How Important is Mobile Processing? Our AVPS Contributor Shares Real Examples from Small Businesses
In the past few years, mobile processing has revolutionized the way in which many business models operate, as well as create an avenue for start-ups to get their proverbial feet wet. For example, we all know that most new businesses fail within the first two years. Rather than invest in a physical location, massive inventory, or huge upfront costs, budding entrepreneurs can experiment on a small scale to demonstrate proof of concept. Likewise, conventional business models can experiment with opportunities for growth or market outreach, like remote locations or sidewalk sales. The diverse utility of mobile credit card processing is redefining the modern marketplace, while empowering even the most untraditional entrepreneur. To get a better idea of how mobile processing is affecting small businesses and organizations, an AVPS contributor went out into her community to see this innovative technology in action. Here are her experiences in her own words:
- The local farmer’s market—This experience probably gave me the greatest comparisons when it comes to mobile processing. I went to the local farmer’s market last Saturday. This particular market draws in farmers, ranches, bakers, and artisans from the surround three counties. Attendance is typically about two thousand people each weekend, and roughly 75 vendors sell meat, seafood, fresh produce, baked goods, canned items, soap, candy, and more. As I browsed, at least 30 of the vendors offered mobile phone credit card processing, while the remaining booths were cash only. When I asked the vendors why they offered mobile processing and how they liked it, they all noted that many customers carry limited cash. For example, a local dairy farmer selling artisan cheese told me that far too many times, customers had already spent their on-hand cash before reaching his booth, then expressed disappointment that they could not purchase from him. That, he explained, was his main reason for adding mobile processing. Next, I learned an unexpected reason for mobile processing from a produce vendor; the farmer’s market was an approved retailer for those with government EBT cards. Overall, the consensus from those who offered mobile processing was that it helped them gain more customers, as well as provide convenience. When I asked those cash-only vendors why they did not offer mobile processing, most noted that they did not want to pay the small transaction fees that come with credit cards. Overall, I came away with the impression that those who used mobile processing felt it helped their business reach more customers, and they seemed pleased with their success.
- Two roadside vendors—Recently, I’ve seen several roadside vendors, but two in particular caught my eye: one selling tamales and one selling fresh shrimp. I noticed them because both had large signs next to their vehicles saying “Credit/Debit cards accepted!” Both also had mobile phone credit card readers. I spoke with them about their payment and mobile processing experiences. They both expressed that as pop-up, temporary roadside vendors, they know that their customers are most often impulse, or in-the-moment buyers. Since many people no longer carry cash, they needed to card processing to transform interested passersby to buyers. Both of these vendors sell their wares as a part-time side job, so they need to make the most money they can when they have the time, and without mobile processing, far too many customers would pass them by.
- A local thrift shop—I stepped into an individually-run thrift shop specializing in vintage apparel. To my surprise, when I checked out with my purchases, the owner used iPhone credit card processing rather than the traditional retail terminal. When I asked him about it, he said that as a new business without much capital, he needed processing without investing in equipment until he felt more financially confident. He also participates in community events like charity fashion shows and galas, and this allowed him to take his business on the go.
- A community parade—During a recent parade, the usual street cart vendors walked up and down the route
while people waited for the event. From toys and souvenirs to refreshments, dozens of carts were present. Several offered credit card processing, and I noticed many people taking advantage of this. Personally, I appreciated the choice, because the chaotic environment was one where I did not want to carry cash.
- My child’s school—This school always accepted credit cards to help parents when paying fees or purchasing spirit ware. However, the cost of maintaining the traditional terminal offered by their merchant account provider became too much. The administration switched to mobile processing with a new provider, and they are pleased with the cost savings.
- Final impressions–In my own experiences, mobile processing makes a big difference in my purchasing decisions or likelihood of making a purchase. My family rarely carries cash anymore, and unless a vendor offers card processing, I usually pass on a purchase, even if I wanted the item or service. Additionally, even if a venue offers an on-site ATM, I am still unlikely to take out cash for that purchase because the ATM fees, plus the fees my bank charges.
As you can see from our AVPS contributor, mobile processing makes a big difference when it comes to customer engagement. From the mobile business model to the budding entrepreneur, she encountered diverse entrepreneurs that needed mobile processing to ensure maximum sales potential. Her experiences with mobile processing in action demonstrate a true demand for card processing availability, even in environments where we would not usually see it. Whether you own an existing business or are considering starting one, these examples should help you rethink the ways in which mobile processing can factor in to your business model. From flash sales to out-of-location events, you can leverage this utility to drive growth through creativity. Even if it is simply to respond to seasonal demand, the sheer convenience is well worth the investment.
If you are ready to learn more about mobile processing technology, merchant accounts, and making them work better for you, contact an AVPS representative today at (800) 719-9198.