The perceived size of your business is relative. Some people gauge it by the number of employees or locations you have, while others focus on your revenue. Credit card companies divide businesses into four levels depending on transaction volume. Level 4 merchants process 20,000 transactions every year while Level 1 merchants transact over 6 million times per year.
Depending on your merchant level, you will need different measures to maintain PCI compliance and ensure the safety of your customer data. As a business, you don’t do your own card transactions. They’re facilitated by a payment processor. These payment processors use the similar processes regardless of business size.
On-ground options for large sales hubs
However, while the systems may be the same, your options differ. Some merchant processors will facilitate payments in cash, check, card, or bank transfer, all on the same portal. Many payment gateways shy away from bad credit or ‘high risk’ business, but some are willing to give you a second chance at commerce. Some payment processors bill you per transaction while others levy a blanket monthly fee.
Ideally, you want a merchant processor that facilitates different customer segments. If you have a physical store, you want targeted hardware. It may be in the form of a equipment that has a card slot where customers can swipe their cards. You can also give them self-check-out options with a section where they can swipe their own cards.
Portable options for fieldwork teams
On the other hand, if your business is more service-oriented, you may want to walk up to the customers and serve them where they are. This also applies to field-based businesses. Conventions, plumbers, and car services, for example, may be best served by hand-held mobile card readers. Even if you have a permanent stand or booth, portable electronic card readers may be a more convenient option.
Virtual options for online customers
For the online portion of your business, you can integrate a payment gateway to your website or online store. It’s a simple process, and customers can either pay directly on your site or be redirected to a page hosted by your payment processor, if you prefer. Ensure your processor uses high levels of encryption to protect customer data.
For more information on card payment processing options for large businesses, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.