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Guide

How Small Businesses Can Accept Credit Card Payments

Start accepting Credit Card Payments. In this Fresh Insights article you'll learn about how to accept credit card payments.

If your business doesn't allow customers to pay with credit or debit cards, you could be missing out on a tremendous volume of sales. Accepting these forms of payments also makes for an easier and more convenient shopping experience for your customers. This can also positively impact your online sales, since credit and debit cards are two of the main ways shoppers pay for goods and services online. Small businesses in the retail and online industries really should accept credit or debit cards to remain competitive in the marketplace.
 
If your small business doesn't currently accept credit or debit cards, don't sweat it. Here's what you need to get your business back in the game.
 

Setting Up a Merchant Account

In order to accept electronic methods of payment from customers, you will need to set up a merchant account. Start by talking with your business bank about its bankcard services, because they already know your business and can offer special pricing for merchant services. It's also important to find out if your provider will allow you to apply for American Express along with MasterCard/Visa/Discover and provide a single statement for reconciliation. You should also consider a few other factors when choosing a merchant services provider:

 
  • Pay attention to interchange rates and fees
  • Consider the provider's timeframe for settlement
  • Take your time when researching providers, as this can be one of your most important business allies

Setting Up Your Processing Equipment

 You will either have the option of leasing or buying credit card processing equipment through your business bank or merchant service provider. Most of the time, there will be a credit card reader with a modem attached. You will be able to receive instant verification if the credit card is approved or declined. It will be up to the business owner and the cardholder to determine the validity of the card by requesting identification or checking for a signature on the back of the card.
 

Setting Up an Online Processing System

If your business also sells products or services online, you can choose to obtain a traditional merchant account, or you can use an online payment processor, such as PayPal. Many customers who shop online trust websites that use PayPal to process payments and understand their financial information is protected, which provides an extra security benefit for the customer. The typical transaction fees associated with a PayPal account are similar, if not lower, than a traditional merchant service account.

 

Understanding the Cost-Benefit of Accepting Credit Cards

There are several benefits to accepting credit cards at your business, but what about the costs associated with it? While there are processing fees for accepting credit cards, in most cases, the advantage of accepting credit cards will outweigh the costs. Between increasing cash flow and creating streamlined processing procedures, accepting credit cards makes sense for some businesses. Don't brush off these fees, however. Ask your merchant service provider or business bank how much your processing fees will be so you can prepare.

 

Contact your Cadence Bank treasury management representative to learn more about our merchant services.

 

This article is provided as a free service to you and is for general informational purposes only. Cadence Bank makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the content in the article. The article is not intended to provide legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes.

 

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