A Guide to Credit Card Payments
It is not imperative that businesses accepts credit cards as a form of payment from their customers. With the acceptance of credit cards by small businesses as a means of payment for purchase made, they make it very convenient for shoppers and they will be encouraged to but more products because they don’t have to pay it at once. Most consumers do not want to give vital bank account information and so they are happy that when they shop online they can use their credit cards when making purchases.
However, small business must apply to be able to accept credit card payments from their customers. This means that your storefront will need to set up a merchant account through your bank or a financial institution. This merchant account involves an application process and generally will approve you to accept the most common credit card that are available.
If your merchant account is already processed and you are allowed to accept credit card payments for purchases then you also need equipment that can ready credit cards like a processing equipment which you can buy or lease, but better still you can buy an inexpensive credit card reader which you simply attach to your smartphone through the ear jack and you are able to read credit cards. To know if the credit card used is approved or declined at the point of sale you simply insert the card and the card reader and an immediate verification will be received.
If your storefront is only online, you can obtain a merchant account through the traditional means called payment gateways. This payment is your doorstep to making sales online. This will allow your company to charge your customer’s credit/debit card with the purchase that it makes online. Another payment option that you can use is an online payment processor. Payment processors or acquirers are financial institutions that work in the background to provide payment processing services used by an online merchant. These companies usually have partnerships with other companies that directly deal with consumers or merchants. There is Paypal as a good example. Consumers trust these payment processing sites and know that their financial information is secure. This provides them with additional online security.
It is important to understand fees since many credit card processing accounts will charge a discount fee per transaction. Meaning, that a percentage of the total purchase amount will be charged to the retailer for processing the credit card transaction. The fees differ in that some charge per transaction, some monthly others quarterly, and yearly also. Based on your business needs, you should be careful to shop around for the best credit card processing company.
When you agree as a business owner to accept credit cards, you agree to the fees that are associated with the privilege of doing so. You should not charge this fee to your customer or require them for a minimum purchase amount.