Five steps on the fast track to credit card acceptance
You know your business inside and out. You know that your business has to accept credit cards. But you don’t have time become a payments expert. Payments should help you effectively manage your business so that you can work smarter, not harder. Working smarter starts with being prepared.
1. How do you want to get paid?
Building the infrastructure for your business dreams to come true is hard work. The rewards for that work are many, but business dreams start coming true when you get paid. In order to get paid you’ll need a payments partner to create the connections between your customers and your bank account. Those connections require hardware and software. So how do you want to get paid?
- If you are looking for a no-frills way to accept payments from a fixed location in-store, a simple credit card terminal may be your best option.
- Do you want to create a modern and robust checkout experience while capturing customer intelligence and connecting to other business systems? A POS system is likely the best answer.
- Does your business ever operate on-the-go? If so you’re in luck. Mobile card reader options allow you to be open for business virtually anywhere.
- Do you want to get paid online? Of course you do! From sole proprietor to global corporation, there are online payment solutions for businesses of every size.
- Do you want to get paid by monthly subscription or issue monthly bills to clients? Virtual terminal solutions allow you to get paid right from your computer, set up recurring payments, accept credit cards over the phone, and so much more.
2. What types of value added services will be useful to you?
Credit card processing technology has to work, and the price needs to be right, no exceptions. But the “everything else” of payment technology matters, too. The quality, price, reliability, and support of those options vary, so you’ll want to research and prioritize what matters to your business before you make the call. Some of the most popular value-added services include:
- 24/7 customer support
- Fast funding
- Safety and security to protect against fraud
- Gift and loyalty programs
3. Become an informed payments consumer
Selecting a payments partner isn’t rocket science, but it’s not as simple as just pressing a button, either.
Have your credit card processing statement and other business information ready. If you’ve accepted credit cards at your business before, getting a rate quote is easy. You already know the type and volume of payments you’ll likely be accepting. A credit card processing partner can look at your existing statement and discuss competitive rates, additional features, improving security, and more.
If you haven’t accepted credit cards before, take some time to think about your expectations regarding payments.
- How many customers do you expect to serve per day?
- What will your average ticket be, meaning how much money will an average shopper/diner spend per visit at your business?
- Will you offer online sales as well as in-person transactions? What might that mix look like?
The answers to the questions above will allow potential credit card processors to calculate fees and offer a quote for their services suited to your business needs. Once you have some providers to investigate, check out their websites to get a feel for their service offerings. Feel free to use this comprehensive payment processor comparison chart for guidance.
4. Talk to a payments expert
You’ve done the research. You’ve done your homework. Now it’s time to make the call. Make sure you have all of your information handy, including DBA name, your business bank account info or a voided check, business contact information for you and any other account managers, and social security number or employer identification number. Some businesses can even be running full-speed and accepting credit cards within one business day.
5. Start enjoying all the benefits of credit card acceptance
You are in business to sell the products and services you’ve always dreamed about. Your customers are looking to buy those products and services. And now you have the people, processes and tools in place to get paid. Credit cards enable a higher average spend per customer, more frequent impulse purchases, and instill confidence, safety, and legitimacy in your business. Today’s empowered consumer demands options, and allowing credit card payments is no exception.
You know how important it is for your business to accept credit cards is to your business, and you’ve acted. Well done! With a reliable and trusted payments partner standing behind you, it’s time for your business to shine. Now it’s time to go out and fulfill your dreams.