What You Need to Know about Small Business Credit Card Processing

| March 9, 2015 | 0 Comments

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Consumers Expect to Use Credit Cards

The State of Credit 2014 report produced by Experian found that the average amount of credit card debt is now $28,496 in the United States, which is up 2.3% from 2013’s results. This shows that consumers are using credit cards, and they expect to be able to use their credit cards at your store. If they can’t do so with you, they will move on to your competitors.

What You Need to Know

Before you sign a contract with a small business credit card processing provider, be certain you have researched their services thoroughly. There are a number of types of fees you want to be aware of and try to avoid, such as transaction, daily batch, monthly statement, or early termination fees.

It is possible to avoid these fees. There are companies offering credit card processing services to small businesses that don’t charge fees buried in the obscure text of a contract, and even operate without a contract, which means you don’t have to worry about early termination fees if you need to switch providers.

Will It Work With Your Website?

Do you accept online orders? If so, you need to find out if the software used by the credit card processor will work with the shopping cart feature of your e-commerce site. Generally this is more troublesome if your credit card processor has proprietary rather than third-party software.

Keep Your Customers Secure

You also must consider the security features built into the payment gateway. Customers expect their payment information to be secure when they choose to buy from you. It is your responsibility to choose a credit card processor that offers that security. Be sure to choose a company that offers card verification and validation and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

You also benefit from having secure payments. If a customer reports a fraudulent transaction that results from using your website, you are responsible for the money they lost as well as any chargeback fees you may be charged as a result.

Ways to Accept Payments

If you only conduct business online, you will, of course, be using that payment gateway to accept payments. If you have a brick-and-mortar or mobile location, you can choose between companies that offer physical terminals hardwired into your computer or wireless terminals.

Can You Rely On Them?

When your credit card processing system fails, you need to know that you can get help from the provider. How accessible is their customer support team? Will you be able to get someone on the phone at 10:00 PM when your last customer of the evening is waiting impatiently? Is email an option when you need assistance with less time-sensitive matters?

The Application Process

Once you have found a credit card processor you want to work with, you will complete an application and the provider will evaluate your company. After approval, you need to incorporate the software into your website. Once that is completed, you’re ready to start accepting credit card payments!

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Category: Credit Cards

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