The evolution of payments – where small businesses can succeed
With the introduction of level one lockdown restrictions, many small businesses have been eyeing a return to some sort of operational normality. But with the world of payments being more digital than ever, they will have to explore new options to meet their customers’ evolving needs.
In both the online and offline environment, contactless (no-touch or remote) payment solutions have experienced significant growth since the COVID-19 outbreak and this, Standard Bank believes, will remain at elevated levels, and continue to grow.
Whether it's SnapScan, Instant Money or Virtual Card, consumers are paying for things in new ways. Standard Bank has a full spectrum of digital tools available for small business.
“We know that we will be living with the risk of COVID-19 for a long time to come and need to find ways to continue with life despite it. Contactless payments and digital payments allow for commerce to continue while reducing the risk of physical interaction and infection,” says Andrew van der Hoven, Head of Digital, eCommerce and Voice at Standard Bank.
From April to September last year, Standard Bank’s card division showed an 84% increase year on year (YOY) in the value of online spend at supermarkets and grocery stores, while the increase in the value of spend at online general retail stores increased by 458% YOY.
Over the six months, 20% of all credit card transactions by Standard Bank customers were done online, while 17% were contactless payments, meaning they were made using tap-to-pay or via a mobile device. Contactless spend at petrol stations increased by 608% YOY, by 179% YOY at wholesalers, and 137% YOY at supermarkets and grocery stores.
As more small businesses gradually reopen, they will have to consider the increase in demand for contactless payment solutions for merchants.
“The ability to make payments digitally has become critical. Businesses need to understand that payments are the most basic interaction that they have with their customers, and there needs to be consideration around how your customer wants to pay.”
While we remain in a society that is dominated by the exchange of physical cash, small business must embrace contactless payment solutions.
“These new methods of operation are something most small business owners will need to consider going into the business unusual customer landscape,” says Van der Hoven. “COVID-19 has made contactless and online payments a priority for all South African small businesses, regardless of the industries in which they operate.”
As a trusted partner and Africa’s largest bank by assets, Standard Bank believes supporting small businesses through these processes of adaptation and innovation is imperative to ensuring a swift and painless re-entry for entrepreneurs into the economy.
“In this new age of digital innovation for businesses, we take pride in researching and developing some of the best products and services for our entrepreneurs that enable them to do business online and keep money coming in throughout the COVID-19 period,” says Van der Hoven.
Standard Bank believes it is once again poised to help businesses take the next step in their growth story. With firmly established viable options for customers and businesses alike – Standard Bank considers itself as one of the key players in leading the way towards a new generation of digital payment solutions, which in turn will help drive forward-looking businesses to embrace multiple payment types.
No matter what your business needs, we have the right customer payment solution to help you, whether that means accepting cashless payments with our point of sale (POS) devices, or cardless payments with our digital wallet and online payment solutions.
If, for example, you are considering online payment solutions, our SimplyBlu offering allows you to take your business online with a customisable e-commerce Web site that offers secure payment options. SimplyBlu also offers you the ability to send electronic invoices and receipts to your customers and accept domestic and international credit and debit cards from Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, JCB and Diners Club.
New payment solutions geared for modern-day small business to succeed need to be driven by technology and designed to more than offset any direct cost involved by making it easier for customers to pay. For businesses looking to expand, tap new markets, or make a move towards financial security, it makes more sense than ever to consider the latest trends in payment technologies looking at COVID-19 and beyond.