Accept Card Payments from a Trusted Partner
Most businesses can't go it alone in today's world. Partnerships are required across most areas of business to find customers, market to them, retain them and manage the business overall. It's no different when it comes to accepting payments. You need help to accept card payments from a trusted partner. A trusted partner helps not to only simplify card payment acceptance, but opens the world of acceptance up, across all channels and payment types, while helping you protect card data and prevent card fraud simultaneously.
From chip-ready stand alone terminals to fully integrated point-of-sale (POS) systems, there's a range of solutions available to you based on what you sell, how big your business is and how you want payments data to connect to the rest of your commerce solutions. Whatever the case, there are a few considerations and must-haves. You want to accept card payments, but you also want to be open to other forms of payment as well. Sure cash and checks are a given, but so to are gift cards, prepaid cards, and mobile wallets. It's important to consider how your in-store payments acceptance system allows you to accommodate multiple forms of payment. For example, terminals and POS systems that are near-field communication (NFC) ready let you accept the range of mobile wallets that consumers are beginning to use.
Safety and security are top of mind for consumers today, so is fraud. As you process in-store payments, you'll want to be sure that solutions such as encryption and/or tokenization are available to you. These technologies help protect card data as it travels through payment pipes and when it's at rest. They also provide more assurance in the event that systems are ever breached, which is becoming more commonplace. Stopping more fraud at the point-of-sale is the major driver behind chip card acceptance. Understand chip card acceptance, or EMV, is critical if for no other reason than the fraud liability shift that became effective in October 2015. Under that shift, if you accept a fraudulent card for a purchase and are not EMV-ready, you'd best be prepared for a chargeback.
Online Payments Acceptance
As eCommerce grows so does the need for online payments acceptance. Whether it's in tandem with your store-based sales or as a stand-alone need, accepting payments online comes with similar needs, specialized. Safety and security here tends to include tokenization, which protects card data especially for those businesses that want to allow customers to store card data for repeat use. You may even want to consider so-called hosted pay pages. These snap into your site's payments experience but take place off of your site so that customer card data is never entering your systems. It can help reduce your scope considerations under PCI standards. The fight on fraud is especially important online. No customer or card is physically present, which makes fraudulent presentation much easier. From basic fraud detection to more advanced detection, filtering and screening, you need to consider what fraud protection solutions fits the needs of your business based on what you sell and how far-and-wide you sell it.
Opening up the world of card acceptance online includes considering how you might want to use alternative payments such as PayPal as well as payments that are made through in-app capabilities. These are important when you consider how many consumers today are using mobile and other devices to browse, compare and purchase goods. Finally, think about the role of international acceptance for your online business. Do you need to accept payments from consumers whose native currency is not the U.S. dollar? If so, you'll want to consider what options are available to you for international payments acceptance and settlement.
Merchant Accounts and Services
A merchant account for your business is the typical road taken to accept card payments. As you consider the best path to accept card payments for your business, find out what's available to you based on your specific business type. Different types of businesses have different needs. How you accept payments or need to reconcile them on the back end might influence your merchant account needs. They will also shape what terminal or POS system configurations are best for you. In addition, you'll want to understand what your customer service solution looks like. From day-to-day payments needs to software and hardware needs, understanding how you'll be provided service, and how often, is critical in preparing to accept card payments. An essential part of service is what you can expect on the reporting front. What does the reporting solution feature? Is it available to me easily via an internet browser? Does it provide me with intelligence about my business, allowing me to connect consumer behavior to payments, uncover trends and the like. As you consider finding your trusted payments partner, be sure to understand how customer service and reporting will help your business.