In today’s world, people are constantly acquiring information. It might be an article you scrolled past without realizing you’ve registered the headline, a random Instagram story, a quote from a podcast, a line from a movie, or even an overheard conversation. And once that information sinks into your brain, it can be hard to get it out–or to figure out where it came from.
This might be how some urban legends are born. It’s also why many businesses assume credit cards are expensive. Somewhere along the way, they thought they heard that processing cards was too pricy, so they’d rather take cash or check. It might be because, fifty years ago, credit cards were initially a luxury item. Banks only offered them to the wealthy. But today, we get credit cards in our junk mail.
Easy to get, easy to use
For consumers, they can ‘buy now and pay later,’ which can be a blessing or a curse. But either way, it’s good for your business, because it means more potential customers. To accept credit cards, you need a merchant account. This account – offered by payment processors – links the customer’s bank, your bank, and the credit card networks.
They verify customers instantly, transfer cash between the banks involved, and deposit it to your account normally within 1 to 3 days. All these transactions are encrypted to prevent fraud. Some payment processors even provide the necessary processing equipment at no additional cost. This can include:
- Electronic keypads / credit card terminals for swiping cards
- Mobile payment apps for smartphone payments
- Any necessary programing for your equipment to accept various cards (Visa, MasterCard, Amex etc.)
- Shopping carts for eCommerce customers
- Adding security features to your online store
While payment processors traditionally charge application fees, some will let you sign up for free. Check to make sure that they won’t tie you into a long-term contract, so you can cancel your account at any time. Some credit card processors can also be helpful if you’ve had business misfortunes in the past. They’ll accept businesses with bad credit, prior bankruptcy, or businesses in ‘high risk’ sectors.
The actual cost of credit card processing
As for rates, you can find payment processors that charge as little as 15 cents per card transaction, and offer per transaction fee as low as 0.25%. Choose the right processor, and your account can be ready in less than a day. You may also wish to find a merchant account provider that will let you accept checks by phone, fax, or online to give your customers more options.
For more information on seamless, convenient, payment methods for your customers, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.