Is Your Business Equipped to Handle the Holiday Shopping Frenzy?

mobile shopping - holiday look - with cc

The holiday shopping season is officially here, and consumers are ready to spend—big time—according to a recent analysis by Forbes. As consumers increasingly spread shopping experiences across multiple mediums – traditional malls, big-box stores, and online shopping and e-commerce – businesses that are equipped to accommodate the influx of online traffic stand poised to reap serious benefits.

Take a look at these holiday shopping stats:

  • Black Friday is still the busiest shopping time for storefronts, but foot traffic declined nearly 9% from 2017.
  • Consumers spent $3.7 billion online in 2018, a 28% increase from 2017.
  • Online Black Friday sales generated $6.2 billion, an increase of 23.6% from 2017.
  • Mobile devices accounted for 68% of online traffic and 54% of orders on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Mobile devices made up 67% of all digital traffic on Black Friday, a 61% increase on the same day last year.

In the age of online shopping, e-wallets and cashless checkouts, the “customer experience” is crucial. These days, consumers want and expect an expedited checkout process both in stores and online, frictionless mobile payment processing, in-cart transparency, and, of course, data security.

If your business or organization isn’t equipped to accommodate these consumer preferences, you might be missing out on both traffic and revenue.

Mobile Payments

Mobile payments refer to any transaction for a product or service that is made through an app, website, or payment processing attachment on a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile electronic devices. In most cases, payment information is encrypted for security purposes. Mobile processing differs from traditional payments such as cash, checks, or debit and credit card information that require a stationary touch screen or computer.

The expansion of mobile payment processing is driven largely by consumer demands, but it’s also easier for retailers. Moving more consumers through checkout efficiently with a mobile point of sale system can drive business in-store and provide customers with a seamless, PCI-compliant checkout experience online. As more consumers turn to online shopping, retailers that adapt to the changing market will be well positioned to capture future growth.

In-Cart Transparency

Consumers often add items to their cart whether or not they intend to buy them. This is especially true during high traffic periods, such as holiday shopping. However, Retail Dive reports that an estimated 23% of customers will abandon the items in their cart if they can’t see the total up front, including taxes, shipping costs, and delivery dates.

Retailers that can make the online holiday shopping experience easier on consumers, including securing and organizing their online carts, can reap the benefits of online shopping.

Giving Tuesday

Online shopping isn’t just for revenue-generating organizations, especially during the holidays. Giving Tuesday is one of the biggest days of the year for non profits and an important source of revenue for their operating funds.

A non profit payment processing system can help these organizations streamline donations during Giving Tuesday or any day of the year through a centralized merchant account, regardless of whether donors are online, on-site, or using a mobile platform.

About Payscout

Payscout is a trusted, global payment processing provider working across six continents and connecting merchants and consumers via credit, debit, ATM, and alternative payment networks. Payscout makes it easy to manage payments on-site and across online and mobile platforms. Payscout even offers customized API connections for utility payment processing and integrates with over a dozen software applications. If you work in a healthcare environment, Payscout’s mobile payment processing services can help drive revenue efficiently and securely.

Discover how you can leverage consumer preferences for online shopping at www.payscout.com

Payscout COO Is Recognized with Prestigious Board Position

Juan Sotelo

The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Jefferson Awards Foundation recently honored Payscout Chief Operating Officer Juan Sotelo with an appointment as chair of their advisory board. Since joining the board in 2016, Sotelo’s commitment to altruism and innovative business acumen consistently stood out to both local and national leadership of the Jefferson Awards Foundation.

The honor would likely come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Sotelo’s career and accomplishments. His resume includes working as a mathematics teacher, serving as the sales and operations manager for tech giant Oracle, and running his own consulting services firm, JD & Associates.

In 2013, he joined Payscout as Vice President of Business Development. During his two-year tenure, Sotelo shone as a committed and creative thought leader, contributing to Payscout’s success in emerging markets like mobile payment processing. He further advanced Payscout’s success and growth by spearheading growth initiatives, internal process development, and strategic brand advancements.

In 2015, Sotelo was promoted to Chief Operating Officer. As COO, Sotelo immediately excelled in the overseeing of customer support, operations, brand development, and marketing for Payscout staples like utility payment processing.

Sotelo also helmed Payscout’s expansion into revolutionary new payment processing spaces with the establishment of their virtual reality (VR) payment application. This application can be used to aid non profit payment processing and encourage donations.

When not busy changing the face of the payment industry, Sotelo also works as the Managing Partner and President of the production company Film Antics, which has released over 20 films, including a feature film, under his leadership.

While his career and financial ingenuity are quite impressive, there was another characteristic beyond those skills and accomplishments which stood out to the people at the Jefferson Awards Foundation. Sotelo’s engagement in humanitarian work, particularly with youth, contributed to the chairmanship.

Plaudits from an organization as respected, significant, and influential as the Jefferson Awards Foundation is no easy feat. The foundation was established in 1972 by former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr., and longtime public servant Sam Beard as the American equivalent of a Nobel Prize for public and community service. Since then, its awards recognizing those who’ve made strides in volunteerism and public service have been given to several Presidents and Vice Presidents of the U.S., Supreme Court Justices, generals, Senators, and the top business leaders, humanitarians, artists, performers, journalists, and athletes in the country.

Learn more about Payscout’s innovations and user-friendly platforms, at www.payscout.com

Will We See a Cashless Society? The Pros and Cons

Small business owner with terminal and customer

For a lot of people, it can feel as though they’re participants in a cashless society already. Their paychecks are direct-deposited into an account from which bills are automatically debited. They also regularly make payments (in-person and online) without ever handling cold-hard cash.

Virtually every business accepts plastic, and you can slide or insert a card to buy a candy bar on almost any new vending machine. And with the ubiquity of mobile payment processing devices plugged into cell phones, you could likely buy from four different vendors at the local farmers’ market without ever touching paper money.

That being said, our society is anything but cashless. Most people still carry cash, use cash, and take it for granted as a still-relevant staple of societal financial interactions. But as common as cash remains, the technological, societal, and even global trend has certainly been moving steadily into a more cash-free space. So will we see a cashless society in our lifetime? And perhaps more importantly, do we want one?

The Benefits of a Cashless Society

A number of the benefits of a cashless society are already apparent. We buy virtually anything we need or want from anywhere on the planet where people sell things online, and we do so with the click of a button. Furthermore, many of us haven’t sat down with a stack of bills, stamps, and envelopes to send out checks for bill payments in years.

There’s no question that digital transactions make commerce more convenient. To some degree, cashless commerce forces transparency and accountability for the payer and the paid. Electronic payments are recorded in perpetuity to the cent. It’s not just a matter of dishonesty or theft. Even something like by-check utility payment processing still relied on a series of people physically moving, sorting, collecting, and processing the check. And as people are only human, occasionally mistakes or outright errors are made. Indeed, utility payment processing has come a long way, and with payment processing improvements, left a lot of human error by the wayside.

The Drawbacks of a Cashless Society

The footprint left by digital payments remains an accessible, permanent record that a transaction was made, which is great for most people making them. It is not great for people who’d prefer their financial transactions weren’t being tracked and recorded. But that can be good for society in general. For instance, a cashless society would make illegal and dangerous transactions more difficult, or at least easier to track and uncover when they did occur.

While that may sound more like a benefit than a drawback (and it is), criminals aren’t the only people with an interest in transactions that aren’t tracked, recorded, and linked to them. Without going into detail, there are any number of products and services that are personal, sensitive, medical, etc. that people have perfectly good reasons for wanting to keep private.

Will We See a Cashless Society?

Cash does have some undeniable benefits beyond discretion for the spender. It’s immediately available and virtually universally accepted. It’s also convenient for person-to-person transactions, and has gained popularity for larger transactions like securing a quick-close on, and lowering the price for, a house. And there are some people who simply want to keep their assets liquid, physical, and under their direct control.

So, will we see a cashless society in our lifetime? It is possible. Despite the trend toward more plastic and digitally-stored currency, cash is still very much a feature of our society and culture. We will, undoubtedly, continue to see an increasingly cashless society, but it will be a while before hard currency is phased out entirely.

About Payscout

One of the most respected, successful, innovative, and forward-looking thought leaders in the financial services industry, Payscout has consistently earned their way onto lists of America’s fastest-growing private companies every year since 2014. In addition to their non profit payment processing, Payscout’s state-of-the-art interactive user platforms continue to serve their mission statement, “Payscout supports the entrepreneurial dream one transaction at a time.”

Discover how to grow your business at www.payscout.com