Don’t let your card payment process get in the way of business success in 2021

Are you setting your sights on business growth in 2021? Or is your aim to simply to ride out the coronavirus storm? Whatever your objectives, if you’re using an out-of-date card payment processing system, it could hold you back or worse, lead to loss of sales and reputation damage.

Future-proof your business

Your old system might still be working, but is it fit for the future? Card payments are evolving constantly – the progression accelerating because of the pandemic creating new consumer habits and pushing them to alternative remote, or ‘card-not-present’ (CNP), transactions. Recent research predicts that CNP transactions will overtake in-person payments by 2023 – can your existing system handle this adjustment?

And it’s not just CNP transactions that are growing – the choice of payment methods has also increased. In this era of multi-channel communication, the likelihood is that your customers will engage with you through a variety of platforms – and your payment channels need to replicate this. Limiting to one channel might seem like a simpler way to manage payments but it seriously restricts your reach by excluding potential customers who may not have the time or the facilities for your single channel.  You can read more on the benefits of omni-channel payments here.

Advances in payment technology have enabled omni-channel transactions to be processed through one system, making it easier for you to manage and monitor sales while ensuring that the customer experience is consistent across the board, in turn improving satisfaction and brand awareness . This could include payments to a live agent over the phone or via an auto IVR working side by side with online options via your ecommerce site, webchat and email.

Be flexible to adapt to changes in demand and working practices

The ups and downs of the last year highlighted more than ever the need where possible for flexible business practices and processes. With the mass move to remote working, brought on by lockdown restrictions, businesses with cloud-based systems in place fared better, being able to move swiftly to alternative working practices with little interruption to service delivery.

Choosing a flexible, cloud-based card payment system that enables remote access for your staff and that can be adjusted to meet an increase in demand, whether that be adding agents or processing more transactions, will ensure that your business can adapt to whatever sits on the horizon in the post-covid context.

Security is key

The speedy introduction of new working practices unfortunately opened up vulnerabilities and weaknesses in many IT systems and networks and cyber criminals were quick to jump on the chance to take advantage. There was a significant rise in the number of cyberattacks on businesses of every size, compromising the card data and personal details of millions of individuals.

Data protection legislation and guidance, such as PCI DSS, aim to encourage businesses to have effective policies and procedures in place for accepting and processing personal data and card payments securely, whether staff are based in the office or remotely. Failure to follow the guidelines which then results in a breach of data can lead to a substantial fine and, probably worse, irreparable damage to the brand. Opting for a card payment system that adheres to the standards ensures that connections between the transaction environment and the rest of the IT network are secure and robust. And with PCI DSS v4.0 anticipated to be released in mid-2021, introducing greater focus on security as a continuous process rather than a one-off or annual tick box exercise, it’s more important than ever to make sure that adequate processes are in place.

Installing a new system doesn’t need to be complicated or costly. At PCI Telecom, we offer affordable bespoke card payment solutions that fit the needs of your business whatever its shape or size and for a variety of channels. Our solutions are cloud-based, so there’s no need for investment in expensive bits of equipment, and fully integrate with other back end systems such as accountancy and stock monitoring. They’re also compliant to the highest level of PCI DSS, protecting your business and your customers from data breach. For more information, visit our Solutions page or get in touch with us to discuss your requirements.