Digital Payment Alternatives to Cash and Paper Checks

Mar 25, 2020 by Eduardo Lopez

The coronavirus outbreak forced many businesses to rethink how they accepted payments. Merchants and customers shifted to digital payment methods to avoid the risk of infection from handling cash and paper checks. It's no longer business as usual. Now is the time to start making changes to avoid any lasting impact on your revenues.

Considering that US businesses process more than $12.5 trillion in paper checks alone annually, this disruption may come at a great cost and could represent potential business losses down the road.

If you're looking for alternatives to paper checks and cash payments right now, here are a few options to protect your business, employees, and customers during this difficult time.

Alternatives to Paper Checks and Cash

There are several alternate payment methods that are safe, efficient and easy to use. Usage and processing costs for many of these alternative methods are often inexpensive and come with perks like zero-fee bank transfers and enhanced security.

  1. Credit Cards (Virtual Terminal): Virtual terminals let you securely charge credit cards from your computer and no card swiper is necessary. All you need is internet access and your smartphone, computer, or tablet turns into a credit card terminal. With tokenization, payment methods can even be securely vaulted for later use (recurring payments).
  2. Digital Bank Payments (Paystand / OBeP): Paystand offers zero-fee digital bank payments that move money electronically from one bank to another. Customers can log directly into their bank account and make the payment via an online payment portal. This method is highly secure because customers do not have to share their account numbers or other sensitive personal data.
  3. Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT): An EFT is a transaction processed over a computerized network, either among accounts at the same bank or to different accounts at separate financial institutions. EFTs can be initiated by a person or a business and don’t require much more than a bank account in good standing.
  4. Electronic Check (eCheck): An eCheck is a type of EFT that relies on the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network to process payments. Funds are electronically withdrawn from the payer’s account, sent via the ACH network to the payee’s banking institution, and then electronically deposited into the payee’s account.
  5. Mobile Wallets (Apple Pay / Google Pay): Mobile wallets are largely consumer-facing payment systems. They allow contactless payments using NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. Wallets can be used for online purchases straight from an app or website. The checkout process can be pre-filled with defaults and only requires a customer to verify their PIN or Touch ID to complete the transaction.
  6. eCommerce Wallets (Masterpass / Visa Checkout): eCommerce wallets are typically used in B2C transactions, where customers can store credit or debit card information and then use one login to pay for items online. When they check out, they can select Visa Checkout or MasterPass, and log into their account. They are then sent back to the merchant's website to complete the transaction.
  7. Stored-Value Wallets (Alipay): Stored value wallets allow users to ‘top up’ their mobile money accounts. These services are growing in popularity internationally because they allow users to connect wallets to perk programs, app ecosystems, and larger eCommerce platforms.

Get Started with Digital Payments

Do you need help setting up digital payments for your business? Paystand makes it fast and easy to get started. We integrate with most ERP software systems and offer flat-monthly pricing to keep your costs low and predictable. If you're interested in getting started with digital payments, schedule a free demo with one of our payment experts or call us at 1-800-708-6413. We're happy to point you in the right direction.