Whether you run an e-commerce website, small business, fast-food outlet or a luxury goods boutique, the decision to start accepting credit card payments is a smart move.
The payments landscape has altered dramatically over the past decade and plastic has come to dominate it. Credit or debit cards are slowly edging out checks and cash payments and gaining huge popularity with Americans.
Debit cards are more popular for every-day purchases like groceries and gas, while credit cards remain the preferred choice for big ticket purchases, travel, and many other categories. People in a higher income bracket tend to prefer credit cards.
Benefits of Accepting Credit Card Payments
It may be time to start accepting card payments, if you haven’t already taken the step. Here’s three reasons why:
- Customers expect to pay by card and it gives your business legitimacy and trustworthiness because the card brand reputation can be linked to your own business’s reputation. You stay relevant and competitive.
- Easy, convenient, and fast payment method that offers many different options: in-person, card-not-present, on-the-go, online, by telephone, or by mail. As a result, it encourages more spending, especially impulse buys. Businesses typically see increased revenues and big ticket sales because it allows your customer to feel safer and more comfortable.
- For business owners, it enhances cash flow and you don’t have to worry about “check’s-in-the-mail” stories, bad checks, or delayed payments. Another great advantage is that holding less cash enables greater savings, security, safety and lower risk of theft, fraud, embezzlement.
Making It Safer
Once you’ve installed the credit card payment system and begun accepting payments, it’s vital to incorporate robust security systems into the process. Lack of security can be a big issue. The most common issues are data breaches where cyber-criminals target leaky systems and lax security features in small businesses. Other problems include card fraud, identity theft, and card-not-present frauds, among others.
There are many steps you can take to avoid these kinds of issues and make sure that all of your transactions are safe for you and your customers:
- Ensure that you don’t store customers’ card payment data.
- Protect sensitive information by storing it securely.
- Insist on PCI compliance for payment card devices.
- Educate and train your staff on card use and handling data and set up a clear policy for these issues.
- Ensure that credit/debit card information is truncated separately across receipts.
- Start opting for EMV/Magstripe cards and advanced methods like tokenization.
- Include end-to-end encryption and SSL (secure socket layer) protocols.
Cash and check payments are slowly phasing out, and more advanced electronic payment systems and e-wallets have yet to gain much ground. So you’re in a good place right now to start accepting credit card payments.
For more information on the top reasons why your business should accept credit card payments or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.