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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Have an app on the market? You'd better be accepting online payments

Greater use of online shopping raises the need for online payment methods
Sales revenue may increase with online retailing
By Erin Steiner

If you're used to doing business in a traditional sales environment, the idea of using a wireless credit card machine can seem absolutely absurd. The truth, though, is that building a method to accept online payments for your app into your business model is one of the best things that you can do for your bottom line.

Here are nine (count 'em, nine) reasons that you should accept payments online for the products you create or the services you offer.

Growing up, you were told that this is a stupid reason to decide to do something. In the world of business, however, it's a fantastic reason to explore an idea or activity. You want to be competitive within your market, right? How can you accomplish this if you are the only one not taking a certain type of payment?

2. If you're selling online, why wouldn't you accept payments online?

Seriously--that's just common sense.

3. Time savings (immediate payments instead of having to process checks, etc.)

Processing cash and checks takes far more time than processing a credit or debit card payment (which can be done in a matter of seconds online). It creates more paperwork for you to fill out, mail, and file (all of which takes time). The more things you have to do to get paid, the less time you have to spend on other parts of your business.

4. Dramatically increases your sales

Accepting Web payments encourages people outside of your local area (and country) to purchase from you. Online payments open your business up for a global market because it allows people to buy your products easily from wherever they are.

5. Helps you establish credibility online

Do you trust businesses that don't take credit card payments? Be honest: Don't your hackles go up just a little bit when you visit a store that will only accept cash or checks? You automatically trust a business that is set up to accept card payments. This is true both online and offline.

6. Ability to make sales 24/7

If you accept online payments, you will be able to make sales even when you are sleeping. This opens your business up to all of the other time zones and to people who find you and want to buy from you outside of your business hours.

7. More convenient than cash handling

Accepting cash and check payments adds quite a lot of work to your day. You have to take that money in to the bank before it shows up in your account as a profit. You need to mail receipts and other proof of processed payments to each person who has purchased from you. Do you have that kind of time? Of course not.

8. More reliable than check or cash (less chances for being ripped off)

Paying someone via credit card, even online, is safer than paying someone with cash or a check. Banking and credit card services have systems in place to protect the consumer if something goes wrong with a sale. They also have systems in place to protect the seller (it just takes one person sending in a check they've canceled to turn you off from taking checks forever) to ensure that they don't get ripped off by scam artists.

9. Easier to track/record-keeping ability

There are built-in tracking processes for online payments that aren't available for cash or check payments. Online payments come with automatic "paper trails." There is a record of the payment both in the customer's account as well as in your account once the payment goes through. This information can easily be downloaded into pretty much any accounting system, unlike cash or check payments, which need to be entered manually, leaving more room for error.

As you can see, there are plenty of benefits of accepting mobile payments. Seriously: If you want your business to succeed, you'll accept online payments. It's easier than it has ever been, and it is only good for you.

About the author: Erin Steiner is a freelance writer who writes about a variety of topics and has been accepting online payments for her services for years.

Image license: US-PDGov