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6 Ways Online Payments Benefit Your Events — And Customers

By Caroline Cox | 4 min read

For all of the ways technology has changed our day-to-day lives, one of the most drastic impacts it’s had is on how we buy things. We’re more likely to buy more — and spend more — when the process takes seconds. Think about how easy it is when you see something you like, in person or online. You can have it arrive at your doorstep in a couple of days without having to set foot in a store. Often, all it takes is a few clicks!

But that ease doesn’t always come without consequences. The advent of paying for things online has been met with a swift and concerning rise in database hacking and identity theft. And, the unfortunate fact that is, many restaurants and venues may be leaving their customers vulnerable without even knowing it by using processes that require payment to be made via email, fax, or over the phone.

Luckily, those businesses that integrate with payment processors take the risk out of the equation. These third-party processors allow you to accept online payments in a way that’s fast, easy, and secure. Wondering how? Read on.

1. It makes booking an event a breeze

You’ve got the lead form on your website and have your templated docs ready to go. This means you can respond to and book incoming event inquiries in a snap. That’s where payments come in. When you send a proposal that features a summary of charges, you can include a payment request for their deposit to book your space.

Having a secure guest portal to accept online payments keeps info secure for your business and guests. It also serves as a way to impress guests and offers them a seamless customer service experience right from the start. Truly win-win!

2. It keeps sensitive financial info safe and secure

Back to that “secure” aspect we mentioned. If you’re not sure what exactly PCI Compliance means, you’re not alone. Basically, a PCI Compliant company meets the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) — ‘PCI’ for short.

It’s up to each business to stay compliant and maintain a secure payment processing environment. For those that don’t, penalties can go as high as $100,000 per month. One sure-fire way to ensure you’re following these guidelines is by managing payments through a third-party processor or gateway. (Luckily for Gather users, we happen to offer more options for taking event payments securely than any other software out there.)

3. It gets your business paid quickly

If that headline doesn’t get your attention, I don’t know what will. If you’ve ever had a check get lost or stolen in the mail, then you know how valuable it can be to get your payments quickly.

Some payment processors offer next-day funding at no extra cost for their customers, meaning you’ll get the money deposited into your account within 1 business day. It just makes chasing and organizing payments one less thing to put on your to-do list — game-changer, right?

4. It makes declined card issues a thing of the past

Cards can be declined for plenty of reasons. Maybe someone submitted the wrong card information or forgot which account they wanted to use. Maybe they switched to a new card and didn’t update their info. Whatever the reason, it can make things awkward for the customer — and frustrating for you.

Some payment processors offer a feature to minimize the risk of declined transactions by automatically updating credit card information that has changed, whether it was lost, stolen, or expired. No more having to track down outdated card information!

5. It offers you peace of mind

In 2018, reports revealed that a ring of computer hackers stole millions of credit card records from restaurants across almost every state for years. Leaving your customers’ vital financial info vulnerable get you fined. It can also have a devastating effect on your brand’s rep — and customer loyalty.

Using PCI Compliant payment processors provides the same level of security that major banks use. It keeps you secure and offers everyone involved the peace of mind that all your stored data is hacker-resistant.

6. It keeps your program organized

Losing track of a customer’s financial info is not a fun feeling. But, when you’re manually running events with things like email chains, file folders, and stacks of paper documents, it’s not unusual.

This is another big way software saves the day. It lets you easily keep everything event-related, from team communication to receipts, in one digital place. Not only do payment processors let guests pay in a snap, but it makes the transaction seamless from start to finish.

 

How Gather’s making it easier than ever to process secure online payments

Gather Payments makes it easy for our customers to process PCI Compliant payments online. Getting set up to take payments in Gather is quick and seamless, so you can start accepting payments from customers instantly. This also makes it easy on your guests — they can make safe, secure payments right from their guest portal. And the easier it is for your guests, the faster you get paid.

Customers using Gather Payments enjoy next-day funding and competitive processing rates. They can also take advantage of an innovative decline minimizer feature that automatically updates lost, stolen, and expired credit card information. Reach out to your Customer Success Manager to learn more. If you’re not a Gather customer yet, go ahead and request a demo!

When it comes down to it, taking payments securely is a game-changer for your clients. Plus, getting paid faster while keeping financials in one central place makes life easier for everyone involved.

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Caroline Cox
Content Marketing Manager

Caroline Cox is Gather's Content Marketing Manager. She spends her time crafting blogs, thought leadership pieces, case studies, social media content and more, helping empower restaurants and other event venues to streamline their planning process and grow their events programs with success.

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