Payment Processing from a Business Owner’s Perspective
Managing a business of any size is a full-time job. Even after you
have gotten your company off the ground, there is always more to do.
Keeping up with the competition requires constant diligence, and
oftentimes you may have to scrap an old strategy and regroup for a new
One thing no business can afford to do is turn away
potential customers. In this day and age, people use all sorts of forms
of payment, and if you can’t accept their chosen transaction type, they
will most likely take their business elsewhere.
For years, many
establishments could get away with only accepting cash. But those days
are long gone. Many business owners may be intimidated with making the
change to accepting multiple forms of payment, but with a merchant
services account, it is easier than ever.
A merchant account
provider can help you process debit and credit cards, guarantee checks,
accept online payments, and even set up gift and loyalty card programs.
Here are a few ways a merchant services account can help your business
Credit and Debit Card Processing
most common way for businesses with a physical location to process
credit and debit cards is through something called a retail swipe
terminal. This terminal is simply a machine that you swipe the
customer’s card through. The information is then transferred directly to
your merchant account provider. The funds go through a series of
complex transactions, all handled by your provider, before they are
deposited in your checking account within a few business days.
providers offer different styles of retail swipe terminals. Some
require a signature and others instantly approve the card. Some let your
customers key in their PIN numbers on a screen and others have buttons.
Talk to your account provider about what style is right for your
If you have a business that takes you on the road,
these traditional swipe terminals aren’t going to work. Touring bands,
delivery drivers, and vendors that travel to different locations can
accept debit and credit cards through a wireless terminal.
wireless terminal, you can still physically swipe a credit card from
just about anywhere. Even if you are outside of a coverage area, many
wireless terminals allow you to save that information and then send it
when you get back to within the signal range.
Make sure you read
the fine print before signing on with any merchant services account. In
some cases they will offer “free” swipe terminals in exchange for
signing a long-term contract. However, if you decide to switch
providers, they will then charge an exorbitant fee for the terminal.
Know what you are getting yourself into before you sign anything.
business can accept checks without a merchant account provider, but
they also come with a world of hassles. They take a few days to process,
turn into a stack of paperwork, and you always have to worry about
finding out the customer had insufficient funds in his account.
of those worries disappear when you sign up for a check acceptance
program through a merchant account provider. They can guarantee every
check that comes through your door so you never have to worry about them
“bouncing” ever again. Not only that, but they will expedite the
processing time and digitize your records, cutting down on paperwork.
Sure, you don’t have to use a merchant services account to process your
checks, but you will be glad you did.
you sell products or services through your website, it is essential
that you can handle online credit card payments. The majority of all
transactions made over the Internet are paid for via debit or credit
But some business owners may worry about the security of
accepting payment through the Internet. This is understandable, as there
are certainly those out there who troll the web for vulnerable sites.
you sign up for a merchant services account, however, you will be
equipped with fraud detection software and full PCI-compliance. This
way, you and your customers can feel confident that every transaction
will be perfectly safe and secure.
Gift Cards and Loyalty Programs
someone comes into your business and has a lovely experience, they may
want to share that experience with their family and friends. Gift cards
are a terrific way to allow them to do that. These purchases essentially
serve as a cash advance to your business. Not only that, but many cards
go unredeemed or under-redeemed. That adds up to free money for you.
programs keep your best customers coming back again and again. You and
your merchant account provider will work together to set up a plan that
will give your customers incentives to do their business exclusively
These are just a few of the many ways that a merchant
services account can help for businesses of all sizes to grow and
prosper. Don’t ever face the possibility of having to refuse payment
again. Accept all transaction types with ease by teaming up with a
merchant account provider.