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With the range and choice of payment methods available, whether in a physical store or setting up online subscription payments, the expectation of consumers to provide a range of payment option is only growing. 

A recent survey cited 11% of customers will leave the online purchase if their preferred payment; but payment methods can vary significantly depending on your industry and audience, so it’s key to make sure you know your market. 

This guide gives you an overview of the different payment methods that might work for your business and customers, and provides a summary of the different payment methods that Access PaySuite supports.  

1. Card payments 

Whether your customers pay by debit or credit card, payment confirmation is immediate. Card details are entered at checkout online and can be used for one-off or recurring payments. They’re the most commonly used payment method, you should look to support all relevant card brands to optimise conversion. 

If you use an online payments platform, enabling your customers to save their card or payment information, means a greater frictionless experience and can drive return visits. 

With our platform you can accept all major debit and credit card payments from Visa, Mastercard and AMEX. You can also further protect your business by using 3D Secure and AMEX SafeKey plugins to help reduce chargebacks.

Find out more about online payments > 

2. In person or contactless payments 

In a recent study, contactless payments was deemed the most important payment for UK consumers, with 58% of in-store shoppers paid via contactless card in 2022, a 94% year on year increase. 

Chip and PIN is still valuable for many, but with fewer and fewer people carrying cash, it’s no surprise that contactless is so popular, it’s the ultimate in convenience – made even easier through the use of digital wallets.  

That said, make sure you can offer the choice to pay by cash or by card when you’re taking face to face payments, whether in store, over the counter or on the move, so you never have to turn away good business. 

We provide in-person payments in-store, over-the-counter, or on the move with our range of card readers and card transaction solutions. Offer contactless payments to your customers via wireless or Bluetooth, and provide a personal in store experience to your customers.

Find out more about face to face payments > 

3. Digital wallets 

E-wallets or digital wallets deliver fast and streamline payment experiences. With flexibility and convenience, this payment method drives high conversion rates, increasing transaction speed whilst also reducing fraud.  

Because digital wallets store payment information, conversion rates are optimised as customers don’t need to share any additional information for future payments. This means one-click checkouts can be set up, reducing the time to check out and drive greater revenue. 

In addition, digital wallets have a similar transaction cost as cards, however they are more secure as authentication is required to complete payment, lowering fraud and dispute rates. 

Our online payments solution offers Google Pay and Apple Pay, for fast and convenient payments. However, despite wallets becoming more prevalent, there are many people unwilling, or unable, to use anything other than cash and card. Continuing to offer these options supports your income streams and social inclusivity.

Find out more about online payments > 

4. Open banking payments

Sometimes called pay by bank, instant bank payments or account-to-account payments, open banking allows customers to pay by bank transfer, sending funds directly from their bank account to the seller.   

There’s no cards involved, and because it’s a fully SCA compliant payment method with no credentials or account details disclosed to the sell, it lowers fraud and there are no PCI DSS requirements.  

Processing costs are much lower than card costs, and funds are then transferred to the merchant immediately. Around 10% of consumers and businesses now pay by open banking.  

Access PaySuite offers open banking as a payment method for businesses and local government organisations alike, helping customers reduce processing costs and provide choice to consumers and citizens.

Find out more about open banking payments > 

5. Alternative payment methods 

Alternative payment methods (APMs) are usually defined as making a payment that is not cash or a card that doesn’t belong to a recognisable major card scheme, such as Visa, Mastercard or American Express. 

These methods are often more convenient, cheaper and frictionless for customers and include digital wallets, pre-paid cards, cash-based vouchers, buy now pay later and more. 

It’s important to note that every audience, business, geography is different – so whilst APMs can scale your business internationally, it’s best to offer the payment methods which are most widely-used in that region. 

Giving your customers more choice at the checkout where they can select their preferred method, speeds up the transaction, increases conversions and sales, as well as improving customer experience. 

At Access PaySuite, we are always looking to keep pace with domestic and international preferences, we continually add to the number of APMs we offer- over 50 currently, with many available for instant go-live including GiroPay, TrustPay, Sofort, Boleto, Bancontact to name just a few.  

Each alternative payment method works slightly differently which can make integration time-consuming and expensive, however with us, you only need one, a single implementation to access a wide, growing list of alternative payments. 

6. Phone payments 

This is simply where people pay for items over the phone, passing over their card details to call centres or small businesses. This is done via a virtual terminal – card details can be manually entered via a contact centre agent, but touch tone or fully automated.  

This type of payment method is called card-not-present payment, and is really convenient for businesses. However, it’s key that the system you’re using is equipped with the latest security – between March 2022-2023, 3,412 phone-fraud incidents were reported to the police resulting in a total of £101.7 million lost by organisations to phone-related fraud. 

Our phone payments solutions are fully regulated and secure, ensuring you are compliant with the latest Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requirements. Whether you’re looking to take an occasional payment over the phone to a full call-centre payment services, we ensure your payments are protected from fraud.

Find out more about phone payments > 

7. Direct Debit payments

If you’re a subscription model business, to collected regular instalments at the same time each month, then Direct Debit can help ensure you receive a regular cashflow from your customers. It’s easy to set up either online, by phone or face to face, and helps people who need a scheduled, planned payments each month to budget. 

Your customers are protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee, ensuring they get peace of mind that their payments are safeguarded and secure. What’s more, unlike cards, there’s no expiry date for Direct Debits and if your customers change banks, their Direct Debits are taken with them – so there’s no chasing for new card details, just uninterrupted payments.

Find out more about Direct Debits > 

8. Cash payments

Despite the rise in online payments, open banking and other alternative payment methods, there are many people who still use cash, so it’s important to continue offering this option to your customers, supporting you income streams and social inclusivity. 

Give your customers the choice of Cash payments. Our Cash solutions allow your customers to pay for goods and services in local PayPoint and Post Office stores. You can even allow customers to checkout online, and choose the option of completing their online purchase, in person, with Cash at PayPoint stores. 

Bring all your payments together

Providing a choice of payment methods and channels doesn’t mean complicated financial management. Our multi-channel payments solution offers a single consolidated view which is easily integrated into multiple systems.

Find out more about Multi-channel Payments.

What our customers say

The key priority for us was to find a reliable payment service, which offered ease of use for our customers.

James Gibson, Customer Relationship Manager Severn Trent Water

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