Tips for getting started on a new credit card system
Consumers love their cards. And, as more of your customers prefer paying with a credit or debit card, your business can't afford to go without a credit card system for payment processing. If you're considering credit card acceptance for the first time, here are few quick tips to get you going.
Choose good providers
No different than your relationships with accountants, attorneys or marketers, your relationship with a credit card processing provider can be all-business or one that adds real value to you. A good credit card system provider does more than authorize and settle transactions, and move money between your business, customers and banks. For example, the best providers can help you frame a detailed plan regarding security, point-of-sale-solutions, online processing, and related technologies. You need need to be sure that your new credit card system will fit every need of your business and payments plan.
Maximize sales channel opportunities, more ways to pay
Your credit card system needs to support closing customer sales, wherever you are and wherever your customers want you to be. As you consider credit card system solutions, think about where you'll be selling. Among four walls, on the web, or on the go—at a street fair or art-in-the-park exhibit—where you sell will influence which credit card system set-up is best for you. Enabling credit sales through more channels means more possible payments. Choose a credit card system, or configuration, that will allow customers to move beyond your store and to make payments by phone, online, or at off-site locations, such as a street festival. With more flexibility comes the potential for higher sales volume.
Choose a check payment strategy
Check payments of all sorts, ACH to eCheck, continue to be a preferred method of payment for so many consumers. Your credit card system, your approach to payments in general, should consider checks in all their forms—eCheck, check-by-phone etc.. Today, some check processing features allow your business to process checks as easily as card payments and with an immediacy of funds that businesses value.
Safer payments rule
Today, safer payments are the name of the game for any business. Starting with fraud prevention at the point of sale, EMV, or chip card acceptance, is increasingly a must-have even for the smallest businesses. More consumers have and are using their chip cards. It says a lot about your business if your credit card system is chip-enabled and ready. And if pleasing your customers is not enough motivation, consider the real impact of the fraud liability shift, which pushes more liability for fraud chargebacks at the point-of-sale in your direction, if you're not prepared. In addition to preventing fraud, you should think about selecting a credit card system that includes point-to-point encryption. Designed to secure card data while it's in transit during the authorization process, encryption ultimately strengthens your peace of mind as payments move through the process.
Integrating insights from payments into your business flow
Finally, think about how all of the customer intelligence you gather through payments integrates with the rest of your business operations. Whether you're using stand-alone terminals or fully integrated point-of-sale systems, understand what reporting—and data and analytics capabilities—are available through your credit card system. Access to this type of payments intelligence increasingly is through simple web user experience and in many instances can integrate with other business intelligence tools you use.
Accepting credit cards and other forms of payment doesn't need to be difficult. Shop around, start with a smart list of your basic needs, as above, and then ask about special features or solutions that might be most relevant for your buisness.