Not long ago, businesses and customers had two choices for transactions: cash or credit.
Now, there are a number of credit card devices, payment apps such as PayPal, Venmo, CashApp, Stripe and Zelle, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum and more.
If you run a small business, which option to collect payments is the best? That’s what a listener of the Clark Howard Podcast recently asked.
How Should I Collect Payments for My Small Business?
What should I do if I want to accept credit card payments for my small business?
That’s what a listener wondered on the April 11 podcast episode.
Asked Billy in Nebraska: “I’m beginning to do rides outside of Uber, and I’ve been asked if I accept cards for payment. I have said only cash, but I think I should accept cards. Can you please tell me the best option for this?”
Clark hinted that his answer may depend on the specific small business that you’re operating. But for Billy, he thinks there’s a clear best option.
“I was just talking about why I want you to be careful with credit. But the reality is, if you’re doing private rides for people — what’s known as black car service — people expect to be able to pay with plastic.
“I would suggest the easiest, least resistant path is to get a Square device.”
Why Clark Prefers Square To the Modern Payment Apps
According to the company’s website, Square charges 2.6% of the transaction cost plus 10 cents for every swipe. You can plug it into any iOS or Android device.
It also allows you to manually enter credit card numbers or send invoices for a slightly higher charge.
You’re able to get one free Square device when you sign up.
“Because of people’s mindset, you’ll actually be able to charge more taking Square than taking cash,” Clark says. “Because people don’t feel the money as much when they’re paying by plastic.”
The nature of your small business may determine what your best option is for collecting payments. But for Billy, who is running a black car service, having a mobile device that takes credit card payments is superior to collecting payment via a transfer on an app.
“I just like the idea of you having a Square app,” Clark says to Billy. “When somebody is in your vehicle, they just pop their card in the app or tap it and you’re good.”
People don’t often carry or pay in cash these days.
Taking credit comes with downsides. For one, you’ll have to pay a fee to a credit card company every time someone swipes their card.
However, that’s not all bad, Clark says. Because people are willing to pay more when they’re not parting with cash.
Square is a great option to collect payment if you need to accept credit cards, especially if you’re meeting customers face-to-face.