Why PayWave is a must for cafes

It’s no secret that I’m a massive fan of PayWave.  PayWave is a technology whereas instead of having to insert your card into an eftpos machine, you hold it a few centimetres away and the transaction is authorised within a few seconds.  If the transaction is more than $80, the machine will prompt you to enter your pin.  It is much quicker than the old insert card and enter pin scenario.

About a year ago I was interviewed on the NBR (article is behind a paywall sorry) on why I was such a big fan of PayWave, since another café that the journalist had been to, had opted out of it.  The café in question argued that the 1.5% was too expensive and they’d rather stick to the status quo.

That café owner has a valid point.

If the customer has a debit card and pays by eftpos, there are no fees.  If you offer PayWave, they’ll probably use it, and you get stung with a credit card fee.  Why would you give your customers a way to pay that costs you?

Simple. It’s a cost of doing business for speed and convenience.

Just like our café, the bank is a business.  Every year, I contact our bank (ASB) and renegotiate our rates. I’m now at the stage where I’m comfortable that the PayWave rate we are paying is very reasonable.

We’ve had PayWave since it launched here, and were one of the very first businesses in NZ to get it.  I identified very early on that with our small, average transaction size, we were the perfect use-case for PayWave.

If the café is busy, we want to try and serve our customers as quickly as possible.  Speeding up payment is just one part of the transaction where we can shave off seconds.  This means that the queue of people remains short, and stops any other customers walking past and finding a different café because “let’s go elsewhere, the line here is way too long.”

Another angle is most customers like using it.  Like free WiFi, it’s another thing we offer our customers which keeps them coming back.

I think you are also, as a café, looking at the wrong expense, if the 1-2% processing fee is an issue.  Wastage (which can be as high as 10% of your cost of goods sold) and excessive staff wages are areas where a café owner can make some big savings by reducing these as much as possible.

Now if every bar in NZ could be forced to use PayWave, that’d make me very happy, but that’s a topic for another time…