Many tax preparation services issue refunds (or refund anticipation loans) onto debit cards. While people may just use these dollars to purchase the necessities of life, others may see a good refund as a small windfall. They may choose to buy impulse items, nights out to restaurants, or higher end clothing. In any case, you can bring more tax refund spending to your store by creating a friendly environment for the prepaid and reloadable cards that are issued by tax preparers.
The simplest way to get tax refund customers is to put up a sign or take out advertising. A simple message like “We Take Tax Refund Debit Cards” can attract buyers. Another approach is to offer small discounts to people who spend prepaid refund cards at your store, but it is important to understand your customer base when making such offers. Some refunds may not come for a few weeks after the April 15th filing deadline, so you are probably safe leaving signs up until May 1.
Some strategic checkout counter marketing can help you turn tax refund customers into loyal shoppers. If you have a gift card program, which is easy for any store to set up, you can create a mental synergy between reloadable debit cards and store-branded gift cards. People who have a little extra money in their pockets after tax time may have birthdays, anniversaries, graduation gifts, and Mother’s day in the back of their minds, so a little prompting from cashiers can create dividends.
When it comes to reloadable debit cards, whether they come from tax refunds or anywhere else, a modicum of training on talking points can turn your employees into better salespeople. For example, letting customers know that you take all kinds of prepaid cards with credit card logos on them may prompt customers to fish out cards from their wallets and purses. Oftentimes people will hang on to $25, $50, and $100 gift cards for some time, and may even forget that they have extra money in their pockets.
If your store currently processes debit cards as “credit” with no PIN number entry, now is a great time to upgrade to PIN pads and modernized terminals. At CPN, we have a variety of credit card machines and POS devices that save money with every debit transaction. These terminals also include EMV-ready readers the October 1, 2015 deadline to take smartcards. Although tax refunds come but once a year, the increased use of debit cards for payments (and payroll) represent an opportunity for your shop to serve new customers on a year-round basis.