A woman wearing a facemask, gloves, and goggles waves to a man. The man stands in his doorway, holding a box of food and waving back. A graphic on the photo says COVID-19 update.
Small Business
April 9, 2020

Adaptive payment solutions help businesses keep their doors open during COVID-19

Colleen Taylor, head of Wells Fargo Merchant Services, discusses how payment technology can meet the needs of customers in this unprecedented time — and in the future.

Editor’s note: Colleen Taylor — who joined Wells Fargo as head of Merchant Services in August 2019 — shares insights on how payment technology is helping businesses during the pandemic, along with how the competitive landscape for the industry is being driven by consumer demand for even more payment solutions.

The world as we know it has changed drastically in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. Phrases like “social distancing” and “flattening the curve” have become part of our daily discussion seemingly overnight. As we all continue to adjust to this new reality and its impact on both our personal lives and the business world, Wells Fargo is working diligently to support its employees, communities, customers, and clients.

Colleen Taylor
Colleen Taylor

Fortunately, we also live in an age where technology allows us to conduct business in ways that may not have seemed possible just a decade ago, including payment services that provide incredible flexibility for companies as they meet the changing needs of their customers.

As businesses continue to adapt to the current reality, many have to rethink how they operate. My colleague Chris Parrish, in Carmel, California, passed along this feedback about a bakery that needed to move to a delivery model after the state placed residents on a mandatory stay-at-home order on March 19:

I received a call yesterday evening from the owner of a local bakery in Gilroy, California. Our client was trying to find ways to adjust to the current environment and needed a mobile solution to begin a delivery service. The bakery was already taking advantage of Clover® Station to accept payments at their physical location, and they were hoping we could help. After running through a few scenarios and getting a better idea of their go-forward strategy, I was confident we had the tools to assist.

We decided to add Clover ® Go for deliveries to address their immediate mobile payment need. We then discussed online options to increase their web presence. I walked our client through the App Market and directed them to Clover’s various online tools. They decided to add Menufy for online orders and were very excited to learn that curbside pickup was now available.

In a challenging time, the tools we are able to offer our clients let me confidently address their concerns. Our client was extremely happy to learn what Clover could do for their business. I hope it also offered some reassurance in knowing that their bank was here to help.

The image on the left shows a baker and large rack of breads. The image on the right is Chris Parrish.
When things changed quickly due to the coronavirus outbreak, the owners of a bakery worked with Chris Parrish, a Merchant Services business sales consultant, to convert their payment system to accept mobile sales so they could continue serving their customers through delivery.
“I hope it also offered some reassurance in knowing that their bank was here to help.” — Chris Parrish

As we continue to hear stories like this from our banking teams across the country, it becomes even more apparent how important it is for Wells Fargo and the financial services industry to continue to invest in and advance payment solutions that are adaptive and forward thinking.

Even before the pandemic, consumer habits demonstrated a desire for simplicity and for the payment experience to be either invisible — think Uber or Lyft — or painless. Consumers want the fewest clicks possible, and merchants benefit from this because when the purchase process is easy for the consumer and they are confident in the technology, they spend more.

In a photo collage, a man uses his phone to pay at a store. On the right, an image of a Clover payment station is above an image of the Clover mobile card scanner.
The Clover® point-of-sale system offers businesses the flexibility to process credit, debit, and mobile sales.

An independent market research survey commissioned by the payments platform, Weave, found significant correlations for small businesses that offer multiple payment options. The report noted 41% of customers actually avoid certain stores because they don’t accept the payment solution they prefer, and small businesses that accept four or more payment options bring in seven times more annual revenue.

These survey results are not surprising. There is a big push in the payments landscape to integrate the payment experience into a relatively simple shopping and purchasing experience that all happens from the mobile device. In fact, the survey also found that 30% of small business customers prefer to pay with a text message from their phone, and that number jumps to 62% for consumers under the age of 35.

“As the world continues to adapt to our new normal, flexible payment solutions can help keep businesses open, which benefits both the local and national economy.” — Colleen Taylor

Technology has a huge influence on consumer needs and expectations beyond the small business level. For example, more large corporate customers are moving to digital to better integrate payments into their overall financial operations. Cross-border payments are also a priority with the globalization of the supply chain.

As the world continues to adapt to our new normal, flexible payment solutions can help keep businesses open, which benefits both the local and national economy. Our team at Wells Fargo is continuing to operate with a customer-first mindset, and we are working hard to provide customers with added support during this unprecedented time.

Clover® is a registered trademark of Clover Network, Inc.