Simple Ways to Optimize Your Credit Card Acceptance
For most businesses, accepting credit cards is critical to ensuring no sales are lost and a healthy revenue stream is maintained. These days, the majority of in-store payments are made using a card and if you’re not accepting debit and credit cards, you are almost positively losing sales and perhaps even customers. While it is established how important credit card acceptance is to businesses, it is not fully understood by some small business owners what type of payments should be accepted and how they should be accepted. Understanding the needs of your customers and optimizing your credit card acceptance is very important. If credit card acceptance makes sense for your business, here a few ways to optimize your payment system.
Consider the Costs of Acceptance
For smaller businesses, the costs of card acceptance is often stated by a discount rate, e.g. 3.1% + some per transaction amount, usually stated in cents per transaction. For you to understand what you're paying for is as important as any rate you might be paying. Merchant accounts and merchant credit card processing that provide you with a range of card acceptance options that includes security, reporting, and customer service might prove far more valuable to you than even a lower rate merchant account that does not offer additional capabilities. It is important to note that accepting this form of payment does have its cost and should always be considered when implementing it as an acceptable form of payment.
Accept all Forms of Debit and Credit
Understanding how varied customers’ preferred methods for paying for goods are is very important. Because of this, you would be wise to accept all forms of debit and credit cards. Choose a merchant services account that will allow you to accept all the different cards a customer could potentially use. This includes debit cards, prepaid cards, as well as all major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. By excluding certain cards you could be excluding certain customers as well as their business. And while different card types have historically come with different, sometimes higher rates, including premium card types and some card brands, for example, you could be doing yourself a disservice by not accepting cards often used by customers who spend more. Premium cards often mean higher tickets/transactions and that's more money for your business.
Make it Easy for People to Pay
The last thing you want to do is over complicate credit card acceptance making payment difficult for customers. You either accept credit cards or you don’t. Online or off, you want to make the process easy. And for in-store purchases, you've got to consider whether EMV chip card acceptance is right for you. EMV chip card acceptance requires a specific chip-reading terminal. And, with more chip cards in issuance, more consumers are using them. That means more customers are expecting to "dip" their cards, versus swipe. You've got to think about the implications for your business and, specifically, you've got to think about the implications of the EMV fraud liability shift, which took effect on October 1, 2015. Simply said, a business may be liable for fraudulent transactions made at their store if EMV cards are not an acceptable way to pay.
Making it easier for people to pay you today also includes mobile wallet acceptance. Still taking root, mobile device-driven mobile wallet payments such as Android Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay use a customer's phone as the payment delivery mechanism. The customer's mobile wallet is associated on the back-end with some credit, debit or charge account which is never part of the physical transaction. Providing increased convenience and security for many consumers, most of these types of payments also require near-field technology (NFC) enablement which allows the phone to "talk" to your terminal. Considering the role of mobile payments for your business and any upgrade needs you'll have should also be a focus of your efforts to optimize credit card acceptance.
As a small business, flexibility is key to customer satisfaction. Ensure you receive all the business you can by accepting all the forms of payment that could be potentially offered to you.
There are various ways to optimize credit card acceptance for your company. Consider all options that are available to you for both in-store and online payments. When you’re ready to take the next step, give Vantiv a call to explore your options for a merchant account. No matter what decisions you make about credit card acceptance with regard to EMV, security, mobility, and card types, Vantiv has a solution that is right for you. Our efficient and friendly account representatives will get you up and running in no time so you can begin experiencing the benefits of smarter, faster, easier payments with Vantiv.