‘User-friendly but expensive’ is how small business owners perceive the digital payment solution in their shops, according to a recent market survey by Ipsos. The monthly costs in particular are a thorn in the side of Belgian retailers. “An unnecessary expense,” confirms Pascal Bungeneers, head of B2B Mobile at Samsung. “You pay less when you use your smartphone as a payment terminal, and the cost of the device is tax deductible as well.”
As of 1 July this year, business owners in Belgium have been required to offer their customers the option of paying digitally in addition to cash. “At Samsung, we wanted to know what impact this requirement is having on small business owners,” says Pascal Bungeneers, head of B2B Mobile. “Is digital payment gaining ground? And are retailers satisfied with the payment methods they offer?” Market research firm Ipsos surveyed more than two hundred Belgian sole proprietors and companies with fewer than ten employees on behalf of the Korean tech company.
Four ways to pay
“The survey shows that our retailers are fully on board with digital payments,” says Pascal Bungeneers. “Almost all of them are complying with the new legislation. Moreover, on average they offer almost four different payment methods. From cash, contactless payment with your card to QR code, customers have a wide choice of how they pay. Only 6% can pay only digitally. And Belgium wouldn’t be Belgium if there weren’t a few rebels (laughs): 5% still accept only cash, which is risky, because a retailer who does not comply with the new rules is liable for a fine of up to €80,000.”
Phone and payment terminal
On the whole, retailers are satisfied with the payment solutions they offer their customers, particularly with the security (94%) and user-friendliness for consumers (92%). They are less positive about the price of digital payment solutions, as many as 55% find the cost of these solutions rather expensive or even very expensive. “More than 40% complain about the expensive monthly cost,” Mr Bungeneers says. “Renting a payment terminal alone sometimes costs as much as €40 per month. In our opinion, that’s unnecessarily expensive. Using your smartphone as a payment terminal is much more cost-effective.”
Over 35% of the self-employed people surveyed said they were interested in using their smartphone in combination with a payment app. “Good news for both us and retailers, as Samsung offers such a solution. The Tap to Pay smartphone, a pre-configured Samsung smartphone managed by Belgian IT company mobco, is equipped with Viva Wallet’s advanced payment software that turns it into a payment terminal. In other words: no subscription fees, no transaction fees. Moreover, you can also use the device just as a smartphone because we provide a complete and secure separation between personal and business applications,” Pascal Bungeneers underscores. “And for the icing on the cake, the cost of the device is tax deductible for retailers because it is a payment instrument.”
At The Catch, a restaurant in Ostend, they are completely convinced by Samsung’s Tap to Pay smartphone. “It’s a system without much fuss,” thinks business manager Jim Coopman (34). “You just hold the card against the smartphone; quick and convenient.” The Catch stands out in Ostend thanks to a unique and hip concept: it is a cocktail and seafood bar. “When we started three years ago, we were quickly won over to working with Samsung and Viva Wallet. We have no need for a conventional payment terminal and therefore fewer costs.”
The system also fosters trust, Mr Coopman says. “With every payment, the numbers to enter your PIN are in a different order on the screen. This makes it impossible to find out a previous user’s PIN via fingerprints, for example; extra safe, in other words. And often a funny moment too, because customers have to be extra attentive. They can’t enter their PIN on autopilot!” (laughs)
Jim Coopman would definitely recommend this Samsung-Viva Wallet combo to other merchants. “The entry threshold is very low: you don’t have to be a computer geek to understand how it works. The staff get the hang of it straight away. Moreover, we also use the smartphone in the restaurant for reservations and customer contacts.” Over the next few days, The Catch will have a stand at Winter in Ostend Park where the Samsung smartphone will also be on hand. “That flexibility is a huge advantage. You don’t need WiFi: everything works on 4G. So just bring your smartphone to the Christmas market and you have a payment system while remaining reachable for your customers. This smartphone combo is easy and modern. It just suits us and our business.”
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About Viva Wallet
Viva Wallet is a leading European cloud-based neobank, delivering the future of payments, now. With presence in 24 markets, it is the payment institution with the largest footprint in Europe. Viva Wallet mission is to change the way businesses pay and get paid, offering truly unifying, yet localized, end-to-end advanced digital payments solutions and embedded banking services tailored to their needs. Latest innovations include “tap-on-phone Viva Wallet POS app” turning any Android mobile to a card terminal, and “Smart Checkout” payment gateway that can increase conversion by 21%. An advocate of sustainable cashless economy, Viva Wallet harnesses the power of their disruptive in-house technologies to provide digital payments services in 19 languages and 10 currencies, featuring over 30 payment methods.