Six reasons you need to consider a cloud-based payment system
The “Cloud” has benefits for most aspects of IT, including payment systems and technology.
In its basic form, cloud computing is a method that allows you to store and access data over the internet, instead of physical hard drives.
When used for payment systems, the cloud is used to accept and process payments over the internet, rather than using a physical device.
This method has many benefits for anyone who accepts payments, in terms of both data security and customer experience.
1. Greater flexibility
A key advantage of using a cloud-based payment system is that it offers much more flexibility than traditional point-of-sale technology.
This is particularly important for customers, who now expect easy-to-use technology that is responsive and makes life easier.
Cloud-based systems can allow payments to be made from mobile devices, or through bank transactions over the internet. Who needs to carry around cash anymore? And then you can save paper and help with record-keeping as receipts from transactions can be sent directly to a customer’s device or email account.
Cloud-based payments have the added flexibility of being able to work side by side with traditional EFTPOS systems. This allows integration with services such as Apple Pay and other related technology.
2. More secure
Compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and data security are the most important discussions regarding payment systems. Security is the biggest customer concern when it comes to using internet-based payments.
Although cloud-based systems are still quite new, they are actually much more secure than data stored on physical systems. The reason is that cloud-based payment systems have invested more in robust security measures to ensure they maintain PCI DSS compliance.
PCI DSS compliance can be difficult for companies to achieve on their own. It takes expertise and resources to enforce some of the required measures which cloud-based payment systems can provide.
3. Easier data integration
All businesses want to get paid and want to get paid faster. They also want to reduce the amount of data entry required when reconciling payments with accounting and CRM and ERP solutions.
Cloud-based payments systems allow easier integration with external accounting and management software, and provide access to important data 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Most of these systems will give you access via mobile devices to live sales and data reports. You’ll even have the ability to update prices and place orders remotely. All of these functions bring greater efficiency to your business.
Data integration is also important for maintaining a seamless, friction-free transaction process for customers.
Cloud-based systems can also be used to integrate payment systems with awards programs like frequent flyer schemes, gift cards and other loyalty programs to greatly enhance the customer experience.
4. Improve speed to market for new products
The benefits of data integration also extend to increasing the speed of bringing products to market. An integrated cloud payment system has the ability to integrate with cloud-based ERPs such as NetSuite and JCurve, as well as with the accounting and management software as mentioned above. So the management of the supply chain, inventory and product details becomes more efficient when delivering products to market.
5. Improved scalability
Cloud-based payment systems require less capital expenditure to implement than physical systems and they are scalable to meet the changing needs of your business. Payment data is managed and stored via a data centre, so capacity is not an issue. You simply pay for what you need at the time and buy more as the business grows.
This has particular benefits for small and medium-sized businesses. Most of them just do not have the capital required to implement a physical payment system. However, with the use of the internet and the cloud, they can enjoy the same efficiency as big businesses at a fraction of the cost.
6. Better user management
One of the biggest challenges facing companies is how to manage multiple databases and logins.
Brian Pontarelli, CEO and Founder of Inversoft, identified in 2016 a shift to the single sign-on. Companies will want a “simple and easy way to view users across all applications from one central location” he writes. Pontarelli says that single sign-on will improve customer satisfaction, increase security and reduce IT costs.
Cloud-based payment systems integrate single sign-on easily, making life easy for your organisation and then passing the benefits of better user management onto customers.
Six reasons equal one
Ultimately, the goal of any business in the age of cloud technology is to use payments as a way of enhancing the customer experience, and each of the benefits listed above is ultimately about improving your customer’s journey.
The nature of competition dictates that dissatisfaction with the payment experience can lead to customer churn and the failure to attract new and repeat customers.
So, by moving to a cloud-based payments system, your business gets the benefits of offering more flexible payment options while achieving all-important PCI compliance. It’s worth your while to consider it.