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The internet has changed the way that small business operates, including how they make payments to employees, vendors, and others on their accounts payable lists. This availability of new payment methods has also increased consumer expectations. If your company hopes to remain profitable within your industry, it must stay on top of payment trends and offer new options before the competition does. Below are five current payment trends to look out for.

Bitcoin and Other Digital Currencies

Invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, Bitcoin is the current world leader in digital currencies. This is a peer-based monetary system that acts with no bank as the intermediary. People send Bitcoin to each other as a form of electronic currency while a software program keeps track of transactions. While less than 10 percent of the world’s consumers currently use Bitcoin, offering it as a payment method helps to establish your company as an innovative leader in terms of the types of payments it accepts.

Customer Rewards Programs

Approximately two-thirds of consumers from college age to those in their mid-50s identify loyalty and rewards programs as something that’s very important to them when choosing where to shop. These types of programs offer cash back, coupons, or other incentives to customers so they keep choosing to buy from your company instead of a competitor. Another great way to build loyalty is to offer your own store or company credit card along with special promotions for card holders only.

Fraud Prevention Technology

The good news when it comes to payment technology is that new and more sophisticated methods spring up all the time. Unfortunately, the technology available to cyber criminals to engage in fraud is growing just as quickly. Any company that conducts business online is at risk of having sensitive customer information stolen, including names, addresses, social security numbers, and financial data. It only takes a single security breach to harm your customers and damage your company’s reputation for many years. Because of this, it’s extremely important to keep up with news about the latest fraud schemes and invest in technology to safeguard the private data of your customers.

Intuitive Point-of-Sale Devices

If your company also operates a physical location, it’s important to have intuitive point-of-sale devices at each register that make checking out a fast and efficient process for customers. The device should guide your customers through each step of the check-out process while they still receive personal service from a sales associate.

Mobile Payment Capabilities

With a mobile wallet, customers and businesses can send and receive money using technology without the involvement of cash, checks, or credit cards. The technology has been a bit slow to catch on in the United States with only one-third of consumers stating they see the benefit of it. Since skepticism isn’t uncommon with new payment technologies, it’s essential that your company is ready to offer mobile wallet and other types of mobile payment options before your competition does. It will already be too late if you wait until the trend is fully mainstream.

Differentiating among your competitors in your industry isn’t always easy. Keeping up with payment trends and continually trying to make life easier for your customers will go a long way in earning their loyalty.  Contact Palmetto Payroll to learn more about the services we offer that can make running a business a whole lot easier.