Today people are not interested in paying by cash or check anymore, and if you are still not accepting payments by credit card, you are likely losing out on sales whether you are aware of it or not. Virtually all successful business owners are concerned about managing costs, but investing in a credit card processing is a must-do if you want your business to be profitable.
First things first: whatever the cost of a credit card processing service is, it will typically be far outweighed by the additional sales you will make when you accept payments by card.
To be able to accept credit card payments you have to obtain a merchant account through a merchant service provider. So that means that you should find a reputable merchant service provider who will actually partner with your business to help you achieve success.
There is no set fee structure that applies to all merchant service providers because fees will generally depend upon numerous factors, such as the history of your particular business and the risk level of your industry in general. Don’t allow a sales consultant to steamroll through the ‘fees’ section and quickly move on to the next point. Ask, make notes and then make comparisons.
Each credit card transaction passes through a processing chain involving different actions, and each action is initiated by a different source. The processing chain includes:
- The cardholder who initiates the process when making payment
- The merchant: your business
- The payment gateway: the secure encryption portal that connects your website to the banking network
- The merchant service provider that you use for card payment processing
- The acquiring bank that conveys information between your bank and other financial institutions
- The bank that issued the credit card to the cardholder
- Credit card brands like American Express, MasterCard, Visa, etc.
You have to pay each time you accept credit card payments, but you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg. The secret is to do some research before you sign up with a merchant service provider. Choose well!
For more information about whether a credit card processing service is worth the investment, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.