Published October 13th, 2015
by Fox Tail Editor
Today everything is all wired up, and businesses that do not accept credit cards are at a disadvantage. Sure, PayPal and similar sites are OK for online payments, but paying this way is unfamiliar to most folks and not as convenient as more familiar payment methods such as Master Card, Visa, Discover, and American Express. Many customers use a debit card issued by their bank too.
So, to be customer friendly, get paid immediately, and keep costs down you want to sign up with a credit card processing company. Studies show that businesses that begin to accept credit cards can enjoy sales increase of up to 30 percent.
How Credit Cards Benefit Your Business
In almost every case, a business benefits from credit card processing, but only if the company you choose has been thoroughly vetted by you and specifically fits your business. Finding a credit card processing company is easy, finding the right card processing company, not so much.
One popular method is to call others in your line of business and ask them about what credit card processing company they use, do they fit the business well, what their pricing is like and other questions you may have. When several companies in your field use the same processing company you may have found a company that “fits.”
The benefits to you as a business owner are very important, and the five most important benefits are,
- Whether online or in a brick and mortar store, the ability to accept credit cards means that customers low on cash or money in their checking have a way to buy goods or services from you. Merchants lose less sales by making it convenient for customers shopping at your business. By opening a merchant services account (credit card processing account) you profit, not doing so may be a costly mistake as prospects can go elsewhere.
- Accepting credit and debit cards allows you to process payments at the ease that customers enjoy as they can pay from wherever they are located.
- If you sell from a website it is great to know that you can process orders and payments every day of the year – 24/7.
- Standard when you sign up with a credit card processing company is fraud protection and security protection on your site. Using only VeriSign SSL Certificate and AVS (Address Verification Service) offered free from your processing company makes all transactions on your site nearly impenetrable.
- Now you can accept credit cards over the phone. This allows you to make a sale if a customer calls you directly with a question. With credit card by phone, you can turn an inquiry into a sale.
Now, if you are convinced the benefits are worthwhile, you want information on selecting a credit card processing service.
How to Choose a Credit Card Processing Service
Application fees vary by merchant service companies. High fees are not uncommon among those companies that are customer centric service. Don’t allow a high approval fee to scare you off. To keep your business, most high-cost application fee companies are also at the high-end of customer service for its merchants.
Find out the “real cost” of bottom tier priced merchant service companies. Common among the hidden fees are items and services that include,
- Monthly Minimum
- Wireless Transaction Fees
- Mid-Qualified Surcharge
- Non-Qualified Surcharge
- Pin Based Debit Card Network Fees
Even though the front-end fees are low, ask about the above fees and any others that are not part of upfront charges.
Nothing is worse than losing a sale because your credit card processor is off-line for any reason. Ask about how often reliable the service is – what is the uptime? Uptime is the percent of time the system is up and running for processing.
Also, when you first discuss opening an account with a processing company, stay alert. Companies that quickly respond to you as a prospective customer are more likely to be highly responsive to their customers.
Even if you run your business from your garage, by accepting credit cards you seem as if your business is a giant.