Established seasonal businesses are used to the ebb and flow that comes with the changing of the weather. However, as the summer of 2020 demonstrated, the COVID-19 global pandemic created a much more volatile and unpredictable environment. It was a challenging situation for many businesses as health and safety requirements were quickly evolving in an attempt to allow operations to continue as safely and effectively as possible.
Under these difficult conditions, it became clear that many traditional business processes needed to pivot and change rapidly in order to match a very different type of business environment. Physical touchpoints of all kinds had to be reduced, remote operations became a priority, and manually facilitated transactions were supplanted by digital alternatives such as online merchant portals and mobile payment processing methods.
The Need to Streamline & Simplify Payment Processing
For seasonal businesses such as landscaping and lawn care contractors, adopting these types of payment technologies was of paramount importance in order to ensure that operations were able to continue safely and efficiently. Many companies who had been relying on outdated billing processes and manual payment collection now find it difficult to operate with these methods under the challenging and unpredictable conditions the pandemic created. They needed to quickly simplify and streamline payment processing, removing physical touchpoints, going cashless wherever possible, and reducing friction in the transaction process.
By taking the necessary steps to adapt, landscapers and lawn care businesses are able to provide a safe, contactless transaction experience to customers either directly on-site with mobile payment terminals, or remotely through online payment gateways. Doing this goes a long way to addressing concerns some customers may have that can cause apprehension about committing to seasonal services during a time when physical distancing and personal safety are top-of-mind.
Enable Business Growth with Automatic Billing & Recurring Subscription Models
In addition, adopting modern payment technology opened the door for many businesses to incorporate automation in the billing process, as well as enabling different ways for them to approach marketing recurring services to their customers. With flexible and adaptable e-commerce platforms and virtual terminal solutions like those from MONEXgroup, lawn care and landscaping businesses can easily offer subscription-style recurring services to customers and automatically process payments.
These capabilities allowed many businesses to acquire new streams of revenue and previously untapped customer segments, driving growth and ROI during a time when many other industries were, unfortunately, seeing drastic declines across many of their core KPIs. Seasonal businesses certainly benefit from maximizing the profitability of every available opportunity, so this added payment processing functionality can have a significant impact over the course of the year, and well into the future.
Making Payment Processing Easy
Updating your payment processing system to be more efficient, convenient, and accessible isn’t just a good idea for the safety and protection of customers and your employees, it also works out to be a major marketing advantage when trying to attract new business. It should come as no surprise that customers place a great deal of value on how easy it is to do business with a company, so anything that you can do to simplify and reduce the number of steps in the process should be sought out as an opportunity to boost your competitive standing.
Ultimately, your chosen type of payment technology needs to make the process easy for the customer, as well as easy for you, but still provide robust security, reliability, and support. The right solution will check all those boxes and ensure that the entire experience runs smoothly and securely from end to end. While some payment processing products might be ideal for your business right out of the box, there may be a need for some customization to meet specific requirements for optimum results. Because of this, it’s important to know if customization options are available from your payment processing partner, and if there are any additional costs associated with them.
Furthermore, when looking to deploy a modern payment solution for your seasonal business, be sure to evaluate not just the technology itself, but the level of support you’ll get from your provider. Accessible support, technical expertise, and a strong relationship with your payment processing partner can certainly be deciding factors in a successful implementation for your business that will drive real results and positive ROI impact.
So, if you’re curious what a modern payment solution might look like for your landscaping or lawn care company, let’s take a closer look at two of the most popular payment technology options for these types of seasonal businesses.
Take Payments, Setup Billing, and Invoice Customers Online with a Virtual Terminal
What is a virtual terminal? Well, quite simply it’s a web-based application accessed through any browser (Chrome, Safari, etc…), that allows you to process credit card payments from your smartphone, tablet, or PC/laptop. In essence, it’s a ‘virtual’ version of a point-of-sale system that works on the digital devices that you already have. This solution is perfect for instances where payment needs to be processed remotely, such as over-the-phone or any time when the physical credit card is not present. In addition, virtual terminals can turn any smartphone web browser into a complete mobile point-of-sale system that goes with you anywhere, giving you a flexible and convenient payment processing option whenever you’re on the road or at an outdoor worksite.
Lawn care and landscaping businesses can leverage virtual terminals to accept payments and schedule recurring billing, remotely, without ever needing to physically handle a credit card. This aspect is particularly valuable for contractor businesses who may have multiple crews traveling between a variety of locations each day, as it eliminates the need for payment processing to be done on-site, thereby saving significant time for employees and for customers since they don’t need to be physically present in order to complete the transaction.
Other benefits of virtual terminals include emailing of receipts and documentation right at the moment of transaction, making record keeping easy and paperless. Virtual terminals also offer the convenience of digital invoicing, where businesses can send virtual invoices with payment links customers can use to enter their own credit card details, quickly and easily completing the payment process. State-of-the-art security reduces the risk of fraud with strict verification protocols and data protection technology. Customers and businesses alike can rest easy knowing that all of their virtual terminal transactions are processed with comprehensive data security.
Virtual terminal is available on its own as a cost-effective payment processing solution, or absolutely free if you’ve got a Clover Flex terminal! With a Clover Flex device and a virtual terminal, you can manage payments from the office while your landscaping crew can also use a mobile device for accepting payments on-site.
Process Payments Anywhere with Clover Flex
For businesses that want to have the power to process payments of any type from anywhere, the mobile on-the-go Clover Flex POS terminal is the ideal solution. With Clover’s Ethernet, WiFi, and cellular LTE capability, your device is always connected. You can process credit cards, debit cards, and e-wallet payments as well as schedule staff and much more using the Clover Flex’s expansive suite of software tools. It even has an integrated receipt printer for immediate hardcopy proof of transaction, barcode scanner for seamless inventory management, and a built-in long-lasting battery that you can depend on.
Equipping your field staff with the Clover Flex mobile payment processing system will give them all they need to serve customers efficiently, and process transactions on the spot. Clover Flex mobile payment processing technology turns every worksite into a point-of-sale terminal, making it simple for you to get paid no matter where you are, and your customers will definitely appreciate the convenience of immediately completing their transactions with no waiting.