From the blog How to Accept Credit Card Payments in the Next 2 Days
Cash payments may have been good enough to get your business off the ground, but a lot of people prefer paying for goods and services with a credit card. In fact, a recent survey showed that only 14% of US consumers would choose cash payments given the option to pay instead with a card.
If you don’t already accept credit cards, it’s time to upgrade your payment processing.
The trouble is, how do you get started? Don’t worry. We have the answers. By the end of this article, you’ll know the 4 steps you need to take to start accepting credit cards.
You could be geared up and ready in just 2 days.
Accepting credit card payments: A 4-step guide
Finding a credit card processing service and choosing the right equipment can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be.
We’ve broken down the process into steps you can start implementing right now.
1. Identify how you’ll accept credit card payments
There are two major ways to accept credit card payments—at the point of sale (POS) and online through an ecommerce store.
For example, if you run a restaurant, you’ll want to accept credit card payments at the location. On the other hand, if you’re a fashion retailer with a small online store, you’ll want to offer customers the flexibility of paying online.
Once you’re clear on how you want to accept credit card payments, you can move on to the next step.
2. Know what you need from your credit card services
Every business is unique, which is why your merchant services provider should offer more than just a one-size-fits-all credit card system and impersonal service.
Before you begin accepting credit card payments, here are just some of the additional features you should be looking for from a service.
- A cloud-based system so you can manage multiple locations remotely
- Inventory management, so you have what you need when you need it
- Sales tracking
- Customer loyalty management and incentives
- Time clock management
- A gift card program
Take some time to really think about what you need from your credit card services and explore the full range of customized features on offer. Be sure to ask about additional fees, too. Some POS providers include these add-ons at no additional cost. Some will nickel and dime you to death.
3. Consider your hardware options
Every business accepting credit card payments at a location needs credit card hardware. There’s a wide range of processing tools available.
To get you started, you’re looking for hardware such as:
- Chip readers for easy on-the-go payments (especially useful if you run a mobile business)
- Terminals with long-lasting battery life
- Terminals that accept payments through various methods including magnetic stripe and EMV chip readers
Not sure what you need? A knowledgeable sales representative can help you there.
4. Apply for your account and start accepting credit card payments
The final but most important step for accepting credit card payments is applying for an account with a service provider.
The process shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, and everything should be transparent and easy to understand. Ask about every aspect of the potential costs. And keep in mind, you shouldn’t be paying for advanced features such as reporting and customer analytics.
Once you’re satisfied with your chosen provider and you’ve opened an account, you should be up and running with the equipment in your hands in a couple of days.
If you talk to a credit card processor who can’t have you up and running in 2 days or less, keep shopping.
No time like the present
It’s easy to start accepting credit card payments for your business. With the steps above, you’re ready to find a solid credit card processing partner today.