Of Food Trucks and the Fed: Your Customers’ Card Habits

The Federal Reserve, according to a recent AP article, has been studying some things. Namely, your spending habits. And those of your customers. What they’ve found out is that “Americans cut back on credit card use in June,” with the report concluding this is “ a sign that high unemployment and slow growth have made some more cautious about spending.”

And yet the same report says, “consumer borrowing increased as many kept taking out loans to buy cars and attend school,” even though “Americans have been relying less on credit cards since the 2008 financial crisis and Great Recession.”

But the issue may not be one of reluctance to use plastic, if it represents cash that consumers are willing to spend anyway. Your far-roaming correspondent, after seeing the uptick in use of on-the-spot processing at San Diego’s Comic Con, is now in the northern half of the state, and partook of a weekly food truck gathering in one particular Bay Area neighborhood known for its taste in gourmet dining.

Nearly every truck had a card processor attached to a tablet or smartphone device. And while customers did also hand over cash for the sandwiches, BBQ, falafels, all-natural cupcakes, and more, they also — equally happily — handed over plastic, signing with their fingers on the screen, awaiting email “receipts” for their purchase.

How can you keep your customers willing to use their plastic — even in challenging times — for your products?

Some of these handy tips may help:

*Be sure you maximize customer convenience, for ease-of-use, whether online, or at a mobile or remote location where your customers will be

*Make sure you’re up-to-date on taking debit cards and even prepaid cards as well, to maximize options for your customers

*Make sure you’re up-to-date on transaction security, so customers are never given pause when charging something over the phone, online, etc.

*If customers are ordering something being delivered, make sure “best practices” are being used for timely arrival of the desired product, to encourage repeat business, etc.

And as ever, call your AVPS representative for additional tips or help bolstering any of these aspects of your own business!

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