How small businesses can prepare for wearable payments

Published: 11/08/2020

A super important element of running a successful small business is keeping customers happy and giving them what they want - convenience. 

Convenience is more important today than ever before, with 83% of consumers admitting it’s higher on their priority list now than it was five years ago, and an important aspect of that convenience relates to payments:

  • 80% of consumers admit to being more likely to return to a store that offered them speedy payments.
  • Simplified checkouts were listed as one of the most important elements of convenience (56%), over deals (55%), prices, 46%), and inventory (55%).
  • Most shoppers are now braced and waiting for retailers to introduce innovative payment methods that will improve their shopping experience.

One of the newest kids on the block when it comes to payment technologies is wearable payments, but it’s rapidly gaining momentum and popularity amongst consumers.

What are wearable payments?

Wearable payments, as the name suggests, are payment technologies you can wear - the most common example of which is the SmartWatch, but can also include the likes of rings, fobs, bracelets, cufflinks, sunglasses, t-shirts (we’re not kidding!), and more are being developed all the time.

According to the stats, wearable payments shouldn’t be overlooked by businesses working to stay ahead of the competition:

  • 17 million Brits are ready to pay with wearable devices, 
  • 26% expect to start paying in this way, according to Mastercard, and
  • It’s predicted the number of wearable devices in use will increase a whopping 1,500% by 2024.

Good to know: Wearable payment devices are powered by Near Field Communication (NFC) chips, you can find out all about this clever technology here.

How to start accepting wearable payments

Studies show consumers expect multiple methods to choose from when making a payment and go as far as to say they’d consider abandoning a purchase if they couldn’t pay the way they want to.

As a small business owner, the idea of a lost sale probably sends a shiver down your spine, so to ensure it doesn’t happen and give your business a competitive advantage, offering the latest payment options is a great idea.

The good news is, it’s a super simple process to start accepting wearable payments - in fact, if you already have a card machine set up for contactless, you’re already good to go!

Wearable payments are made in the same way as contactless card and mobile payments, so any machine set-up for contactless already has the technology needed to accept wearable payments.

Don’t panic if you’re not there yet, the set-up process is super straightforward. Here at takepayments, all our card machines are set up to accept contactless, mobile, and wearable payments as standard, so all you need to do is choose the right one for you:

  1. Countertop card machine - a countertop machine sits on your point of sale and is plugged into your broadband or phone line. Perfect for small businesses who take all their payments from one spot like a sales desk, countertop, bar or reception desk.
  2. Portable card machine - the portable machine does exactly what it says on the tin - makes the payment process portable. It’s powered by Bluetooth technology and has an impressive 50-metre range. The portable reader allows you to take the payment to the customer, making it perfect for the likes of bars, restaurants, or cafes.
  3. Mobile card machine - the mobile card machine allows you to accept payments from anywhere in the UK thanks to its inbuilt 3G technology (just like a mobile phone). It holds a long battery life so you don’t need to worry about being caught short, and is a great option for the likes of mobile hairdressers, window cleaners, salespeople on the road, etc.

Extra perks of accepting wearable payments

Besides the obvious competitive advantage wearable payments can offer, there are a few other nifty benefits for your business:

  • Speed up the checkout process - and time is money! You can reduce queue sizes and serve more customers in a day.
  • Improve the customer experience - happy customers become repeat customers, and that will ultimately benefit your bottom lines.
  • Safer payments - the COVID pandemic of 2020 has highlighted the importance of hygiene when it comes to payments, with contactless payments at an all-time high and set to maintain that momentum going forward. Wearable payments are totally contactless and therefore super safe, allowing you to give your consumers the reassurance they’re looking for both now and in the future.

It looks like wearable payments are going to become the new normal in the not too distant future, so if you want to stay one step ahead of the competition and future-proof your business, reach out to one of our friendly experts today to discuss your options.

Get your FREE quote today.

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