hope you have found this post helpful. We are doing our absolute best to accommodate all of you and ask that you have patience with us as we work through these requests. If you can email us at [email protected] instead of calling, that is always preferred so we can help emergencies over the phone. Let us know what solutions you would like to explore so we can help you accommodate YOUR customers!
As always, THANK YOU for being our customer. We value you and are so grateful for your business.
Cheers to kicking COVID’s a$$!
PS: There is such a thing as over-cleaning a credit card device! Please be super careful and remember they are not supposed to have liquid on them. Make sure your disinfectant wipes are not overly saturated and try to use cleaning swabs instead.