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How small businesses can manage new payment tech costs

The launch of the first biometric fingerprint bank card is the latest advance in payment technology. It is designed to provide greater convenience and security. But for businesses, there are costs involved in keeping pace with developments. Alternative finance can help firms afford the investment.

High-street banking stalwart Nat West is currently trialling the new biometric fingerprint bank card with a small group of customers. These customers can use the new technology to verify transactions above the contactless limit, which not only increases transaction security but also makes it easier and quicker to pay for products or services because the physical entry of a PIN is not needed.

Notably, the new cards do not require any update in payment technology – they work with existing contactless and Chip and Pin terminals. Of course, businesses still need to have digital payment compliant technology, and digital payment formats go beyond contactless.

Mobile payments are a fast growing transaction format, with Apple Pay and Samsung Pay currently the Near Field Communication (NFC) technologies driving growth in this area. Another payment technology becoming more and more popular is wearable tech – NFC chip-enabled payment devices embedded in stickers, key fobs or wristbands. Then there’s FinTech, which in some instances allows payment using QR codes.

Moving into the B2B realm, Visa has announced a new limited release payments solution for small businesses. In conjunction with management software firm Wave, the digital payment behemoth has introduced the Instant Payouts service, which it says is designed to reduce payment waiting times.

All of this technology has clear benefits, but using and offering it comes at a cost for businesses. And while larger organisations have the resources to easily upgrade payment systems, investing in this new technology is more challenging for smaller businesses, in particular when considering the data protection and cybersecurity requirements of such systems.

This is where alternative finance can help.

In the wake of prolonged caution from traditional lenders, the likes of peer-to-peer lending, invoice finance, asset finance and crowdfunding are providing small business owners with an alternative means of accessing capital for essential investment, such as in new payment technology and systems.

This is how a Sussex small business used peer-to-peer lending, through a commercial finance broker that specialises in alternative finance, to raise the money to buy new equipment.

The advancement of payment technology continues apace and fuelled by the focus on convenience and security, this momentum is unlikely to slow any time soon. And it is essential that businesses keep up with these advances, not least in order to maintain access to key income streams. Alternative finance can help them do this.

To find out more about A&T Business Associates services, contact Tony Hedger on 01903 602211 or tony.hedger@atbusinessassociates.co.uk.

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