Entrepreneurial Advantages of Accepting Credit Cards
As an entrepreneur, you’ve taken balanced
risks and put a lot of your life on the line to ensure your business is
competitive and profitable. Accepting credit cards is the next step in
helping your business grow, and in helping to achieve the brand
recognition you deserve. These tips will help guide you through the
process of accepting credit cards at your business:
What steps do I need to take before opening a merchant account?
You’ll need to have a business bank
account to accept the proceeds of your credit card transactions, which
means you’ll need to register your business if you have not already done
Your business bank account will be tied
to your merchant account, allowing it to make daily deposits of any
proceeds from credit card transactions associated with your business.
The account can be with your local bank or with an online bank or
Most banks – even local ones – have
online application procedures that can make approval quick and easy. If
you plan to sell online, you’ll need to make sure your website has a
shopping cart program installed.
Your webmaster or designer can advise you
on shopping cart systems, and a search of the Internet can turn up
resources, as well. You’ll also need to understand the types of accounts
available and the services you’ll need to help your business operate
effectively today and grow in the future.
What types of accounts and services are available?
Today’s merchant account providers offer a
broad range of choices for both large and small businesses. Account
services are available for retail businesses, Internet businesses, and
mail order and telephone sales companies, as well as for businesses that
hope to do all or part of their sales on the road or in off-site
locations, such as trade shows, fairs or conventions.
A reputable and established merchant
account provider can help you decide on which service or services are
the best option for your specific type of business.
How do I choose the merchant account provider that’s right for me and my business needs?
Many business owners begin the search by
considering fees. That’s not surprising, since business owners have
budgets to bear in mind when making any business decision.
However, when it comes to choosing a
merchant account provider that is the best choice for your business,
price is only one consideration – and it really shouldn’t be the primary
driving factor in deciding which account provider to choose.
Here’s why: many unestablished and
unproven account providers may offer initially low fees to build up
their customer base; however, because they are unfamiliar with the
day-to-day operation of a merchant account provider, choosing an untried
account provider solely on the basis of their low fees is probably not a
You want to ensure the company you choose
is ready and able to handle any concerns or problem you may encounter,
and can provide you with the guidance and assistance you need to keep
your business running smoothly.
Choose a provider that has a good and
longstanding reputation among business owners. Choose a provider who
works with other business owners who operate the same type of business
as you do. And do a little homework of your own: call and email the
companies you’re considering and judge for yourself how they respond –
are they courteous, do they offer prompt responses, and are their
responses informative and valid?
Also look for providers who can offer
services that can help your business grow over time. Make sure they have
comprehensive and readily available technical help and customer support
services. If your business runs into a technical problem, you don’t
want to lose huge numbers of sales or customers while technical support
takes its time resolving your issue.
Your business is an integral part of your
life. The care and effort you take now in choosing the merchant account
provider that’s best for your business will pay off in the end, in
terms of ease of use, increased customers, and a healthier, more robust