The Business sCOOP – What are merchant services?
Barb Smith: I’m Barb Smith from The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod. Joining me today is Rick Falzone from Clover, and this is the Business sCOOP.
Smith: Rick, would you mind telling me a little bit more about merchant services what is?
Falzone: Merchant services simply is the ability for a small business owner to accept debit and credit card payments, and that also includes some of the newer technology such as tap cards and digital wallets like Google and Apple Pay.
Smith: Why is it so important for small businesses?
Falzone: It does a few different things for a small business. No. 1 it’ll help increase revenues over the year. If you’re a cash only business, you’re missing a segment of the population who are only carrying cards and digital wallets at this time. And also if you’re a professional services business and you’re invoicing for your services, you may not see that payment for 30 to 45 days. Or now if you’re offering the ability to accept card payments, you can get paid electronically within a day or two to speed up that receivable process.
Smith: You shared with me a little bit earlier today about how the cash in your wallet can only go so far, but a card can go further. Can you talk a little bit more about that?
Falzone: Of course. This goes back to increasing spend. So, if you walk into a store and you have five dollars in your pocket, you’re most likely gonna spend five dollars. But if you do know that that store accepts card payments or digital payments, you’re going to typically spend more than you would just on that cash amount that you have in your pocket.
Smith: Makes sense. And can you tell me also a little bit about do I have to be a big business like or can I just you know do craft shows?
Falzone: It can be craft shows. It can be a large corporation and anybody in between. We really do have a pretty creative technologically advanced line of solutions that we can offer any type of business in between. There could be retail spaces, the trades, professional services, and anybody in between.
Smith: What if I don’t have bricks and mortar?
Falzone: That’s fine. It’s a great question. There are a lot of people now doing that with these side hustles, especially the trades who need to collect payments on site. We do have a mobile service where you can go out to the customer directly and take a card on site.
Smith: Can you tell me a little bit how the Clover machines helped the client, your clients, during the pandemic?
Falzone: Absolutely. A lot of our devices are portable and mobile. They work on wi-fi or lte service. So when they were doing curbside pickups, the merchant was able to actually take the device outside to the car to take payments directly there on site, as opposed to over the phone.
Smith: That’s awesome. I know I use those services a lot during the pandemic. What do these devices look like?
Falzone: Well, today we have with us our CloverFlex, which is one of our more popular pieces of equipment. Again it works on wi-fi and lte, so almost like a cellphone so it can be portable. It will take all chip cards, swipe cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay, tap cards. It even has the receipt printer right inside as well. And in terms of mobility this is good for curbside pickup businesses, where they can take the device right out to the car to take that payment. And especially for restaurants as well where wait staff can take this to the tables and take orders and take payments right there at the table. So this wait staff isn’t taking the card back to the point of sale system in the back somewhere.
Smith: Thank you for joining us, Rick, and thank you for watching us on the Business sCOOP brought to you by The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod.