The last two years dealing with Covid 19 have set in motion all sorts of changes in the world of business, supply chain issues, staffing, new payment methods, more zoom meetings. Businesses had to add self-service options, like e-commerce to the way they do business, how you get your goods and services, and a lot more.
So, I take a look back, and a peek into the future of what we experienced – what was a hit and what will see more growth. One thing in 2021 that shocked many – was the QR Code. That thing made a huge comeback and is popular and being used and people who see it know what to do. It also helped that our phone cameras can read them and take you to the website instead of needing a special app! Boy, QR codes come in handy when you don’t want to touch a menu ETC.
Businesses need to pivot and be flexible, pay in-store, hybrid e-commerce – for pick-up in-store, pick up curbside, local delivery, and shipping – merchants need to change and give the consumers what they need from a service standpoint.
Look for some businesses to move out of strip centers into free-standing buildings where they can provide more ways for people to do business with them – pick up – more outside dining, etc. This concept goes for retail and restaurants – more drive-thru windows for food orders placed online – it’s time to get creative and find multiple ways to bring in revenue, and TECHNOLOGY will be the driver!
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The Supply Chain
The Supply Chain is a massive problem for everyone and causing prices to go up on everything – one thing I learned a long time ago. Gas runs the world, and when gas goes up – Prices go up – on top of that, the Chip shortage has created a lack of chips for credit card machines, making them hard to get. Hopefully, the supply chain and chip manufacturers will get caught up!
CBD and Hemp
CBD is being sold everywhere at gas stations, smoke shops, liquor stores, bars, grocery stores, and only a few processors and banks were letting merchants process for CBD. The market will change in 2022; a few banks partnered with NPS will launch CBD programs. There will be restrictions, but it will be good for merchants.
Will the safe banking act pass in 2022?
Will 2022 be the year Congress finally acts on the safe banking act and stop being foolish? Cannabis is a multibillion-dollar industry and could be generating tax revenue for the Federal Government along with all types of jobs in banking related to compliance. Right now, a few companies are sitting by quietly, waiting for this to pass, and they will be ready to process credit cards for these merchants. Every time I think about this, I can’t understand the big deal. It’s 2022 – it’s legal in so many states I have lost count. Write your congresspeople in the House and the Senate and ask them to get the bill out of committees and to the floor!
Consumerization of Payments
Consumerization is a term that I have coined – what is this? It means that there are many alternative payment methods out there, and businesses are starting to use them.. will there be a processor or gateway that figures out how to integrate these alternative payment methods into credit card machines, point of sale, and or gateways?
I see many websites – that offer people to pay them with cash app, chime, Zelle, Venmo, etc.
That is an accounting and reconciliation nightmare for some businesses, but maybe they could figure out a solution for some intelligent tech company out there.
Businesses are looking at these payments to avoid taking credit cards. Will this trend continue, or will it be a passing fad? The bookkeeping aspect can become an issue? Indeed, businesses over the last two years have added on ACH – instead of waiting for checks in the mail. More companies that send out invoices need to look at more efficient ways to collect invoices.
Cryptocurrency – Virtual Currency
The IRS is now calling Cryptocurrency – Virtual Currency. We are a long way off from paying for a burger or a meal, but Crypto is a place in the business world. We have a solution and are signing up many businesses to use our system that does large transactions, sells luxury items, real estate, and does international transactions. Crypto Transactions will be a big part of our growth in 2022 – and will be a trend in those markets for sure!
Buy Now Pay Later
This has been in the news, and it’s on everyone’s radar! Square bought a company, and there are many of these buy now pay later BNPL fintech’s hitting the market. There have been some issues with
This is going to blow up in 2022 – Right now, we are rolling out – our Hybrid PayFac in a box program so that we can enable ISV’s (Independent Software Vendors) to board customers and give them a merchant account instantly – merchants would be approved immediately and ready to be processing in a matter of minutes with our new program. We are working with several banks, and we are the consultants who can help the ISV find the right Payfac partner and program that will best suit their needs. ISV’s and Software companies can have NPS help them put together a No Liability Program and create a lifetime of residual income. This will be a significant opportunity for these types of companies, and it’s a great way to earn more income!
Friendly fraud continues to grow – online and for in-person transactions – I am not a fan of any credit card issuer that sees an EMV-Card-Present Transaction and then lets the customer do a chargeback. The EMV fallback rule that went into effect in October of 2015 – should have ended that. Still, now cardholders come up with interesting excuses for chargebacks, and the card issuers are letting them fight with merchants. If you are a merchant getting these and you are losing those chargebacks, we can help with that; we are experienced in writing the letters and turning those losses into wins. E-commerce fraud is the same – merchants need to look at shipping addresses and use fraud tools that are available along with adding 3D Secure – we will see more merchants add 3D Secure in 2022 as more gateways adapt to that technology and plugs are made available to different shopping carts.
This is a growing sector in payments, payment portals, and payment links in invoices will be the future – the check in the mail will go away. Many companies need to embrace electronic payments for many reasons. One to improve cash flow, stop waiting to get paid, get paid 24-7; once companies understand the principle of Time- Value – Money – they will see that collecting earlier and paying a small fee is healthier than waiting for the check-in the mail – 30 Days turns into 60, 60 turns into 90, etc.
Gas Stations Go EMV
Gas stations are under the gun… it’s time they all have to comply and become EMV compliant – no more swiping cards – The deadline is fast approaching April 2022. After that, the chargeback will be pouring in – EMV Fallback means you have ZERO protection, and all of those chargebacks will be lost. We went thru this before in 2015 – If you have a gas station and need to upgrade, we are working with companies who have retrofit upgrade kits for most systems, and a few of them are offering in-house financing at affordable rates. Less than 40% of the gas stations are EMV compliant.
Credit Card Machines VS Point of Sale Systems
The shift away from credit card machines and smart terminals is ongoing, and more and more merchants are opting for Point-of-Sale Systems – There are many choices out there. We have partnered with various solutions because each business has a unique need, and we can consult you on what you need and get you the best deal. Many point of sale companies give a better deal if you do the processing through their platforms, so you have to ensure that you are getting the best deal on processing and the system. Also, many Android credit card machines can run a basic point of sale program, which is also very popular.
Cash Discount and Surcharging
Merchants can pay 0% for credit card processing or pass on the part of the cost of the processing fees to their customers. Cash Discount and Surcharging are two different products, and we can guide you, explain them to you and make sure you are set up with the right program for your business. These programs have become very popular during covid, and it is going to keep growing – as businesses costs keep going up – other than raising prices this is another option.
E-commerce and Hybrid e-commerce
E-commerce continues to grow, and it has been growing by leaps and bounds in the last two years; many people who lost jobs started internet companies. Many businesses that did not sell online are now selling online, ordering food, ordering from the grocery store, and more. Also, Hybrid e-commerce is for stores that let customers order online, and when they check out, they can opt for in-store pick-up, curbside pick-up, local delivery, or shipping. Many consumers want to order online and then drive over and do a quick pick-up on the way home. These types of services will continue to grow. They might even change how businesses choose a location in the future – moving out of strip centers and into free-standing buildings or into spots that can accommodate these types of services. Retail and Restaurants need to look at these different ways to engage and sell to their customers. It’s time for a Pivot.
ATMs in 2022
Someone told me “cash” is dead… and I started to laugh… ATMs are dispensing cash the same way they always have! Many people LOVE Money, they spend cash, and it’s not stopping. When stimulus funds went out – we say ATM transactions spike every time! I still go into a business now, and that is CASH ONLY! ATMs are also very flexible when it comes to services offered on ATMs. Here is a quick breakdown of some of the additional benefits you can do at an ATM, Currency Conversion (for travelers), Buy a Gift Card, Make a Donation, Buy Cryptocurrency, Mastercard money pick up, Card-less Transactions, Send Money to someone, and they can pick up at an ATM. You can make a Deposit; some ATMs can take your cash and turn it into Cryptocurrency or deposit to your bank account and then recycle the cash to be dispensed. The ATM is a very flexible tool that will be around for a long time!
ATM FUN FACT – Currently, there are approximately 470,135 ATMs in the U.S., with 191,741 bank-owned and 278,394 independent –
Banks that have no locations – this is a growing trend some banks sponsor these types of banks – that allows people to open a bank account and you do not have to visit the bank – Sooner than later the big banks need to figure out this model to keep attracting business, one thing I will say is that we have seen many people apply for a merchant account and the bank at one of these “internet” banks and the accounts are fraudulent merchant accounts – so I am not sure if they are doing the proper KYC – but opening a bank account and opening a merchant account are two different things.
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