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There is a movement afoot among the big players in the QSR industry. The COVID-19 pandemic, combined with pre-pandemic trends, is causing the industry to rethink the brick and mortar restaurant and how they divvy up the space in those restaurants. A recent article in Forbes, Burger King Unveils A New Restaurant Design To Meet Consumer Habits […]

Don’t miss another episode of Truth In Data! Data for today’s episode is provided by Mercator Advisory Group’s report – U.S. Small Businesses are Reeling as a Result of COVID-19 Small Business Payment Methods Are Changing: Business credit cards are still the dominant transaction type (56%), but a host of transaction types are gaining popularity. Small businesses’ […]

A study by Red Egg Marketing reveals that as much as 82% of shoppers will pay more to support small businesses. Revealing shoppers’ motivation to support local businesses in the wake of COVID-19. A whopping 82.76 % of shoppers say they would rather support a local business than a large corporation. With eight out of 10 of them willing […]

This research report provides analysis and insight on the current state of the U.S. payments gateway market, supported by e-commerce sales data forecast. Highlights of this research report include: How gateways have become an essential payments vendor category Market data forecast for retail and travel e-commerce Gateways that compete in the U.S. market Contrasting paths […]

Integrated payments are transforming property management

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to rethink what “normal day-to-day activity” means, and adjust accordingly, including the ways they pay. One impact on society has been an accelerated shift to online payments in many industries, including the property management space.
Property management is a unique industry, where many tenants have traditionally used paper checks, cash and money orders to pay their monthly rent. But since COVID-19 when many residents found themselves quarantined in their homes, tenants were asking for more electronic options to make their rent or HOA/COA payments. A large number of property managers therefore transitioned to accepting online rent payments in an effort to provide convenience to residents as well as limit their in-person exposure related to handling physical checks or other forms of in person payments.

This presents property management software companies with a great opportunity to add integrated payments to their platforms if they haven’t already done so yet. Integrated payments can help software platforms scale while bringing efficiency to both property managers and tenants. The shift from physical to digital payments for rent looks set to be a permanent one; while COVID-19 may have been the catalyst, it is these benefits that mean landlords and tenants are unlikely to revert back to in-person payments.

With this ever-changing landscape and the increase in online rental payments happening already, now is a great time for property management software companies to prioritize adding payments to their platform. So let’s dive into what integrated payments can do for your software, property managers and tenants.

1. Recurring billing streamlines the payment process
One of the major benefits of integrated payments is recurring billing. Tenants can easily sign up for recurring payments and it gives them the flexibility to schedule their monthly rent payments in advance. This means tenants won’t need to remember to pay it each month and the payment will be made automatically. Through a Customer Vault API integration, it securely stores sensitive payment information with tokenization, enabling recurring payments without property managers having to re-collect tenants’ payment information. Recurring billing eliminates late payments and property managers can save time by not having to track down missed payments. This helps property management businesses streamline and improve their cash flow as well.

2. Flexibility in payments
Tenants want flexibility to pay their rent how they want – whether it’s via ACH, e-cash, credit or debit card. When considering a payments partner, it’s important to think about the payment options available. According to our recent report, Lost in Transaction: The new relationship for ISVs and payments, 80% of ISVs stated that the range of payment options an integrated payments provider could offer was a very important consideration when selecting a partner. Split payments are also a key factor to take into consideration. Many tenants tend to split rent payments amongst various roommates or property managers need to split payments across multiple bank accounts

3. Secure payments
Online security is more important than ever. When considering a payments partner, they should be PCI DSS compliant, provide you with fraud management tools and take on the risk for you. This will ensure your clients and their tenants are protected and give them peace of mind that their payments are secure.
With the impact of COVID-19, integrated payments play an essential role in property management. If you haven’t already integrated payments or are looking for a new partner, now is a great time to do so.

Learn Why Merchants Are Optimistic About The Future

As small businesses struggle to survive the economic havoc caused by Covid-19, new research shows that small business owners are optimistic about the future. Some 75% of small business owners agree that if a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic were to happen again, they’d be better prepared to handle it, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management.

Additionally, 52% of small businesses surveyed expect to recover to pre-Covid profitability in six months or less. This optimism is encouraging to Liz Supinski, SHRM’S director of research products, who says that Covid-19 has been a “big driver of innovation.” Many small businesses, spurred by the limitations imposed by the coronavirus, have invented new products, while one in three of those surveyed say they’ve found new ways to deliver services. “For the whole world of work, this has been a large, uncontrolled experiment in changing what work looks like,” Supinski says. “It’s opened the door to a lot of ideas that have been dismissed because change is hard. And if things are good enough, then why would you change?” According to SHRM, 43% of small business owners have pivoted their business models. One of those entrepreneurs is Denise Woodard, the founder of Partake Foods, an allergy-friendly, gluten-free, vegan cookie company. Since much of her New Jersey-based company’s marketing involved live demos and local events, Woodard has had to come up with new ways of promoting her brand digitally, including partnering with minority- and women-owned brands on a “Spot Us at Target” campaign and teaming up with The Blackbird Collective on Instagram Live and Facebook Live events.

This sort of flexibility is something that Supinski expects to see from businesses of all sizes during this period of business recovery. Three fourths of small businesses are planning to change their policies in response to employees’ childcare needs, with 43% implementing or considering flexible hours or compressed schedules, and 31% offering full-time remote work. “Small businesses are in a unique position because often they’re able to be more flexible with workers than larger businesses. They don’t have the same kind of issues,” Supinski says. However, she adds that small businesses run on small margins, which makes it harder for many to offer this kind of help to employees.
Not only has the coronavirus pandemic spurred innovation, but it’s also led to an uptick in reskilling and upskilling. SHRM found that 22% of small businesses have asked employees to learn new skills to support changes in their business. “There’s certainly a lot of opportunity here for businesses and workers to explore different ways of doing business and having a career and new ways that those two things can come together and change the way the world of work works,” Supinski says. “Opportunity out of adversity.

None of this is to say that small business owners aren’t without worries—53% report feeling somewhat or very concerned about the increased risk of lawsuits and liability while reopening amid Covid-19, as the cost of defending one can be burdensome. Despite these concerns, the way in which small businesses have been able to successfully pivot has made them optimistic about the future, and the support they’ve received from their local communities has only helped. “We’re seeing a lot of people put their money where their mouth is and really work hard to support local businesses during this time,” Supinski says. “You would hope that people would continue to appreciate those local businesses going forward.”
Woodard has witnessed this increase in support from the community around her. The company first saw an uptick in sales in March, when consumers were stockpiling groceries due to the pandemic. One of few Black-owned nationally scaled businesses in the country, Partake Foods, saw another increase in sales in May, following the death of George Floyd. “Our business has really received a large outpouring of support from people wanting to support small-owned business, women-owned business, Black-owned business,” Woodard says. “I’m hopeful for the future of small business in America.”

What Percentage of Consumers Pay for Online Subscription Services?

What Percentage of Consumers Pay for Online Subscription Services?
59% of consumers have an online subscription service; 40% used to have an online subscription service.
By far the most popular are video streaming services, where 46% of consumers are subscribed.
Second most popular are music streaming services, where 23% of consumers are subscribed.
Software, news, and premium apps each have between 10-13% of consumers subscribed.
Online subscription services are universally more popular in urban geographies, perhaps because of the concentration of young people there.
Younger adults universally subscribe to more online subscription services than any other age cohort.
The contrast is sharpest between young adults who subscribe to music services (38%) vs. older adults (9%).
About Report
Mercator Advisory Group’s most recent consumer survey report, Subscription Services and Bill Pay: Card Payments Dominate, from the 2019 Technology Survey of the bi-annual North American PaymentsInsights series, examines U.S. consumers’ current use of subscription services and methods for paying their bills.
The report, which is based on an online panel survey administered to 3,006 U.S. adults in November-December 2019, presents results from questions exploring how adults in the United States use and pay for “box of the month” clubs and online subscription services. It also explores the ways consumers pay their bills and the increasing importance of digital bill payment.
Regarding subscription services in the U.S., consumers are about twice as likely to subscribe to an online subscription service as to subscribe to a “box of the month” service (59% vs 23%). Interestingly, a relatively large portion of American adults (38%) do not subscribe to either type of service.
When it comes to paying bills, the majority of consumers (6 in 10) are currently paying at least some of their bills electronically through either automatic billing or bank account withdrawal. Consumers are paying bills in equal proportion through electronic bill pay via their bank, their biller, or bill pay service.
“This report explores two very important aspects in the payments ecosystem—subscription services and bill payment. Electronic payments play a very large role in both of these areas, and it is important to understand the payments dynamics of both,” stated the author of the report, Peter Reville, director of Primary Research Services at Mercator Advisory Group, which includes the North American PaymentsInsights series.

Article Credit https://www.paymentsjournal.com/what-percentage-of-consumers-pay-for-online-subscription-services/

Three months ago, we were cranking out calls, traveling to meet clients, and shaking hands with colleagues. Now, we are facing a dramatic change that we have never experienced before.  Over the past week, the Outreach company has seen a dramatic increase in customers asking for guidance on how to adapt their existing strategy to […]

How US Shoppers Continue To Support Small Businesses

Americans enjoy shopping. According to an analysis from Internet Retailer based on U.S. Commerce Department retail sales figures, total retail sales, exclusive of fuel, automobiles, and restaurants, exceeded $3.6 trillion last year, up 4.1% versus 2017.

Americans especially love to shop online. Not a huge surprise, e-commerce retail sales continued their double-digit growth in 2018, jumping 15% from just under $450 billion to over $517 billion. While e-commerce retail still only represents 14.3% of total annual retail sales, what’s more interesting is that e-commerce sales represented over half (just shy of 52%) of all retail sales growth in 2018.

Americans love Amazon.com. Internet Retailer estimates that the cumulative total volume of Amazon transactions (marketplace sellers and Amazon products) exceeded $206.8 billion last year, which equates to 40% of all U.S. online retail.

Small businesses (SBs) are also key for Amazon. According to a company press release, third-party merchandise sales, which is primarily SBs, exceeded $160 billion in sales in 2018, representing some 50% of units sold in Amazon sales. Admittedly outpacing first-party sales on both Amazon and across U.S. retailers. SBs are also key to the U.S. economy. With over 28 million small businesses in the U.S. and approximately 600,000 new ‘starts’ each year, small businesses represent over 97% of all businesses in the U.S. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, more than 50 percent of people either own or work for a SB and SBs create about two-thirds of all new jobs annually, with retail representing just over 35% of total small business employment.

Over the past several years, there’s been a real movement to promote shopping at small businesses in the U.S. In 2010, American Express launched its Small Business Saturday® program, which was designed to get people shopping locally on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, during what is one of the biggest shopping periods of the year. 2018 marked the ninth annual Small Business Saturday, bringing in an estimated record $17.8 billion in sales from local businesses in all 50 states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico1. Over the years, Small Business Saturday spending has now reached a reported estimate of $103 billion since the day began in 20102 — that’s $103 billion over 9 days alone.
What started as a day to celebrate small businesses, Small Business Saturday is now a nationwide movement encouraging people to Shop Small® every day. Participating in the Shop Small Movement is a great way for small businesses to reach new customers and to promote their business. And American Express not only promotes the event to create consumer awareness, but they also have a variety of free downloadable marketing materials (such as badges, social posts, blog posts, and digital banners) and free signage for brick and mortar businesses. Additionally, as an American Express accepting merchant, you could get recommended for free to Card Members who are more likely to spend at your business. In 2018, nearly 17 million people received recommendations on where to shop3. Learn more at americanexpress.com/promoteyourbusiness.
Thanks to programs like Shop Small, small businesses are back and here to stay.

This article is brought to you by American Express.

It is unsurprising to discover that stay at home orders and social distancing is having a significant impact on consumers’ confidence in eCommerce. Overall, 42% of customers are shopping online much more because they cannot or will not buy in physical stores. A third of customers (33%) say that they are shopping online for specific […]

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