Home-based businesses can become more attractive to a larger customer base by accepting credit cards. Customers appreciate the option of purchasing on credit, and businesses who make the leap into credit card processing often times see their sales increase, and even skyrocket. Credit card processing also gives your business more credibility and it allows consumers to make impulse purchases. You also stand to benefit by reducing the odds of payments bouncing, as is sometimes the case with check payments.
However, despite these benefits, some home-based businesses are still intimidated by the process of accepting credit cards. They are worried about chargebacks and the associated fees, which used to be astronomical. But today’s internet economy has pushed for more competition, innovation and features, making it easier for the home-based business owner to get approved for a merchant account and turn a profit while doing it. In this article, we’re going to explain the basics of developing the capability to accept cards for your home-based business.
Step one: get a merchant account
The first step in this process will be setting up a merchant service account. There are three options here: a merchant bank, a third party provider such as PayPal, or an independent sales organization.
Home-based business owners will rarely get approved for a merchant account by a local bank, because banks still typically require a brick-and-mortar counterpart to the online business. As a consequence, most home-based merchants will work with an online merchant account provider that are affiliated with banks.
Step two: accepting credit cards
A merchant account is there to receive the funds from a credit card transfer, but the actual transfer itself is handled independently from the account. Since most home-based business operate online, this is where an internet gateway or a virtual terminal come in. Integrating an internet gateway into your site allows you to accept card payments without having to redirect customers offsite. A shopping cart can be a great addition here as well, if you have a varied catalog.
The virtual terminal is there for businesses without websites, and it enables you to enter your customer’s credit card information and authorize the payment yourself, so you can take orders over the phone, by mail, or in person.
It’s as easy as that. Make sure to shop around before you settle on a merchant account and a credit payment processing system in order to get the best deal.
For more information about how to start accepting credit cards as a home-based business, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.