According to The Boston Consulting Group, tech companies have primarily focused their solutions towards helping individual or public entities during the pandemic. At the end of 2020, only 8% of tech deployed was to help small and medium businesses (SMBs).
To say SMBs were hard-hit during the pandemic is an understatement. Research on the effects of the pandemic in 2021 continues to paint a dismal picture. A report from Facebook and the Small Business Roundtable cited that 22% of U.S. SMBs were closed in February 2021, about the same amount that closed during the pandemic’s peak in May 2020.
There is a lot that needs to happen to reduce the economic toll on SMBs. Still, independent software vendors (ISVs) have the opportunity to enable commerce for their SMB customers by offering the following functionalities within their software.
Contactless Payment Options
The pandemic has encouraged more consumers to explore newer ways to transact with businesses, with contactless payment options leading the way.
Contactless payments allow consumers to transact easily with businesses while also encouraging them to spend more. ISVs can bring their customers up to speed with contactless payment technology by offering the following payment methods:
Contactless Payment Cards: EMV contactless cards leverage near-field communications (NFC) technology at the payment terminal for secure “tap to pay” payments.
Digital Wallets: Popular digital and mobile wallets such as Apple Pay®, Google PayTM, and Samsung Pay® make payments even more convenient. These wallets store a customer’s payment information on a smartphone, allowing customers to make payments without the need for a physical credit card.
SMS Payments: Text-to-pay is an up-and-coming mobile payment channel that SMBs are looking to offer, as it is a quick way for customers to learn about outstanding balances. Customers can make payments outside working hours, in turn lessening the number of late payments received.
Card-On-File and Recurring Payments: For businesses with repeat customers or subscription purchases, the ability to store credit card information securely is key to making transactions easier for customers and maintaining loyalty.
The pandemic tested everyone’s ability to be flexible in their personal and professional lives. Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) programs thrived during the pandemic, as consumers appreciated the flexibility it provided for financing big purchases. ISVs that embed alternative financing into their software allow SMBs to participate in a popular payment method generally associated with big-box retailers.
Global Payments Integrated’s Delay Pay feature automates the short-term loan process at the point of sale, enabling SMBs to reduce cart abandonment at checkout. It also makes payment easier for the consumer, as it saves time from needing to approach multiple outside lenders to find the best financing options.
Robust Reporting And Analytics
Analyzing payments data is an excellent way for SMBs to gain insights into their current customer base post-pandemic. Since it’s usually an overlooked data source, ISVs that include payments reporting and analytics as a value-added service can better differentiate themselves in a competitive marketplace.
Payments processors such as Global Payments Integrated can collect demographic information such as age, gender, income, and education level, breaking the data into customer types. Through our Analytics tool, SMBs can discover their specific customer types, develop personas, and create appropriate marketing and customer service messaging.
Social Media Monitoring
During quarantine, people flocked to social media to stay in touch with friends and family, learn more about the pandemic, and for entertainment. According to SimilarWeb, visits to major social sites remain far above 2019 levels.
In 2021, social media continues to be a powerful tool for SMBs to connect with their customers and maintain control of their public image. With multiple social platforms to share experiences and leave feedback, SMBs need practical tools that keep them informed on what their customers say about them in real-time.
ISVs can choose to integrate our Reputation Management tool, which shows customer comments across mainstream online review and social media sites. By reviewing comments and opinions expressed, SMBs better understand their strengths and the weaknesses they need to address.
Looking at the data in aggregate also gives SMBs an “at-a-glance” overview of how they are doing while allowing them to read and respond to all reviews in one place without signing in to every review and social media site separately.
Elevate Payments, Enable Commerce
When ISVs partner with Global Payments Integrated, they can elevate the payments experience for the end-user and give SMBs the tools they need to be successful in the post-pandemic world.
Staying on top of consumer payment trends, offering alternative financing, and including value-added services such as analytics and reputation management can give ISVs the competitive edge they need to win the hearts and minds of SMBs who are looking to recoup the losses from the prior year. Contact us to see how our payment features can enable commerce for your customers.
Apple Pay® is a trademark of Apple, Inc. All trademarks contained herein are the sole and exclusive property of their respective owners.
Google PayTM is a trademark of Google, Inc. All trademarks contained herein are the sole and exclusive property of their respective owners. Any such use of those marks without the express written permission of their owner is prohibited.
Samsung Pay® is a registered trademark of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.