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How Credit Unions Can Help SMBs Optimize Their Business With Omnichannel And Integrated Payments

Credit unions can offer what businesses need without the extensive resources that go into internally developing and offering merchant services.

Businesses have had to quickly adapt to consumers’ changed shopping habits as a result of the pandemic. Fully 82% of small businesses report they have adjusted the way they operate. Given the rapidly changing environment, businesses now more than ever want payments-accepting options that allow them to fulfill customer expectations for convenience and safety as well as seamless integration with other business management software.

To fulfill these needs, credit unions wanting to serve small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) should offer robust merchant services solutions with omnichannel and integrated payments options. When weighing the options, choosing to partner with an end-to-end payment solutions provider is often ideal for credit unions, as it alleviates the need to develop costly and resource-consuming solutions in-house while still being able to offer payments-accepting solutions that fulfill the needs of both businesses and their end customers.

Omnichannel Payments

The term omnichannel payments refers to the availability of multiple payment channels to provide a consistent user experience across all channels. The channels could include in-person, online, via mobile app, phone, etc. Consumer demand for anytime, anywhere, safe shopping and on-demand services has led omnichannel payments to be a focus for businesses wanting to stay competitive.

Businesses wanting to offer omnichannel payments find it most convenient and straight-forward to work with a partner that can offer an all-in-one payment processing solution versus setting up separate merchant accounts for differing payment methods. Credit unions should prioritize offering merchant services solutions to capture businesses wanting to offer omnichannel payments. Not offering such services leaves credit unions at risk of losing out on profitable and loyal relationships from businesses.

Here are a few important areas within omnichannel payments to consider:

  • E-commerce: Forty-five percent of shoppers reported shifting to digital channels as of November 2020. This huge influx of online shoppers has created the need for more retailers to expand their e-commerce presence to meet demand and/or stay afloat during uncertain times.
  • Contactless: According to a recent survey by Visa, more than four in five (85%) consumers expect digital options when they shop in-person. More than half (51%) of Americans now use some form of contactless payment. When it comes to the desired forms of contactless payments, 62% of consumers expect to be able to tap a credit or debit card, followed by mobile payment apps (41%), and paying with a mobile wallet (37%).

  • Other New Payment Procedures: Businesses build ordering and payment infrastructure to support a variety of scenarios including order and pay ahead via phone, online, text link, QR code, or mobile app as well as paying in-person via contactless card or mobile wallet.

Integrated Payments

Integrated payments for businesses refer to a payment system that communicates with all other critical software a business uses. Depending on the type of business, this could include inventory management software, menu, payroll, etc. Integrated payments give SMBs a critical edge on managing the day-to-day operation of their business with smart tools that talk to one another. SMBs using integrated payments reap the benefits of operational efficiencies, increased security, and actionable insights.

Credit unions should prioritize offering merchant services solutions that include options for integrated payments so that businesses can leverage these valuable benefits.

Weighing the Options

The decision for credit unions weighing the options of offering merchant services solutions carries significant considerations. Credit unions want to offer what businesses need without undue burden of the extensive resources that go into developing and offering merchant services.

Credit unions pondering whether to offer merchant services essentially have three options:

  1. Do not offer merchant services solutions at all. This option risks losing out on profitable banking relationships (business and consumer) due to not offering the full range of desired services. Businesses with a merchant services relationship with a financial institution are more likely to take advantage of other financial products and services. Data from merchant services provider Elavon shows clients with Elavon merchant services in addition to a demand deposit (DDA) account are 23% more likely to use the financial institution’s check card, 104% more likely to use credit card, and 123% more likely to take out a loan.
  2. Build it yourself. This option will likely involve teaming up with individual technology companies to build the specific services and options needed. This option may be prohibitively more expensive and complicated.
  3. Partner with a full-service payment provider. A trusted partner can facilitate a robust merchant services solution as well as other payments solutions that businesses need. Partnering with an organization that can offer these services allows credit unions to put their time and resources elsewhere.

Partner with Elan Advisory Services to access Elavon to offer omnichannel and integrated payments options to businesses.

Elan Advisory Services can provide expertise on omnichannel and integrated payments and merchant services solutions via a partnership with Elavon, one of America’s leading merchant solution providers. Elavon offers a range of software solutions, mobile and tablet-based solutions, ecommerce offerings, POS terminals, and loyalty programs designed to meet the needs of numerous merchant industries.

A few of Elavon’s solutions that help offer businesses omnichannel and integrated options:

  • Digital Options at the POS: Partnering with Elavon gives access to POS and ePOS systems which bring speed, security, and choice to the POS, including digital/contactless capabilities, mobile wallet solutions to accept mobile payments including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay, and encryption and tokenization that keeps pace with the latest payment innovation.
  • Payments Optimization: Payment optimization, facilitated by Elavon payments consultants, helps control payment processing risks and expenses to mitigate fraud, improve chargeback management, and reduce costs related to accepting payments.
  • Payments Integration: Elavon provides multiple integration options including direct certification, semi-integrated connectivity, and gateway solutions that allow you to leverage existing third-party solutions and maximize ROI.

Learn more and read the full whitepaper How Financial Institutions Can Help SMBs Optimize Their Business with Omnichannel and Integrated Payments

About Elan Advisory Services

Elan Advisory Services provides strategic consultation to ensure your credit union has the right products and services to compete in your market. Through Elan Advisory Services’ internal partners, we deliver best-in-class products and exceptional service to more than 3,000 financial institutions across the United States. With solutions such as end-to-end agent credit card services, mortgage services, and merchant processing, Elan Advisory Services can help your credit union increase revenue and efficiencies. For more information, visit Elan Advisory Services at www.elanadvisoryservices.com

About Elavon

Elavon is a leading global payments company with more than 4,300 employees and operations in 10 countries. A subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), Elavon provides businesses with the technology needed to accept payments from customers, whether they are shopping in stores, at home or on the go. Its platform is distinctive in that it is common across countries, making it easier for businesses to get their payment system up and running quickly and securely. Visit Elavon online or follow on social media to stay up to date with company news.

This article is sponsored by a recognized solutions provider in the credit union industry. Callahan & Associates does not endorse vendors or the solutions they offer, and the views and opinions offered here might not reflect those of Callahan. If you are interested in contributing an article on CreditUnions.com, please contact the Callahan team at ads@creditunions.com or 1-800-446-7453.
May 17, 2021

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