As I work with web clients I ask if they will be accepting credit cards… whether online or through a terminal. There are very few businesses that can thrive without accepting a credit card. This is the new fact of life as we move to a cashless society. So, why is there still resistance to accepting credit cards?
I suggest if there’s resistance to card that someone do a Walmart experiment. I have to admit this is my own tactic to see what’s up with cash vs. card. Here’s how it works… you go to the slow line at Walmart on a Friday evening or Saturday morning. You want the long, slow line so you have plenty of time to scope things out. Why Walmart? Because it’s the crossroads of the American marketplace… you’ll see young and old, rich and poor, credit cards and food stamps (and by the way they aren’t paper anymore, food stamps are a plastic card!). What you won’t see much of are checks. When you do see someone writing a check you’ll notice. Believe me, you’ll notice! Writing a check in line at Walmart is enough to gum up the works. You’ll see everything come to a halt while they pull a cashier off another busy aisle who has check approval authority or they search for a manager. Reminder to self, stay out of the line where it looks like someone will be writing a check!
What does this tell us about Walmart and check writers? Walmart views check writers as a puny enough part of their business that they don’t have a plan in place to streamline through checkout.
Studies of the spending behavior of Generation Y reveals they carry less cash and use electronic payments online as well as credit cards to conduct business. If you think Generation Y are kids in high school or college students you need to catch up. I like to think of Bill and Hillary Clinton and their daughter Cheslea to explain generation distinctions. Bill and Hillary are baby boomers and Chelsea is a child of a baby boomer, a Generation Y. Generation Y are the age of college graduates, young married couples and households who have started having families. Is this a generation of clients or customers you want to exclude from your business?
I know what you’re thinking… only young people use electronic payments and credit cards. I was recently in a bank and overheard an 80-year old (probably older) customer having a conversation with the bank manager. It was a pretty loud conversation because of fading hearing, but it was clear she was. Are you thinking this is one senior, well seniors have been thrown into the world of electronic debits and credits by the Federal government—on March 1, 2013 a new law went into effect that all Social Security recipients were required to switch to direct deposit. If money is going into an account via electronic banking it becomes more likely that electronic payments aren’t too far behind.
If you eliminate the young and the old from doing business with you via electronic payments, then what business is there left to do?