Almost every person today has his or her credit card. While owning one is a big responsibility, many shoppers still prefer to have one.
Not only is it safer than bringing cash all the time, but it’s also very convenient. For business owners, their task, therefore, is to match this clamor for convenience. In essence, this means expanding their modes of payment to include credit card processing, too. Even small business owners will have to meet this need. Else, they’re going to see customers walking out their door simply because credit card payments aren’t accepted.
As a small business owner, you may be daunted by the idea of enabling credit card processing. Is it really that confusing and complicated? Is it going to be that expensive? Well, not all the time. Here are some tips to help make the whole process easier for you:
1. Start With Opening A Merchant Account
A merchant account is that bank account that’s needed for you to accept credit card processing for small business, and even large-scale ones. You’ll need to start with that step. It’s in that account where all of your credit card payments are going to be credited by the bank. With a merchant account, the credit card process is cut down for you. You’ll no longer have to be burdened with all the other technicalities, such as approving payments and facilitating the authentication of payments.
In opening a merchant account, you’ll be asked to submit the following information:
- Payment model
- Business activities
- Tax returns
- Banking information
2. Consider The Factors That Will Determine Your Credit Card Fees
Accepting credit card payments isn’t going to be cheap in terms of maintenance. Especially for small business owners and those who are still in the process of starting up, maintenance fees are going to be important considerations. You need to make sure that you’re able to afford these fees in the long run.
In general, you’ll be asked to pay for the following fees:
- Processor fees, which is the compensation paid to the merchant service provider
- Assessment fees, which refers to the subscription fees set by the credit card company
- Interchange fee, which refers to the majority of the total fee paid in every transaction
3. Use An E-Commerce Platform
Especially for small business owners who manage online shops, having an e-commerce platform also helps. This enables you to accept credit card payments online. With the use of such a platform, you don’t even have to worry about the processing side as it will be catered to by their built-in processors.
Examples of common e-commerce platforms used for small businesses are the following:
Another positive thing about choosing an e-commerce platform is that you won’t be pressured into immediately committing to this form of payment. You can sign up for a trial period and see if it works well for your business. That way, you’re also giving yourself time to test it out before shelling out some money for the fees.
4. Establish Fraud Protection Measures
Once you get started on enabling credit card transactions, it’s also imperative that you’re able to establish fraud protection measures. In spite of the widespread use of credit cards, many people are still in doubt in terms of its safety. Should any fraud happen, this can only complicate the whole credit card process.
To aid in fraud protection, here are some steps to follow:
- Get EMV card readers
- Follow all PCI Compliance Rules
- Make return policies of items clear
- As much as possible, always require a CVV
- Avoid keyed transactions
- Keep purchase histories and receipts
5. Enable Credit Card Payments For Customers Without Need Of Creating An Account
Your customer has successfully put twenty items on their bag. They’re now in the process of checking out. Unfortunately, you’ve made the mistake of not making your payment process as easy as possible for them. For instance, the common mistake of first needing an account on your page before they can proceed with credit card payments. This may push your customers away.
Your small business doesn’t need all these unnecessary pieces of information, such as more names and passwords to remember. Enable credit card payments without the need to create an account. This makes the process easier, not just for you, but for your clients as well. Remember this basic rule: if customers don’t need to have an account to shop physically, then they certainly don’t need one also to shop on your site.
6. Set Up Your Processing Account And Terminal Correctly
Setting up your processing account and terminal correctly is also very important to avoid mistakes. This is a very underrated advice. Having easier and smoother processes has a lot to do with ensuring that the processing account and terminal are correct.
Here are some pointers to remember along this line:
- Enable integration with a variety of payment processors
- Ensure that you have all the necessary hardware for your terminal to function correctly
- Have a function that disables manual card entry or card swipes
7. Settle Transactions Quickly
Another factor that can complicate the credit card processing for first-time small business owners could be the tendency to not settle transactions quickly. Making this mistake will only make the whole process even more difficult. For starters, it’s vital to settle transactions per batch after a particular business period. For instance, once every week, you consolidate all the transactions then submit the data to the bank for processing.
To avoid errors, it’s better to set up a manual batching system. This means that a specific time can be set on your POS terminal at the end of every day. Doing this speeds up the credit card processing, wherein you immediately receive the sales. Plus, it can also lower your processing rates when you choose to go for more frequent settling with the bank.
Many small business owners may make the mistake of not realizing the importance of credit card processing. In general, enabling credit card payments is going to put you up at a competitive position. As many are bringing in credit cards with them when they shop, it’s important that even when you’re still small, these cards are accepted. Else, you’ll be losing modern-time customers one by one. If you’ve been struggling along that line, these tips offer a good place for you to start. An application of these tips can help ensure that, soon enough, your business will begin accepting credit card payments, which only means more satisfied customers and, in turn, more profits coming your way.