Many small-medium businesses in New Zealand right now are being forced to look for digital solutions to their challenges. In some cases it’s necessary as there are few other options to operate during the COVID-19 era, in others this pushing forward probably should have come much earlier but the current era is forcing a move by businesses who wish to attract new business.

Fresh approaches to transacting can simply being contactless payments using exiting EFTPOS and credit card terminals – in other cases it will be a fresh approach to transacting via E-Commerce.

Tap to Pay
Many businesses with an EFTPOS payment terminal will be able to have contactless payments turned on if they don’t already. This facilitates transactions through a physical credit card (Visa payWave or MasterCard PayPass) in addition payments via Apple Pay, Google Pay and Fitbit Pay on smartphones and wearable devices such the Apple Watch and Fitbit.

Many small business owners I’ve spoken to in recent weeks have had an opportunity to transact online for a long time – but in many cases found it easier to stay with the status quo. Online business and ecommerce can be carried out via a range of mechanisms – including extending their own website, linking to an external payment gateway, or by selling through a marketplace such as Trademe or UberEats which bring a large pool of potential customers.

What’s right for your business or charity?
What is the best approach is will vary – but put some new digital payment mechanisms will be beneficial for many businesses and non-profit organisations. I suggest collaborating with others to settle on an appropriate option quickly – that might involve small-medium business technology experts (such as my team at Gorilla Technology) and also with other friendly business owners and experts in your field.

Recently, I spoke with a business adviser who is fielding many opportunities to provide services. We determined that an online portal where his time could be scheduled and paid for in advance would be hugely beneficial in increasing how many people he could help. By minimising the time overhead with manual invoicing and payments, along with an automated online scheduling service the business would be easier to operate and be more profitable.

In another situation I came across a restaurant owner with limited resources who enabled two options for ordering – one via UberEats which took care of delivery and payments, the other by taking orders utilising Facebook Messenger and then contactless payments with a credit card. In the case of the Facebook ordering, this enabled building a list of customers and fans who can be engaged with on an ongoing basis.