According to recent research, 75% of customers prefer to pay for purchases with debit or credit cards. Accepting credit cards is a big opportunity for small businesses. Doing so can improve your chances of generating traffic, increasing sales, and creating lasting brand loyalty.
How can small businesses accept credit card payments?
If you’re considering accepting credit card payments at your place of business, you’ll definitely want to do your research on the topic first. In this post, we’ll help you identify and integrate the right payment solutions into your business model.
First, decide how you’d like your customers to be able to pay via credit. You primarily have three options for credit card payments. These include:
- In-store payments.
- Online payments.
- Mobile payments.
If you work as a freelancer and operate your business through the phone and email, then accepting online card payments may be the most important payment method for your business. Having physical stores for selling products to consumers means accepting credit card payments with a more traditional credit card terminal or point of sale. If you’re a landscaper or contractor working on-site, then accepting mobile credit card payments might make the most sense for you. Depending on your business, you may even need to offer all of the above.
Selecting a merchant services provider.
After putting a little bit of thought into what time of payment solutions you might need for your business, you will need to select a merchant service provider (MSP). These payment technology companies offer businesses like yours the payment devices, products, and programs they need to process debit and credit card payments. Before you select a merchant service provider, it is essential to consider the following:
- What sort of fraud protection service do they provide?
- Do they provide additional services, such as an online merchant portal?
- What types of payment methods can the merchant service provider process: mobile, in-store, online?
- What fees will the merchant service provider charge you?
After that, you can select a merchant services partner who meets your business requirements and offers you an affordable payment processing solution that will help you maximize your profitability.
Opening a merchant account.
After choosing a reliable MSP that you feel comfortable with, you’ll next need to open a merchant account. (Don’t worry, your payments partner will help with this.) A merchant account enables you to receive funding from the credit card purchases your customers make. For small business owners, opening a merchant account via a reputable merchant service provider is the easiest way to accept debit and credit card payments.
The gateway to online credit card acceptance.
To accept credit or debit card payments online, you’ll need to partner with an online payment gateway. At NAB, we offer seamless connections to seven different payment gateways if you need help finding the perfect fit.
Ways for small businesses to accept credit card payments in-person.
For in-person credit card payment acceptance, you’ll need to purchase or lease a (POS) point of sale system. A point-of-sale system involves hardware (such as a credit card reader) and software for processing in-person credit card payments.
With the right POS system in place, your consumers will be able to swipe, or in the case of EMV chip cards, “dip” their credit or debit cards to make a payment. They’ll also be able to simply “tap” or hold an NFC contactless card or their smartphone (for Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, etc.) near your POS to make a payment. POS systems allow for quick transaction processing while reducing the chance of error. Once a transaction is successfully approved, your merchant account will receive the payments and transfer them to your bank account the next business day.
Ways small businesses can accept credit card payments on the go.
To accept mobile credit card payments, you’ll need a mobile credit card reader, or portable payment device like smart terminals. Mobile credit card readers typically use Bluetooth technology to connect to your smartphone or tablet, allowing you to accept payments from anywhere.
The benefits of accepting credit card payments at your business.
In today’s marketplace, your customers will expect to a) be able to pay with their preferred payment method and b) experience a fast and frictionless checkout. There are various payment methods available, such as cash payments, debit cards, checks, mobile payments, credit cards, and more. Credit and debit cards specifically offer a host of benefits.
Credit cards will help you increase your sales.
Providing options outside of checks or cash payments will help you attract a whole new demographic to your business, which should immediately impact your bottom line. Additionally, accepting credit cards online or on a mobile payment device will allow you to attract customers outside of your geographic area.
They’ll help you remain competitive.
It is almost certain that your competitors are already accepting credit and debit card payments. If you aren’t doing the same, that doesn’t bode well for the future of your business. The last thing you want to do is provide your customers with a reason to shop with someone else instead of you.
They validate your business.
Displaying the logos of the credit or debit cards you accept creates a sense of trust among your customers that you are a reputable place to do business. This assists you in establishing your small business as a legitimate entity and gives customers lasting peace of mind.
They elevate the customer experience.
You can’t count on customers to carry cash these days. Providing payment options — such as mobile payments, debit cards, and credit cards — makes purchasing easy, convenient, and simple. It also increases repeat purchases from customers.
They motivate buyers.
Without a doubt, credit cards are becoming increasingly popular. Users can borrow up to their credit limits, providing them more freedom to make impulsive or large purchases. Accepting credit card payments is an efficient way of providing convenience to your customers via a faster, more frictionless checkout than that offered by cash. The more convenience you provide, the more money your business will make.