Startups and small businesses are often early adopters of cutting edge technology. And any technology that makes it easier for businesses to get paid by their customers is even more likely to get embraced by business owners.
From chip readers to cryptocurrencies, there are more alternative payment technologies than ever looking to replace cash transactions at the register. But, as with any new tech, those payment methods may carry some risks. Here's what you need to know.
As tablets and even smartphones are replacing traditional cash registers, there are tax, security, and even identity theft issues to consider. Swiping a card or tapping a phone or card to a reader may seem simple enough, but there can be legal risks.
Square Cash, Venmo, other apps allow people to email or text money to each other, through linked accounts. This can be especially helpful to small businesses that offer services at many locations rather than products at a single point of sale. But make sure you're actually getting paid, and don't lose track of invoices just to save time.
While some small businesses see accepting Bitcoin as a way to attract a certain customer demographic, the cryptocurrency has yet to achieve widespread acceptance. This could be due, in part, to its lack of government backing, which can lead to more value fluctuation.
Bitcoin isn't the only cryptocurrency, so if you've decided to go that route you should be aware of the other options, and the ways to creatively integrate payment into your marketing and sales strategies.
Nobody wants pennies, perhaps the world's only currency that costs more to make than it's worth. Which, in this day and age, makes them an alternative payment method in their own special way. Pennies remain the favored form of payment for contested tickets, disputed fines, and anyone trying to prove a point. And while they remain legal tender, does that mean you have to accept them?