January in France means it’s time for galette des rois
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Friday Fun Fact: What do you know about QR codes?
You’ve probably already seen QR codes – many retailers use them as an easy way to share information about their products, for example. First developed in Japan to speed up parts manufacturing and tracking in the auto industry, “quick response” (QR) codes were soon adopted by other industries, and in China, the digital payments platforms WeChat Pay and Alipay were early adopters of the technology for payments purposes. Their incredible popularity is driven by ease of use: to pay for goods or services, all a consumer needs to do is scan the code using their smartphone, and payment is automatically deducted from a linked account and transferred to the merchant. Unlike payment systems that are tied to a particular smartphone provider, QR codes are platform agnostic, and this could drive greater rates of mobile payment adoption outside China.
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There are three main ways to take card payments:
Face-to-face payments. This involves a physical card machine (also known as a ‘terminal’, ‘PDQ’, or ‘POS’), which can either be: stationed on a countertop; portable around your premises using Bluetooth or WiFi; or used out and about using a SIM card handset or an app on your mobile phone.
Online payments. Allows customers to pay for things using a bolt-on payment system which is integrated into your website (known as an integrated payment gateway).
Phone and mail order payments. Involves a website-based payment system (acts like a ‘virtual’ card machine), which is accessed by one or more of your staff. The customer’s payment details are taken over the phone and input into the online portal, which processes the payment.
Most card machines or virtual payment solutions should be able to do the following:
Take credit/debit card payments, including contactless for face-to-face payments
Take payments from digital wallets such as Apple Pay and Android Pay
Run ‘end of day’ accounting, allowing you to total up your card sales for the day.
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