The digital revolution is well underway, with technology embedding itself in every aspect of our lives. Unsurprisingly, payments are no different. Cash used to be king, but not anymore — going cashless is now king. 

According to a 2019 study, 73% of all payments happened in-person at the point of sale (POS), and the majority of those were digital payments. Plus, 60% of consumers now cite the ability to make digital payments as an important factor when deciding where to shop. 

Whether it’s through contactless payments, virtual terminals, mobile apps, Apple Pay, or Google Pay, businesses and customers alike are flocking to join the digital ecosystem. 

This article will explain what digital payments are, how they can benefit your business, and how to accept digital payments.

What Is a Digital Payment?

digital payment: Person paying at the cashier with a smartwatch on POS terminal

A digital payment is a cashless payment from one bank account to another made through a point-of-sale system, on a mobile device, or online. It can also sometimes be referred to as an electronic payment. 

Here are the types of digital payments that can be accepted. 

Debit and Credit Cards 

This is the quickest, most effective, and most popular digital option. Debit and credit cards are preferred by 80% of consumers, according to a 2017 TSYS study.

And debit and credit cards go beyond the traditional swipe through a credit card machine. As a business owner, you’ll want to have a credit card reader that can support the EMV chip cards as well as contactless payments.

Some credit card companies, like Mastercard and Visa, are even using biometric technology to add an extra layer of security. Think of it like the Touch ID feature on some Apple phones and tablets. In order to verify the cardholder’s identity, the card’s sensor reads the customer’s fingerprint while the purchase is being made.

Luckily, this latest technology is compatible with EMV-enabled credit card terminals.

E-Checks Through ACH Processing 

E-checks are really just the digitized form of traditional checks and can be used to pay by check online. The customer just inputs their information — account number, name, authorization, routing, amount — on an online payment form. It’s a great option for small businesses because it’s far safer than receiving a check in the mail. 

Mobile Wallets and Digital Wallets

A mobile or digital wallet securely stores a customer’s payment details on a device or via an online service. It makes it possible for a customer to pay with their credit card without having it physically present. Mobile and digital wallets include services like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and PayPal.

These types of payments can be accepted both online and in-person, if you have a card reader that supports digital wallets. 

Digital wallet users are an important market to capture. Four in five people, according to NerdWallet, use a mobile payment app or digital wallet. This is particularly true for people under the age of 40.

What Are the Benefits? 

Businesses and customers alike can enjoy a wide range of benefits when using digital payment methods. 

Efficiency 

The average paper-based B2B payment cycle takes 35 days to complete. Digital payments, however, can be completed on the same day. This eliminates data errors and heightens accuracy. It also helps small business owners get paid faster. 

In addition, digital payments can make it easier to track inventory, monitor cash flow, budget, and gain invaluable, data-led business insights on an ongoing basis.

Eco-Friendly 

Digital payment methods are the lifeblood of a paper-free economy. The inevitable transition toward a cashless society will reportedly have an incredibly positive impact on the environment. 

Revenue

Most paper-based payment methods have higher fees and “soft costs,” such as bank fees, manpower, materials, and postage. It’s estimated that one paper invoice costs a business between $12 and $30

By accepting digital payments, you can cut the costs of paper invoicing and get paid quicker, which can increase your bottom line.

How to Accept Digital Payments

Person's hand holding a smartphone with digital wallet application

Once you’ve decided to include digital payment options in your business, you’ll need to figure out which methods of accepting them are right for you. Here are the options you’ll want to consider.

In-Store Credit Card Machine

If you’re a brick-and-mortar retailer or service provider, you’ll need a credit card machine for your business. Ideally, you’ll want a machine that can swipe traditional cards, read chip-enabled cards, and accept contactless and digital wallet payments.

Mobile Card Reader

If you conduct business in-person but not within a shop or fixed location, then you’ll want to look into accepting credit cards on-the-go. You can turn your mobile phone or tablet into a credit card reader by using a mobile app from your credit card processor.

Online

In an increasingly e-commerce-dominated society, having an online presence (and being able to take digital payments) is a modern-day imperative. An online store or a “Pay Now” button on your website allows you to accept payments and generate new orders 24/7. It gives customers the ability to use their debit and credit cards directly on your website.

Over the Phone

You can even take digital payments over the phone. If your credit card processor provides a virtual terminal, a customer can give you their debit or credit card information over the phone. This can be a helpful option for customers who aren’t web-savvy or aren’t able to pay in-person.

Emailed Invoices

This is a great option for a service-based business. If you already send out customer invoices, why not send them via email instead of snail mail? 

With emailed invoices, you can exponentially increase the speed and ease by which your customers pay for services. Instead of going through the tedious process of writing a check (and subsequently rummaging around their house for a stamp), the customer simply pays by debit or credit card. 

How Can Nadapayments Help Your Business? 

Nadapayments makes it easy for your business to accept different types of digital payments — whether in-store, on-the-go, online, over the phone, or through emailed invoices. With Nadapayments’ Wi-Fi EMV Quick Chip machine, your customers will be able to pay with: 

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay 
  • Contactless payments

In addition to the credit card machine, you’ll also have access to a virtual terminal for online payments and an app for mobile transactions.

The best part is Nadapayments will save your business money. Normally, credit card companies charge a fee every time a merchant processes a credit card payment.

But with Nadapayments’ surcharge program, if a customer chooses to pay with a credit card, the 3.5% transaction fee is charged to the customer — not the business. A customer can still pay with cash or debit if they want to avoid the surcharge 

The end result? Increased profits — whether you’re a tanning salon or an auto repair shop.

Go Digital in Your Business

Digital payments include credit cards, debit cards, e-check, and mobile wallets. By accepting these types of payments, you’re giving your customers the payment options they prefer. 

Plus, it expands the ways you can receive payment from your customers. Instead of relying on customers paying with cash and checks in person or by mail, you can also take payment over the phone, on the go, online, and through emailed invoices.

If you’re ready to begin digitizing your payment processes, reach out to Nadapayments to get started today.