Strange forms of payment are becoming more and more popular with merchants and other business people. It may seem odd that so many people are willing to move away from traditional card transactions or simple cash in hand. But let’s fact it: the more options you have to offer, the more likely it is that you’ll get paid!
Of course, this doesn’t always mean you should loudly advertise your acceptance of some of these forms of payment. Because they’re so unconventional, people may believe you can easily be taken advantage of. At the end of the day, it can be much better for you to get cash or receive a regular credit card transaction. But the fact that you’re open to such options may be a boon to your business.
We’re going to take a look at some the alternative ways people are accepting payment these days.
Establish payment plans
Okay, so the concept of finance is hardly a new one. But it’s still not all that common an option, either. Will really big and expensive purchases like cars, then yes, it’s common. (Otherwise, there would be a lot fewer car owners out there!) But most merchants seem to shy away from payment plans and recurring billing. If you can work with banks or debt collectors to ensure regular payment, then this could work wonders for you.
Mobile phones are getting more and more involved in the payment process these days. There are, of course, virtual wallet options such as Google Wallet and Apple Pay. Many popular stores are working with those programs now. Merchants can also get a credit card reader for their own mobiles.
This can help if you want to speed up the checkout process while in a store. (You may have seen similar methods in Apple stores!) Some merchants are willing to look into getting paid via a customer’s mobile provider. The paid amount gets added to the customer’s phone bill. This is the rarest form of the lot, though.
Accepting non-monetary goods
This is a big no-no to many merchants. And it’s perfectly understandable why many would be put off! But let’s say you’re a solo businessperson. You’re self-employed and don’t have others you need to provide for (i.e. employees). You don’t need cash immediately to help grow your business. If someone wants to do business with you but is only able to pay you in non-monetary assets? Well, depending on the asset, it might be a good idea for you to go for it. People being paid in cars, land, precious metals, paintings, and gift certificates isn’t unheard of!
Now here’s a distinctly modern one. Cryptocurrency – the most famous of which is Bitcoin – has been making headlines for a few years now. For many business owners, they won’t consider such an option because they don’t fully understand how it works. There may also be some confusion as to the ethical or legal matters. It’s true that you have to be pretty careful with how you implement it. But accepting Bitcoin could be an excellent move for a small business.