If you are a small business owner, do not immediately assume that your company is not big enough to accept credit cards, electronic payments and online transactions through a merchant account. All of these payment methods are essential if you want to take your business to the next level.
How does a merchant account work?
A credit card transaction must first be authorized by a payment gateway, which verifies if the cardholder has sufficient funds in his account. In the case of physical stores, the gateway is located inside the point of sale machine which reads the credit card data. For online payments, the gateway is virtual and connected to the credit card company. This system is similar to mail and telephone order companies. Usually, when setting up a merchant, a payment processor and a payment gateway are automatically part of the package. Once the funds have been confirmed, the monetary amount is transferred from the account of the buyer into the merchant account of the seller.
Benefits of opening a merchant account
The major benefit of opening a merchant account is that you will be able to accept credit cards. A large portion of customers prefer to make purchases using credit cards, because it is safer and more convenient than using cash. Some of these customers will in fact skip a store that does not take credit cards. This means that you are losing out on business. Accepting credit card payments gives your customers more options, which is always a good way to keep them happy and coming back.
This means that you will also be able to accept online payments. This is very important for a growing business, and essential to some businesses. Sending invoices and accepting payments online is very simple, and it can help reduce late payments. Your customers will be able to purchase from their homes using a variety of payment methods and a quick, streamlined process.
This of course, opens the door to ecommerce. If you run a store, whether physical or online, you can take the leap into ecommerce, which is currently one of the fastest growing methods of doing business. As more and more customers use the internet to purchase even day to day products, an ecommerce strategy becomes essential.
Security is a major concern for customers, and credit card terminals are one of the most secure methods of accepting payments. Secure processing can be a big draw for quick-service restaurants, and other semi-mobile/mobile businesses. Concerning your own business, a merchant account removes the need to handle and store large amounts of cash. With credit cards, you avoid mishandling cash, having to go through tedious bookkeeping at the end of each day, and you remove the risk of large income loss in the case of a burglary.
For more information on what a merchant account can do for your business or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.