The best merchant services offer a full suite of payment options
Today’s top merchant services providers allow your business to accept a full range of payments so you can capture the widest possible customer base. Read on for the latest payments technologies that you should consider when shopping for the best merchant services provider for your business.
Accept EMV chip cards
By now you’ve likely heard of EMV chip cards—and you may even have upgraded to EMV enabled terminals in store. EMV chip cards are embedded with a computer chip that allows for heightened payments security that starts first with working to stop fraudulent card use at the point of sale. They’ve been in widespread use in other areas of the world for years now, but the adoption of chip cards and chip card acceptance in the United States has only been underway for the last few years.
As part of EMV adoption, U.S. merchants need to upgrade point of sale (POS) devices to accept these chip cards. While there's no mandate to upgrade, failure to do so can have big consequences, even for the smallest of businesses—many of which think they're immune from consequences. One major milestone in EMV implementation, the so-called fraud liability shift, became effective on October 1, 2015. What it means is that your business may be held financially liable for certain types of card fraud that can be avoided when EMV is in place.
Accept mobile payments
Many shoppers today expect to be able to use their smartphone or other smart devices to pay for goods and services at a variety of merchant locations—and that number is steadily on the rise. eMarketer forecasted that mobile payments will triple in the U.S. in 2016. Mobile payments are a secure, convenient way for customers to pay for everyday goods and services—as well as big-ticket items.
Don’t make the mistake of limiting your potential customer base by not accepting mobile payments. Choose a merchant services provider that can help your business implement a mobile payments acceptance strategy that's right for your business. And, it's important to know that many of the new devices that enable chip card acceptance also come with near field communication (NFC) readiness. NFC allows you to accept popular mobile wallet payments such as Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
Accept checks securely
They may be becoming fewer and farther between, but there are some consumers who still prefer to pay with checks. Give your shoppers the option of paying by check by choosing a processor who provides secure check services. With such services, you usually can automatically verify a shopper's funds availability so that you don’t risk being burned with a returned check fee. And in most instances you can run the check electronically right from your POS system so you don’t have to worry about the hassle of running paper checks to your bank. There are many convenient options today when it comes to accepting checks, so partner with a credit card processor that makes this process easy for you and your staff while allowing you to offer this payment option to your shoppers who still prefer checks.
Accept payments on a mobile device
There’s more to mobile payments than just your customers using their smartphones to pay for their bills. Mobile payments also encompass how you can use your mobile device to accept payments from customers. Tablet-based POS systems can be helpful for your associates to use on your showroom floor, so they can capture the sale and run the shopper’s card right where he or she is. This can help to reduce queue times and keep shoppers happy. Smartphone-based POS systems can allow you to take your business on the road, accepting credit and debit card payments from your customers at locations outside of your four physical walls. Set up a booth at a craft fair, a display at a trade show or a stall at a farmers’ market—and see the sales roll in from shoppers who prefer to pay using cards.