While cashless payment methods have been used in the Philippines since the 1990s for niche applications, the critical mass of usage only occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic when businesses and the general public were encouraged to use them. Today, various cashless payment methods such as payment cards, QR codes, and e-wallets are part and parcel of the typical consumer experience.
But as ubiquitous as these technologies have become, many Philippine small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have still not yet fully adopted cashless payments as part of their standard checkout processes. With Filipinos now adopting cashless payments in droves, businesses that fail to integrate the right solutions in their systems risk getting left behind. What’s more, they also stand to lose existing customers who may soon prefer the ease of newer payment options.
While the market demand for cashless payments should be enough of a reason to adopt them, there are other notable reasons to follow this trend. If you’re not sure how adopting a cashless payment gateway will help your business operations, consider the following benefits:
A lot of SME owners are hesitant to integrate cashless payments. Probably because they mistakenly believe that implementing these is not worth their time. While this may have been true years ago, it is no longer the case by any means. This is because of the innovative solutions that forward-looking fintech companies have developed over the years.
Maya, a leader in the Philippine online payments space, for instance, offers some of the best payment gateway products. It can be implemented by any business— even ones that don’t operate an e-commerce site. Products like Maya Invoice Payments and Payment Links are squarely aimed at fledgling SMEs without websites. They primarily operate out of social media. Conversely, Maya Checkout and custom plugins for e-commerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce are aimed at businesses with a more established online presence. But while this may be the case, they are also designed for entrepreneurs with no technical experience. This means that anyone with a Maya Business account can now get on the contactless payments trend with minimal effort.
Enhanced Customer Convenience
In a traditional store setting, cashless and contactless payments offer unparalleled convenience to customers. With a simple tap or wave of their card or mobile device, customers can complete transactions swiftly, avoiding the need for handling physical cash or handing over the card to the cashier, as can happen with traditional card-swiping methods. This convenience leads to improved customer satisfaction and a streamlined checkout process. In online settings, the convenience factor is further increased, as customers no longer need to travel or take time off to do their shopping.
Cashless payment solutions help with data security as they reduce the risks associated with handling cash and payment cards. With most popular contactless methods, transactions are easily encrypted and tokenized, ensuring that sensitive customer information remains protected. Moreover, modern cashless payments reduce the likelihood of fraudulent activities, as they require authentication and verification.
Faster Transaction Speeds
Cashless and contactless payments are significantly faster than traditional methods, allowing businesses to process transactions efficiently. In physical storefronts, this is particularly beneficial during peak hours or busy periods when long queues can deter customers. The swift payment process enables SMEs to serve more customers in less time, increasing overall productivity and customer throughput.
Better Data Accuracy
While a single payment error is probably not worth worrying about, having multiple errors each day can seriously eat into a business’s resources. By implementing modern cashless and contactless payments into your checkout process, you can remove the fallible human element from many transactions, saving your business time and money.
Hygiene and Safety
Cashless and contactless payment solutions offer customers a hygienic and safe alternative to card payments that require handing out one’s card to another person. In minimizing physical contact between customers and store staff, businesses can contribute to a safer environment for both. This instills confidence and reassurance among customers, encouraging them to engage with your business further in the future.
Access to Customer Data and Insights
Contactless payment solutions can also provide businesses with valuable customer data and insights, often in real time. This data can help SMEs understand customer behavior, preferences, and purchasing patterns, allowing for more targeted marketing strategies and personalized in-store experiences. Ultimately, the insights gleaned from your payment gateways can lead to improved customer engagement, timelier management, and increased revenue opportunities.
Implementation Strategies for Cashless Payment Solutions
If you’re set on adding cashless payments to your checkout process, here are a few strategies to consider:
Assess Business Needs and Customer Preferences
Regardless of your business model, you will face unique challenges and opportunities. Additionally, you will also have to gain a realistic understanding of your customer’s payment preferences. Research the available solutions and evaluate their compatibility with your existing needs and infrastructure. Consider factors such as hardware requirements, integration capabilities with your point-of-sale (POS) system, and ease of use for your customers and staff.
Educate and Train Staff
Proper training and education are crucial when implementing cashless payment solutions at scale. Ensure that your staff members are knowledgeable about the new payment processes, including how to operate the payment terminals, troubleshoot common issues, and guide customers through the payment journey. Dedicated training sessions, reference materials, and support from your solutions provider will help immensely in the adoption of new cashless payment methods and in letting you make the most of the best payment gateway Philippines has to offer.
Promote Your New Process
Actively promote your new cashless payment options to your customer, taking care to emphasize the benefits. Apart from the usual online and in-store campaigns, consider offering incentives such as discounts or rewards for customers who opt for cashless payment methods.
Cashless Payments: A Step Forward for SMEs
As the Philippines continues with its digital transformation, cashless payments will play an increasingly pivotal role in the success of SMEs in the Philippines. By embracing cashless payment solutions and implementing them carefully, small business owners can position themselves to thrive in an increasingly cashless society.
Aside from being a businessman, Josh Austria has been working in PR and media industry for more more than a decade. From his years of experience as the Marketing and Advertising Head of Village Pipol Magazine, he has built strong relationships with creative people, brands, and organizations.