Digital Payments Help Your Field Service Business to Grow

January 10, 2024 | Read: 6 minutes

digital payments contactless blog cover

Digital payments are playing an increasingly significant role in the economy.

They’re now essential for small and medium-sized businesses (as the largest & most valuable part of the UK’s economy) who want to thrive…

Note: This post was written by Jullian-Luc Barber, Coordinator of Business Development at SumUp. Updated 2024.

Of course, accepting digital payments hasn’t historically been common practice for field service businesses. In fact, it was typically quite challenging for them and so cash in hand policies were preferable.

But why the challenge?

Simply put: solutions were tailored towards the needs of bigger businesses who generated greater revenue.

But now, the good news for SMEs is that mobile payment providers have democratised access to card payment technology and made it much more accessible to everyone in recent years.

Thanks to businesses like SumUp, SMBs can more easily take payments and improve their cash flow.

As a result, smaller field service enterprises can take advantage of digital payments and thrive!

discover invoicing software with Commusoft

What are Digital Payments?

In the simplest sense, digital payments refer to cashless payments.

“Any payment that you make with your smartphone or tablet qualifies as a mobile payment. It’s that simple. “


Instead of using coins or paper money, a digital payment can be made in numerous ways, such as:

  • an online bank transfer
  • by credit or debit card
  • contactless payments via mobile or smart devices

There’re lots of ways to pay for something digitally and over half of adults in the UK say they no use mobile payments in some form.

The Future of Digital Payments

Before we look ahead in more detail at digital payments, let’s look back.

We don’t even need to go that far. Even just before the pandemic in 2020, old-style PDQ machines (also known as point of sale terminals or credit card terminals) were still around in many businesses. Some even still are!

They served a purpose, speeding up payment but—especially by today’s standard—these older tools have many disadvantages.

  • They require a dedicated phone line
  • They can take payments only in one physical location
  • PDQ companies often hit businesses with non-transparent fees.
  • Solutions don’t match the needs of today’s small businesses—where customers are used to paying online more than ever.

But it’s high-passed time to go out with the old, and bring in the new.

Luckily, SMEs can now accept card payments anywhere they like, thanks to the development of mobile payment providers. It’s a

For instance, an Instant Bank Transfer is made easy thanks to software integrations, which makes it easier than ever to get one-off payments from your customers.

Use Digital Payments to Get Paid Anytime, Anywhere

Instead of using a traditional fixed-line traditional terminal, this technology works using your smartphone as the base.

All your engineers or office staff need to do is to enter the cardholder’s details into the app and the debit or credit card payment is processed.

As long as the cardholder has sufficient funds their card issuer will release the money, just like a conventional payment terminal.

Using a mobile card payment system means upgrading to twenty-first-century technology.

As mentioned, after the pandemic, lockdowns the world’s adoption of digital-first tools increased significantly and it’s remained strong as we’ve recovered.

As a result, today’s consumers are accustomed to being able to order anything they want online at any time that suits them. They’re also used to being able to pay online from anywhere and securely, thanks to tools like instant bank transfers.

Given that consumers now expect this level of flexibility with payments, offering a mobile card transaction service makes sense for any business that doesn’t use a conventional cash register system.

Anyone who offers mobile services, like electricians, plumbers, HVAC companies, and window cleaners, can obtain payment from their customers in their own homes without having to rely on cheques or cash.

Enjoy Better Cash Flow and more!

For business owners who want fast and secure transactions, a full overview of their sales, and transparent pay-as-you-go pricing, card acceptance solutions like the one from SumUp are ideal services.

The SumUp card reader connects via Bluetooth to the field service engineer’s smartphone or tablet. Using a mobile internet or Wi-Fi connection, SumUp’s card terminal lets your engineer accept card payments anytime and anywhere—even contactless with the integrated NFC chip.

SumUp even integrates with Commusoft, making it easy to sync payment with your invoices in the Commusoft system.

Today’s mobile payments systems even go beyond pure payment functionality:

Businesses can also keep track of their sales via an online dashboard, organise refunds, manage their product inventory, and organise staff accounts.

When you consider the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the shift toward cashless payments has increased significantly. 

For instance: 

“The volume of cash being used dropped by as much as 60%.”

Similar, impactful trends have continued for a variety of reasons.

As Upgraded Points state in their report:

“Up to 58% of people globally haven’t entered a physical store in the last 12 months.”

“41% of Americans were going cashless for in-person purchases in 2020.”

It’s clear the way that customers buy, sell, and even save their money has changed. There’s an undeniable increase in demand for simple, secure, & contactless solutions.

Listen: TakeStock and discover the power of Instant Bank Pay!

Use Digital Payments to Give Customers Control

While digital payments are a standard in large businesses, some people are positively surprised when a small business uses one. This is a great opportunity for marketing. Make customers aware of your new functionality by promoting it on your website and social media.

Today’s mobile payment systems come with a modern design, in stark contrast to traditional devices.

Since these mobile terminals are relatively new, it’s important to ensure customers that the devices are EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) and PCI-DSS certified, and as secure as any other device.

With a mobile payment solution to accept digital payments, you can run your field service business without unnecessary limitations.

As the world heads into a cashless age, a contactless card reader is a fantastic aid, as are online payment portals. They allow you to accept payments anywhere, any time you’re with a customer.

This flexibility is good for your business. It makes your customers happier, too, leading to more jobs.

Transform your Business with a Digital Payments Solution

Making use of a digital payments tool is the smartest way you can imrpove cash flow.

But if your goal is to put your customers at ease and give them loads of confidence in your services, you need to think about more than a good integration. You need to think about communication.

With that in mind, we’ve prepared a guide to invoicing, including both an invoice template and email draft you can edit to suit your needs.

Download your free guide How to Send an Invoice Customers Will Pay, below!

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I'm eager to tell compelling stories and share great advice that helps field service businesses to build on their success.

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