See why all credit card services are not equal
When most people think about credit card services the simple act of accepting credit cards is what comes to mind. But experienced business owners can tell you that credit card services can do much more for your business than enabling basic payments acceptance. Particularly when you choose a credit card processor that invests in cutting edge technology for the purpose of helping small businesses grow.
The old adage, “you get what you pay for,” definitely applies to payment processing. But that doesn’t mean quality credit card services are out of reach for small to midsized businesses (SMBs) without big budgets. The best merchant services providers can deliver affordable and reliable payment processing, as well as equip you with the tools you need to grow your business to stay competitive in the future.
Let’s take a look at the many ways that top credit card processors support SMBs to provide valuable services above and beyond just running card transactions.
A quality processor helps expand your customer base
If you partner with a great processor, you’ll have access to today’s hottest payment technologies that allow your business to accept a wide variety of payment types so you can attract new, affluent customers who have come to expect the ability to pay using their smartphone or tablet. Choose a terminal or point of sale (POS) system that allows you to accept traditional credit and debit cards, the new EMV chip cards, mobile wallets on your customers’ phones and other near field communication (NFC) payment types.
Top processors will also allow you to easily accept payments online to expand your business to eCommerce via your own website and shopping cart plug-in. And, if you've got a little of both in-store and offline transactions, they'll make it work seamlessly for you.
The best processors might also offer easy-to-setup, intuitive tablet POS systems so you can provide customers with the convenience of mobile payments acceptance when you’re doing business away from the register or your in-store location.
A quality processor helps SMBs stay secure
Data security should always be a top concern for the payments processor you choose. Your processor should be as committed as you are to keeping your data and your customers’ data safe from fraudsters, so you don’t leave your business vulnerable to a fraud attack. Choose a processor that offers card data security protection such as tokenization and encryption—and comprehensive support in meeting PCI compliance guidelines. Some even provide financial protection if a data breach does occur. Don’t partner with a sub-par processor and risk exposing your data and hurting your company’s reputation.
A quality processor offers gift and loyalty solutions
Consider setting up a gift card program to increase loyalty and awareness of your brand. A good program will also create a new stream of revenue for your business. Consumers love to purchase gift cards, and are more likely to spend more when you offer rewards in exchange for their loyalty. Leading processors can help you understand how to implement and best utilize a gift and loyalty program that will help you attract and retain customers with promotional products like gift cards and loyalty rewards cards.
A quality processor helps you grow your business with data
- Top processors will provide you with quick access to detailed data analytics that will help you improve many aspects of your business. With actionable data insights, you can:
- Track your most popular items or services and your busiest times to ensure that your inventory and employee scheduling will keep up with customer demand.
- Gain better visibility into who your best customers are—and how you can increase their spending at your business with targeted offers and enhanced customer service.
- Inform and support your marketing efforts with valuable information such as demographics and purchasing trends that can make your future marketing campaigns more relevant and impactful than ever before.
Data analytics and the reporting tools and dashboards they provide are becoming more sophisticated and easy to use, so find out what's available.
A quality processor helps keep your business well-funded
When you partner with a reputable processor, you’re more likely to get your processing funds deposited to your bank account quickly. It’s important that you have speedy access to credit card transaction money so you can use it to purchase more inventory or run payroll to keep all aspects of your business running smoothly.
Some processors can even offer you access to quick cash in the form of an advance based on your future transaction earnings. It’s a way to keep more money in your business without the hassles of a rigid bank loan with strict terms and high interest rates.
Choose your processor wisely
It may be tempting to choose credit card services that promise “low monthly fees” or “no startup costs”—but it’s important to do your research thoroughly and make sure that you’re getting sufficient service, support and protection to cover your business and credit card processing needs. What’s more, it’s important to note that sometimes processors who promise to waive certain fees will assess other types of fees elsewhere, so you aren’t really saving that money after all. Above all, choose a payments processor you can trust to help you keep your business up and running smoothly with responsive customer support and a genuine interest in your business’ future.
Watch this first-hand account to learn how the right partner brings added value to this business.