Today's Micro Market Payment Break Down

Innovative payment tools provide convenience plus additional sales opportunities

Self-checkout in useAs micro markets continue to grow in popularity, payment methods are becoming increasingly more innovative on an ongoing basis. Today, consumer payment trends in micro markets are showing a lot of similar behaviors as those in other settings, such as retail stores, grocery and restaurants. Customers prefer to pay with credit and debit cards and are starting to use mobile. Providing consumers with the ability to pay in a variety of different ways will give consumers a reason to shop at the micro market opposed to going somewhere else that accepts their preferred method of payment.

Is Cash Still King?

Operators are perhaps most familiar with traditional cash payments. It still is very common for vending machines to be cash only, and it can also make micro market adoption faster and easier for a location used to using cash. However, managing cash payments and refunds can lead to a lot of potential headaches for operators. What size denominations will the kiosk accept, $1s, $5s, $20s? How will a refund be provided to the employee? Plus, the micro market kiosk will need to be equipped with the appropriate cash related equipment, such as bill validators and bill recyclers.

To help combat these inconveniences of cash management, certain micro market kiosks accept cash at the kiosk only to fund stored value accounts, which are prepaid accounts that consumers can fund either online or at the kiosk.

Credit, Debit And Mobile

Many consumers today prefer to pay with credit and/or debit cards. There is a strong preference towards making purchases with cards among younger groups, such as Millennials. Therefore, operators have increasingly implemented card readers into their micro markets, despite the expense of credit and debit card processing fees. Card readers drive up sales and overall micro market use. Some operators also charge the consumer a small amount to cover the credit and debit card fee.

Mobile payments are also growing in popularity among today’s consumers. According to a recent report from Zion Market Research, the global mobile wallet market was valued at approximately $594 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach approximately $3,142.17 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of around 32 percent between 2017 and 2022. Following this growing trend, many micro market suppliers offer Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay at all micro markets.

Market Cards Grow In Popularity

Market cards are a great way to provide convenient payment options for consumers. In addition to ease of use, when a customer pays with a prepaid or market card, there is no additional swipe fee or cash management cost per use, just for the occasional refunding of the account. Market cards can be reloaded on site or using a website or even mobile wallet. They are a versatile tool. Market cards also provide great opportunities for offering promotions and incentives to micro market customers. For example, some suppliers offer an instant refund feature that provides the framework for operators to initiate a loyalty program for consumer engagement and satisfaction.

In order to keep up with consumer trends, operators should examine their own micro market payment breakdown in order to best determine what kinds of options to provide their customers.