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The Cash Versus Credit Showdown

Posted by Jereme Sanborn on May 11, 2016 4:02:10 PM
   

accept credit cardsIf you’re a small business owner, one of the most important decisions you will make as you grow your business is whether or not to accept credit cards. In today’s blog, we’ll take a look at some of the pros and cons of allowing your customers to pay with credit instead of just with cash.

The Pros of Accepting Credit Cards

More Payment Options = More Customers

Did you know that by next year only 23 percent of consumers will use cash to pay for their point-of-sale (POS) transactions? That’s a pretty staggering statistic. By offering credit card processing, your business gains access to the remaining 77 percent of consumers who depend on payment methods other than cash for POS purchases.

Improved Cash Flow

If you’re running a small to midsize business, cash flow is king. Waiting on

invoices to be paid and checks to clear can severely restrict that cash flow. By accepting credit cards, you get the cash you need to grow your business more quickly.

Larger Transaction Amounts

Accepting credit cards doesn’t just increase your customer base, it also increases your average transaction amount. In fact, studies have shown that customers who pay with credit cards spend an average of 20% more on each transaction than those who pay with cash or check. That means more revenue to help you take your business where it needs to go.

Enhanced Productivity

When you accept credit cards, the funds from your transactions are deposited directly into your account in as little as 24 hours. That means no billing and no running around trying to get paid, which gives you more time to run your business.

Better Customer Service

The business world today is more competitive than ever. As a result, consumers have more options than ever for the goods and services they want to purchase. By offering the speed and convenience of credit card processing, you give those consumers a better customer service experience, one that can create the customer loyalty you need to increase your profits.

The Cons of Accepting Credit Cards

While accepting credit cards is a smart business decision for most businesses, it’s not for every business. If your business does a lower volume of transactions, or a vast majority of your transactions are for very small amounts, there are a few things you’ll need to be aware of.

Costs

As you would expect, there are costs associated with accepting credit cards. These include fees for merchant services, processing fees and PCI compliance charges. Of course, for most businesses, any fees associated with credit card processing will likely be offset by the increase in customer base and average ticket size.

Chargebacks

Consumers have the right to dispute credit card charges. That means that if they aren’t satisfied with your product or service, they may file a chargeback. If your business incurs a significant number of these chargebacks, your ability to do accept credit cards may be frozen.

Fraud Liability

As you’re undoubtedly aware, credit card fraud is on the rise. Some banks and issuers may hold merchants responsible for fraud that occurs on their systems. Of course there are ways to significantly limit your fraud liability. One way is to use credit card processing equipment that offers the enhanced security of EMV chip reader technology—technology that significantly limits the possibility of credit card fraud.

AND THE WINNER IS…

So, is accepting credit cards right for your business? If your business does very few or very small transactions, you’ll want to talk to a merchant services professional to make sure that accepting credit cards makes sense for you. In the vast majority of cases however, the answer will be a resounding “yes.”  

Topics: Credit Card Processing

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