The use of credit cards to make purchases has become a fact of life for individuals and businesses everywhere. In fact, over $ 2.5 trillion in card transactions are made in the United States alone each year.
After these overwhelming statistics, some small business owners still cling to the idea that they would like to avoid card processing fees by choosing to limit themselves to accepting cash and checks as a form of customer payment.
While it is understandable that everyone would rather receive 100% of the proceeds from each transaction except than 97% or so, the decision to avoid getting a credit card processing machine is flawed: pending up potential new business just to avoid paying a fee is not wise from a financial perspective.
Getting set up to accept credit cards is not difficult, but it is a good idea to do your homework first. By carefully reviewing all of the options, a business owner can choose the right card processing arrangement.
If you are wondering how to accept credit card for small business, here is how to go about it in 5 steps:
1. Decide upon which type of processing terminal you will need:
Most service providers offer all types of available terminals. Still, it is a good idea to decide which type of terminal you will want before contacting providers in order to make sure they carry the one you want.
If you handle customers' credit cards in person, you will need either a regular or a mobile (wireless) card swiper / terminal. However, if you will be processing all transactions via the telephone or Internet, a virtual terminal that requires no hardware may be in order.
2. Choose a merchant account provider:
Merchant account providers are the companies – usually banks or third-party providers – with whatever you contract to handle the processing of your card transactions. They are the ones you mainly deal with on a regular basis, and the fees and discount rate you owe are all paid to them directly. They are also the ones who will help you resolve any issues you face. Be sure to compare at least 3-5 merchant account providers.
3. Select a payment gateway:
The payment gateway is the company which actually handles the technical and logistic aspects of exchanging monies during each transaction. Some merchant account providers are attached to a particular gateway, but in most cases you will choose your gateway company separately.
4. Read the terms and conditions, especially regarding fees:
Before signing on the dotted line, be sure to read up on the specifics. Especially important are how the merchant account provider charge fees, as well as what the discount rate is.
The discount rate is a percentage that you are charged based upon each transaction amount. The fees, on the other hand, are fixed.
5. Once signed up, you can get set up within days or less:
You will be able to get going in actually processing credit transactions with a few days. In fact, if you are going with the virtual terminal option, setup time may be even shorter.
Take these 5 steps in order to accept credit cards for your small business.