As a small business owner, your efforts probably often focus on expanding your customer base. Whether you have an online e-commerce business, a brick and mortar store, or both, the survival, growth and health of your business depends on sales, revenue, and brand value. That’s why giving your customers more payment options provides some immediate visible benefits.
In spite of this, small business owners sometimes hold back when it comes to accepting credit card payments. While concerns about fees and the hazards of chargebacks can play a role in this reluctance, the benefits far outweigh the risks.
Advantages of Accepting Credit Card Payments
According to the US Census Bureau, general purpose credit cards are used in nearly 70% of American households. Approximately 190 million Americans have at least one credit card. And about a third of consumers in the “Card Usage and Ownership Statistics Survey Report 2019” survey revealed that they prefer to pay by credit card regardless of the type of purchase.
Credit card payments offer:
- Easy, quick, safe, efficient and convenient payment for customers
- Rewards, cashback, discounts, loyalty points
- Payments that can be accepted regardless of time and place
- Assurance of legitimacy and trustworthiness
- A modern, customer-oriented image
- More payment options
- Increased sales, revenues, and profits
- Higher brand value on social media
- Better customer feedback and reviews
- Improved cash flow
No Limitations of Time and Place
For customers, credit cards essentially represent a short term loan, where payment is deferred to a later date. This means that even if they don’t have the funds to purchase goods or services immediately, they can do so whenever and wherever they want. The consumer could lack the funds because, for example, they won’t have the money in their bank account until a later date, or it could just be that they don’t have cash on them at the moment. The “buy now, pay later” concept makes it easier to pay for both big ticket purchases and smaller, everyday items.
Credit cards provide convenience for consumers in other ways. A credit card is easier to carry than large bundles of cash or a checkbook. All purchases are consolidated into a single bill at the end of the month. Customers can provide add-on cards to family members.
Using credit cards provides additional benefits. Since credit card activity is recorded by credit bureaus, the responsible use of credit cards by customers helps to build a good credit history. This can help those consumers when they apply for loans, jobs, or apartments.
A big advantage for business owners is that credit cards allow them to accept payments from anywhere in the world at any time. This is particularly advantageous for online businesses which operate globally across different geographies and time zones. The business thereby remains open 24×7, 365 days a year.
Another advantage for businesses is that they can tap into pools of customers that may be out of your reach otherwise. Tourists, participants in conventions and fairs, social events, and impulse buyers are just a few examples of the consumer base that opens up when a business accepts credit card payments. An online business can reach out to international customers, and the currency conversion will normally be performed automatically as part of the credit card transaction, typically at no cost to the cardholder nor to the business.
Partnering with the right card processing company is the most important aspect of starting to accept credit card payments.
For more information on how you can accept credit card payments, anywhere, anytime, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.