Want to Accept Credit Cards? Here’s How.

Whether you run a brick and mortar business or an online store, there is no getting away from accepting credit card payments. In a 2017 Federal Reserve Payments Study, credit cards showed the most accelerated growth rate among the various payment options that were studied. If you haven’t incorporated this method yet, then you run the risk of lagging behind in relevance, customer satisfaction, and competition–in addition to irritating customers and attracting negative feedback.

Why Credit Cards Are So Popular

Customers love love having multiple payment options because it makes them feel more in control when they have choices. They can manage their finances and plan their expenditures better when they can pay electronically. It also allows them to make big ticket purchases easily even when they don’t have the cash immediately on hand. Credit card payments are a boon when there are emergencies, regular expenses like grocery and utility bills, school fee payments, and paying for repairs and services. They’re also a great way to purchase something when traveling, or when you see something you simply must have. Gifting, dining out, and entertainment payments can be made easily and conveniently with card payments.

For business owners, accepting card payments:

  • offers legitimacy and trustworthiness to your business
  • boosts revenues
  • attracts more customers
  • provides ease and convenience
  • permits immediate deposit of funds into your account
  • grants access to a bigger and better pool of customers
  • levels the playing field with your competitors
  • allows various options like mobile, on-the-go, and smartphone payments
  • enables customers to know that your business is in sync with modern technology
  • shows customers you care about their convenience

How to Start Accepting Credit Cards

Before you begin the process, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with the common terms and phraseology that are prevalent in this sector.

There are several key players involved:

  • “cardholder” or credit card user
  • payment accepting “merchant bank”
  • “merchant account” created for businesses who use the facilities
  • “card issuing bank” that issues the card to the cardholder
  • “card associations” that own the various brands, such as Visa or MasterCard

To get started, just determine how you plan to accept cards: in-store, online, on-the-go, or some combination of these. For in-store payments, you’ll set up a POS (point of sale) system that includes a card-reader device or terminal. For online payments, you’ll use an e-commerce optimized website with a payment gateway. For mobile payments, you’ll use a portable card-reader or a smartphone app.

Business-owners can make things simpler by partnering with an all-in-one services provider that gives support for every stage of the process.

For more information about how to accept credit cards, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.

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