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Accepting Payments for Curbside Pickup

Virtually overnight, the coronavirus changed life as we knew it, with both consumers and business owners thrown into a “new normal” that turned everything about the way we socialized, dined, and transacted product purchases upside down.

If you are a merchant who is attempting to remain afloat during these unprecedented conditions, you’re probably trying to think of new ways to accept credit card payments from your customers, while maintaining social distancing.

The mobile payments revolution.

As a consumer, you more then likely have an Apple or Android smartphone that goes everywhere with you. Far more than an old-school telephone, it enables you to communicate, play games, interact with social media, and yes, make payments for products and services.

In fact, the modern smartphone is nothing less than a microcomputer that is capable of completing numerous functions.

Buried within your built-in applications is digital wallet technology. Regardless of whether your phone uses iOS or Android, it is equipped with a solution that enables you to securely store your sensitive payment information, including all of the various credit cards that you possess.

Via this digital wallet, you and your customers alike, can participate in secure checkouts without ever coming into physical contact with each other. 

Different types of mobile payments

Offering curbside delivery is an excellent way for business owners to continue serving their customers in these ever-changing times. Food, clothing, home goods, and pet-related items can be delivered safely and seamlessly right to a customer’s car.

The first scenario involves taking advantage of technology known as a virtual terminal. Think of this as the online equivalent of your in-store point of sale (POS) system.

In this situation, you simply take a customer’s product order over the phone, including their credit card number and security code. The system’s software encrypts the information just as your physical POS would, working seamlessly with the other actors in the process to ensure that the payment goes through successfully and securely.

All that remains is to wait for the client to arrive and hand off their goods, either by leaving them for a totally contactless experience, or by delivering them through a vehicle’s window or into the trunk.

A second mobile payment strategy involves your customer using a platform such as Apple Pay or PayPal to complete the sale. This can occur via the digital wallet apps within consumers’ mobile phones, before the purchases are retrieved curbside.

Customers can also use the browsers that are built into their mobile phones to go online. Simply by clicking on the products they want, adding them to a shopping cart, and providing credit card information, a buyer can pay for the items they want online and then simply drive to the business’s physical location to pick them up.

The costs of accepting mobile payments.

It probably comes as no surprise that with the privilege of accepting mobile payments also come costs. Depending on the payments technology company you partner with, you can expect to shell out money for one or more of the following:

  • Setup fees.
  • Flat fees per purchase.
  • Monthly charges and more. 

If the above costs seem burdensome, remember that these times in which we live are like no other. Feel free to shop around for the best deal, keeping in mind that a low cost is only one of the factors that should be taken into consideration when choosing a reputable payments partner. 

Get ready to start accepting mobile payments

By now, you are probably convinced that these nontraditional payment options may be exactly what your business needs. Perform the following steps to take the mobile payments plunge:

  • Select a mobile payment solution after doing research into costs and ease of use. Remember to keep your business’s unique needs and customer preferences in mind.
  • Notify potential customers of your new payment options. Use email, social media, written signage, and your own website to advertise the fact that you now take mobile payments and offer curbside services.
  • Provide incentives. It may seem counterintuitive to give any handouts at a time when you can barely remain solvent, but rewarding your customers for paying in new ways with cash back, product discounts, or loyalty points will bring many of them back again.

These days, flexibility and transparency are qualities that consumers particularly value. Allowing them to pay for the products and services they want using the payment methods they prefer, makes sense for all businesses.

Most likely, things will never fully return to the way they were before COVID became a household word in early 2020.

Although no one knows what the updated status quo will look like in the near future, it seems reasonable that customers will continue to demand enhanced choices when it comes to paying for their purchases.

Instituting mobile payments and curbside delivery today to help your customers navigate the uncertain waters of the pandemic.

Have additional questions about accepting mobile payments? Want to receive a no-obligation Free Rate Quote for your merchant services?

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