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4 myths about card payments

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Card payments are a part of our everyday life, so much so that we often don’t think about them at all. But once you dive a little deeper it turns out that much of what we think we know isn’t true at all. Here are four common myths about card payments and the actual truth behind them.

1. They are expensive

A common misconception is that card payments are expensive for merchants. In a 2018 study carried out on 800 Swedish merchants, 54 percent of the merchants said that they thought the costs for card payments were high, while only 40 percent said the same thing about cash.

What the researchers found, however, was that merchants often don’t take into account the time spent handling the cash. When this was added to the equation the researchers found that, on average, the handling of cash cost the equivalent of 4.1 percent of the purchase price. That can be compared to Bambora’s in-store card payment fees that are from 1.75 percent of the purchase price and below.

2. Contactless cards are unsafe

Contactless payments have become extremely popular due to their speed and convenience. But the contactless technology (also known as NFC) has also been associated with safety concerns. For years, people have suggested that someone could steal your card information by simply walking by with an NFC enabled reader and make a copy of your card. In reality, this is not something to worry about.

Modern contactless cards use a technology that provides the NFC reader with an encrypted number that is only valid for that one transaction. So, if someone was to steal that number that would not mean that they can then make a copy of your card. And even if someone were to steal your entire card, the new European payments directive requires that you enter your pin for every fifth contactless purchase or if the value of a purchase is above 50€.

3. All acquirers offer more or less the same service

Historically the role of an acquirer has been to simply handle the card transactions on behalf of the merchants and make sure that you get your money in your account. Now, that is changing. As an acquirer, Bambora sees our role as being more of a proactive partner who creates added value for our customers.

One example is our service Growth Finance, which allows you to take out a loan based on your card transactions. Another example is our advanced acquiring service that utilizes your payment data in order to create more value. By analyzing the data we are able to not only reduce costs and increase acceptance rates, we can even help prevent fraud.

4. Signing up is a real hassle for merchants

For a long time this was very true. To accept card payments you would need to sign agreements with multiple suppliers and then go through a long manual onboarding process. When Bambora started, our goal was to change all of that.

We offer one agreement for everything you need and have a completely digital onboarding that allows you to be up and running in just a couple of days. In-store merchants get a completely preconfigured terminal so that you can just plug it in and start accepting payments. For online merchants we offer plug-ins for the biggest e-commerce platforms and a simple API that makes it equally easy to get started.