Are you thinking about accepting credit cards for your business sales? A survey reveals that more than half of small businesses in the US don’t accept credit card payments. Many small business owners still feel that it’s expensive. They also mistakenly believe it is too risky because it opens up issues of handling sensitive customer data.  But today’s customers are demanding – they want lots of options when it comes to payment. Businesses that don’t offer payment options via major credit cards stand to lose a large number of patrons and can also invite the annoyance and irritation of potential customers.

A Community Merchants USA study shows that debit, credit and gift card transactions had already overtaken cash transactions by 2011 and this movement is set to continue. In 2017, it is projected that cash transactions will continue to drop. In such an environment, it’s essential that business-owners stay in sync with customer preferences and needs. A business may start with a cash-only payment structure, but as it progresses and expands, this becomes limiting and restrictive.

Advantages of credit card payments

Swipe, scan or key-in credit cards to help you receive payments at any time and location. The cost benefits of accepting card payments for your sales are enormous and almost always outweigh even the perceived risks.

Accepting credit cards

  • Provides legitimacy and trust
  • Is more convenient than cash
  • Is swifter and easier
  • Ramps up your sales
  • Causes card-holder customers to tend to spend more
  • Levels the playing-field with competitors
  • Encourages impulse spending
  • Boosts business cash flow
  • Is essential for on-line businesses
  • Eliminates the risk of bad checks
  • Encourages customer loyalty
  • Is an inexpensive business expenditure
  • Appeases the large percentage of customers who prefer to use credit cards

Keeping these factors in mind, switching to credit card payments makes good business sense.

How to get started

Essentially, you need an e-commerce platform with a secure check-out, a secure payment gateway and a merchant account that supports online payments or an all-in-one provider.

Follow this step-by-step process:

  1. The first step is to get a merchant account that accepts debit and credit card payments. This is separate from your bank account. This arrangement involves the retailer, merchant bank and a payment processor like to set up payment transactions.
  2. You may need a point of sale POS terminal if your business involves face-to-face interactions with customers. There are many options available and you can select the most appropriate one.
  3. For enhanced security, it is recommended that you select a system that is EVM chip card compatible.
  4. If you accept online payments, your merchant services provider can help you set up an online virtual terminal
  5. Customize your payment solutions to your business needs and make payment simple for your customers – this can be done with the advice of your merchant services provider.
  6. Credit-card processing fees for in-person payments are lower than for on-line payments, since there is lower risk of fraud in the former.

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