Starting a New Business? Start with a Merchant Services Account
Electronic payments have become one of the biggest ways to accept payment from customers over the last few decades, thanks to the public's shift to using card-based payments in-store and online payments to manage their finances. Cash is quickly becoming a thing of the past. A poll recently showed that nearly over half of people nation wide carry less than $50 in paper money at any given time. This means if you are starting a business it's a crucial first step for you to accept card payments. This means starting a merchant services account.
What is a Merchant Services Account?
Simply put, a merchant services account allows your business to accept electronic payments, such as credit or debit cards. This account is usually set up through a payment processing company that will handle the electronic payments for you.
Setting up an Account
There are several ways to get started on this process, but the first step is to figure out exactly how you want card payments to integrate into your small business. For instance, what kind of cards do you want to take? Some accounts take Visa and MasterCard only. Some take those plus American Express and Discover. Some take even more obscure cards like Diner's Club and others. Take a look at your business needs and decide what is best.
Next you want to figure out how you want to accept payments. Do you want to do a simple terminal or point of sale (POS) system, do you need a fully integrated POS system, do you want to accept virtual payments over the internet? Do you have subscription services that require monthly recurring payments?
Once you have all the answers to these questions, it is time to start looking for a company that matches your business's needs. Some companies offer flat rates per transaction and some offer percentage based rates per transactions. Figure out what is best for your volume of sales.
Most providers offer several different packages for merchant services accounts. Many offer merchant accounts that are configured for a specific business type, such as restaurant, law firm etc. It's a good idea to ask your potential providers how they can put together a package that is most beneficial for your needs.
Why Accept Cards?
As stated earlier, cards have become the most dominant form of non-cash transactions in the country. Checks are presented less-and-less for everyday payments, thanks to the problems of check fraud and bounced check fees. Credit cards are typically more safe and more secure, and accepting the payment from a card is much easier than dealing with checks in most cases.
A merchant services account will help you maximize the payments you can receive for your goods and services. Starting one up is a simple process that any small business owner can do, thanks to the power of the internet and growth of the card market.