The Market transition from being largely a cash-only event, to one where customers expect to use their credit/debit cards universally, is largely complete – cash has become the minority in our day-to-day operations. This isn’t a bad thing, as cash creates a variety of security and accounting challenges and the widespread availability of several cashless technologies makes card payments simple and inexpensive.
If you want to thrive, you need to be able to accept your customers’s cards as payments.
While we do not particularly recommend one provider over another, there are a few which seem popular and reliable:
- we use Square throughout our Market operations, as well as at the Stadium. Enrollment is free, they charge a reasonable flat percentage for the transaction and payment is made in to our bank account the next business day. We’ve had zero issues with them, and I personally like their reporting abilities - very handy! We also have purchased some of their hardware systems (including the hand-held terminal) which are very useful.
- PayPal was one of the innovators into the cashless transaction space, and they offer payment solutions – I believe even Home Depot somehow works with them on the payment option side. We used to use them a lot, but they tend to hold your funds in their banking side until you request them – I preferred to auto-sweep into our primary accounts. This may have changed, as I haven’t kept up with them much, but otherwise they are a stable, reliable and trusted provider.
- Intuit (creators of QuickBooks) has also launched a payment solution of their own. I have not used their systems, but likely would have if they had launched earlier – we depend on QuickBooks to manage most of our financials, and having a nice integration between the two would be handy. I believe some market vendors are using their system, although I can’t remember who. But again, a large/stable company which is recognized as a industry leader - another safe option
There are several other providers, some possibly better than these choices, but if you aren’t currently accepting cashless payments these should get your research started. The last time I checked, each of these three offered a “no monthly fee” plan where you only pay for the transactions where a sale is made – there is no risk/fee for inactivity. Put differently, if you only make one sale a year you can still accept cards without a lot of cost or hassle!