Considering so many of us have credit cards, it’s surprising how many misconceptions we have. As a customer, it’s an obvious payment choice. It’s faster, safer, and less bulky than cash. It lets you indulge in extra purchases, and worry about paying later. It helps your credit score (as long as you can keep up with payments). But once you put on your business hat, your decision-making shifts a little and you start to question the process.
The biggest concern is expense. Accepting cards feels – at the psychological level – expensive. Do you have to invest in credit card terminals? In actuality, it really depends on the payment processor you use.
Bonus equipment to get you started
Some merchant account providers offer credit card terminals or online shopping cart software at no extra cost.
But what about large businesses? Reliable payment processors can cover any type of business, whether you make one sale a week or a hundred sales a minute. This is partly due to merchant levels, which are graded as follows:
- Level 4 – Less than 20,000 card transactions a year
- Level 3 – 20,000 to 1 million card transactions a year
- Level 2 – 1 million to 6 million card transactions a year
- Level 4 – more than 6 million card transactions a year
Every level has its own set of compliance rules, fee scales, and PCI guidelines, so whether you’re vending door to door lemonade or trading on global stock exchanges, you can find a merchant processor that fits your business model, size, and sales volume.
B2B or B2C
Your credit card acceptance needs aren’t necessarily influenced by customer choice. It does make a difference though. business-to-business (B2B) businesses are likely to sell in larger batches than business-to-consumer (B2C) businesses. B2B businesses are also more likely to have scheduled orders. You might worry that a mom-and-pop-friendly merchant processor can’t handle commercial B2B services. Look through their customer listings, and if they’re open to it, approach the firm that most resembles your business.
If you’re a grocery store chain, for example, talk to customers working a franchise. You could get their details off the testimonials page and approach them yourself. Make a list of your concerns and ask questions until you’re satisfied.