During the COVID epidemic, and because of the concerns to maintain social distancing, consumers are looking for new ways to shop, purchase, and pay for the things they want to buy. Consumers want to order online, pick up items, without getting out of their car, and they want a seamless way to use digital payment processing without having to pull their credit cards out of their wallet and touch keys on a credit card terminal. Merchants who want to survive and thrive are adopting these changes to accommodate social distancing.
These changes in the way consumers want to do business necessitate changes in the way merchants accept payments. Merchants can use multiple ways to collect payments, swiped inside the store, swiped with a mobile device at the pick-up station outside, as well as orders and payments collected online. Software apps are available that allow customers to shop online, pay online, and alert the merchant when they arrive at their pick-up station outside of the merchant’s physical location. Call us at 505-296-2847 to learn more.
This is not to say we don’t want customers to come in and browse. We do. But some customers know what they want and are looking for a new, quick, efficient, and socially distant experience. Times are changing fast. The merchants who want to survive, and also thrive, are adopting these changes.
Many suppliers are now taking orders while outside next to a customer’s vehicle instead of inside at the counter. They can take an order on a tablet, take a credit card payment with a tablet or mobile phone, load up the customer’s vehicle, and the transaction is completed quickly and efficiently.
Traditional restaurants are adding systems for takeout, delivery, and pick-up.
Some fast-food restaurants are overburdened with cars lined up at their pickup windows in long lines around the building and down the street. The old way is to creep up, car by car, to the ordering window, hand a credit card to the clerk for payment, and not only wait for their food but wait to get the credit card back, full of germs I might add. This old way of getting takeout is slow and the cause of the long line of cars. Merchants can speed up service with software apps that order and collect payments online upfront. These apps can speed up service a second time by allowing wait staff to deliver their food outside their doors with GPS tracking that pinpoints exactly where the customer’s car is in the parking lot or where the customer is standing while waiting for their order to be complete.
Technology saves time and protects against viruses being spread by multiple people handling credit cards as well as being spread by people interacting in a closed environment inside a building.
Bluetooth devices are available that talk to the mobile phone or tablet. These devices are at most a couple of inches square and fit into a pocket. And they are inexpensive compared to a credit card terminal. They take the EMV chip cards. Staff can hand the device to the customer to enter his or her card. They can even wipe it clean with sanitizer in between customers using it.