Managing customer payments is one of the most critical components to help ensure the longevity of a small business in South Africa. This is especially the case when it comes to informal traders, micro-businesses, and others who might not have the systems in place to deal with card transactions, according to Craig Leppan, Head of Business Development at Halo Dot.
“When it comes to transacting with customers, small businesses need many things extending from inventory and stock control management through to the payment at the end. Tooling the business correctly to help the owner understand what it is being sold to which customers become the cornerstone for success. This is where the mobile phone becomes a crucial enabler within the South African environment. “Small businesses and traders have embraced using apps on their phones to manage inventory. And by providing them with a way to securely affect cardless payments, they can provide significant competitive advantage,” he says.
Today, there is an app for just about any task a small business owner can imagine. Stock and inventory control, managing margins, budgeting, the list goes on. All these functions live in apps that are getting larger and more complex. Innovative technology such as Halo Dot can enhance these apps by integrating with them and introducing a flexible payment layer to the process.
It empowers merchants to accept payments on their phones to process a contactless payment. With this technology in place, informal retailers, spaza stores, and street vendors can accept a safer alternative to cash and give them the opportunity to accept card transactions. They no longer need to be concerned by the cost of Point of Sale (POS) devices and the maintenance that can come with it.
Through this new ecosystem of apps injected with the ability to process secure mobile payments in a user-friendly manner, entrepreneurs and SMB owners are in a stronger position to grow their businesses. Halo Dot captures important location data that can provide the insights necessary to optimise inventory and deliver what customers want.
Today, many merchant markets in the country are still cash-driven partly due to the costs of POS devices and security concerns around other payment methods. But digitally-enabling merchants through the likes of Halo Dot can alleviate these concerns and give them a more convenient alternative to managing customer payments.
And while the technology is still nascent in terms of its roll out, the local market will grow as more merchants start embracing this and seeing the benefits to be had from this global payment approach.
It is especially for the self-employed segment where Halo Dot can be a significant competitive advantage. With the technology being used as an alternative for any cash payment, it can facilitate transactions between a whole host of service providers. For instance, a plumber or electrician attending to a customer call out can use Halo Dot instead of battling with customers who might not have cash on hand.
The payment landscape in South Africa and the rest of the world is changing. Halo Dot delivers a more efficient, secure, and user-friendly way to embrace this new shift and give small businesses the means to better manage customer payments.