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Taking Payment: The best payment providers for tradespeople

Rhino Trade Insurance 29 March 2023

Technology for business is quickly changing, and consumer behaviours are slowly but surely catching up. Taking payments via an electronic payment device is nothing new; the world has witnessed the use of cards and credit cards in shops for a generation now. 

The world of mobile banking is a recent development, though, and newer payment providers are developing ways businesses can manage cash and take payments quickly and easily on the go. With cash transactions on a downward spiral, self-employed individuals and companies must become accustomed to newer techniques to satisfy their customers' needs. 

As with many new technologies, COVID helped accelerate their growth, so if there was ever a time you should consider utilising payment devices for your trade business, now is the time to explore this avenue. 

What is a POS system and do you need one?

First things first, what even is a POS system? POS stands for Point Of Sale, and is essentially the place where a customer pays for goods or a service. A POS system is what businesses use to track and manage sales transactions. Back in the day, a cash register would be considered a POS system. These have now largely been replaced by electronic versions.

Think of when being in a bar and you ask for a round of drinks for you and your mates, the barman will turn to his system, tap a few buttons to confirm your order (“3 Madris and a Guinness please barkeep!”) and then tell you how much your bill is. That is an example of a modern POS system. They generally run on apps that are installed on smartphones or tablets and can have a library of all the products and services on offer, along with their prices.

When a sale is triggered, the system will track every sale, connect to the corresponding hardware (the card reader), select the associated price, and process the sale. Imagine completing a job and managing the cash payment to get a clear picture of this. You would give a quote, the work would be done, a receipt would be written out, you would process the cash yourself or through a bookkeeper and so on. A POS system with a card reader lets you streamline that whole procedure and make it digital. 

It's worth pointing out that banks and vendors will have in-house POS bundles, meaning that not every card read will link with every POS system. As a business, you must check whether your current POS system allows for the card reader or payment processor you are purchasing. 

Wondering how to cut costs in your trade business? Our blog article sheds light on this.

What are the features of a card reader?

As the days of cash and heavy-duty hardware are numbered, digital card machines are becoming ever-present in businesses across the UK. Of course, the reliable and standard chip and PIN machines are still readily available, but for businesses on the move and looking to the future, mobile card readers give you so much more say over your payments. 

Let's explore some of the benefits to your trade business:

Convenience

A mobile card reader allows you to accept payments and transactions anywhere and anytime. If you are visiting a customer's home, taking payment over the phone or via the app, your business can benefit from an incredibly easy-to-use system and offer the best possible service to your clients. 

On top of this, customers are becoming more and more concerned with waiting times. With its instantaneous nature, mobile payment options can cut those awkward cash exchanges and reduce your final moment with the client to the swipe of a card. Offering this type of flexibility can positively impact your business and your customer's overall view of your company. 

Improves customer experience and can grow your business

As a trade business, having the ability to offer your customer their preferred payment technique is a powerful situation to be in. In today's world, not everybody wants to pay for a large job with cash, so offering alternate payment options will lead to better customer satisfaction and growth. 

If you or your website informs a potential client that you offer different payment options, this could be the icing on the cake to sweeten the deal. Payment can sometimes be the stumbling block for customers as they want to feel safe knowing that it can be tracked and traced if anything goes wrong. By offering these newer payment terms, you can increase trust and turn them into loyal repeat customers. 

Offers a professional look to your business

When clients see that your business offers digital payments, they will instantly feel confident in what you provide them. Seeing that you offer specific payment vendors helps legitimise your company and look professional while instilling confidence in those who hire you. 

On top, it allows you to keep all records stored easily online. If you ever need to pull information on a particular job, it's right there at your fingertips. 

Best payment services providers for trade businesses

Don't let your business be left behind; consider some of these valuable and forward-thinking card readers for your trade business today. They can vastly improve your service and create a cleaner path for when your customers use your services. Which one you choose depends entirely on your circumstances; however, we suggest opting for one that is affordable, utilises an app, and is portable. 

Square

Square offers various hardware options to take payment in your business. Their most popular is an all-in-one unit that includes an iPad stand and accepts chip and PIN, contactless, Apple Pay and Google Pay. 

Square readers start out at £16+ VAT and can be used straight out of the box with a 1.75% transaction fee attached. Here is a list of reasons to choose Square for your business:

  • £16+ VAT for the card reader machine
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Free point-of-sale app
  • Contactless payments within 5 seconds
  • Deposit money the next working day
  • No monthly fees

SumUp

SumUp is another popular vendor for payment processing solutions and hardware. They offer various machines like Square and can accept all usual forms of payments, including Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, Apple Pay, Google Pay and more. 

They are slightly more expensive as their cheapest card reader starts at £ 39+ VAT, though their transaction fees are slightly lower at 1.69%. But what are the benefits attached to SumUp?

  • No contracts
  • Lower transaction fee
  • Money deposits in 1-3 business days
  • Sign up in minutes
  • No monthly fees
  • Accepts all major cards and contactless

Zettle by PayPal

You have most likely seen this payment card reader in shops, cafes and bars without realising it's a Zettle payment reader. These are one of the most popular POS hardware units on the market. They offer all major credit card compatibility and look incredibly sleek for the businesses that use them. 

Depending on your revenue, you can receive tailored pricing options if you take in over £10,000 a month through card payments. The cheapest Zettle starts at £29+ VAT, and if you require more, it will be £59 for each additional device. They also take a 1.75% transaction fee, so you need to make a business decision when choosing this service. Some benefits include the following:

  • Easy to set up and simple to use
  • Accepts all major credit cards and contactless
  • Deposits money in 1-2 business days
  • 30% longer battery than other readers
  • No monthly fees
  • One of the smaller card readers on the market

Why choose Rhino Trade Insurance?

As customers move toward digital payment preferences and technology improves the conditions in which businesses can offer chip and PIN readers, the time is now to explore ways to streamline your business. Having the ability to offer contactless payments or digital processes will allow your trade business to grow, appeal to newer customers and improve customer relations. 

While considering your payment methods, why not check out your insurance cover? Rhino Trade Insurance offers varied levels of coverage depending on your business needs and can tailor each policy to your chosen trade. Give our five-star team a ring on 0116 243 7904 to chat about your policy. Or, contact us and get a quote in less than a minute. 


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