Whether you’re from ‘Rocky Top’ or some other part of Tennessee, you can probably benefit from accepting credit cards. As a local resident, you’re probably already familiar with popular business sectors: scientific services, hospitality, health, and education are all big businesses in Knoxville. And the largest income comes from retail, including artisanal setups like craft breweries.
Knoxville is considered a relatively quiet town – at least by ‘big city’ visitors. And you can count on getting a lot of those, because Knoxville is conveniently located, with easy access to Atlanta, Nashville, and Charleston. This is possibly what feeds the hospitality industry, with a vibrant economy driven by hotels, restaurants, and other forms of accommodation.
Whether you want to scale up your business or simply increase revenue, accepting credit cards is essential.
Find the right partner
Simply accepting credit cards increases income. For one thing, many clients from big cities prefer to pay by card. And once you establish a credit culture, your local clientele may pick it up too. Studies show that, on average, we spend more when we use a credit card than when we pay with cash, so this can have a significant effect on your revenues. Another big worry might be your initial set-up cost. It feels like it would be a lot. But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, with the right payment processor there is no charge for setup.
Basics of credit card acceptance
To accept credit cards from your customers, you need three basic things:
- An encrypted merchant account
- Either a reliable POS (point of sale) terminal or software
- Credit card programming
If you sign up with the right merchant processor, you can get all this these at no additional charge. Simply submit your application, which is free, and can be approved within one business day. Your merchant processor – sometimes called a payment processor – will get you set up. For your POS equipment, you may prefer to opt for portable keypads or smartphone apps.
Portable electronic keypads need to be charged using electrical outlets, and they can be bulky. With a smartphone app, you get a dongle that can be plugged into your phone. They both work by customers slipping their credit cards into the card slot on the dongle or keypad.