In the modern shopping environment having credit card processing facilities is a necessity for many merchants. For others offering card processing can increase profits.
If you want to offer card processing you will need to arrange it with a merchant acquiring bank or a third party provider who represents the bank.
The merchant acquiring bank will provide you with a merchant account which allows you to process payments. They can also rent you terminals to process card payments though terminals can also be bought or rented elsewhere. You should check with the bank that the terminals are suitable if you decide on this option.
Depending on the type of business you operate you can choose between different types of terminal. For face-to-face transactions the most common type of card processing terminals are counter-top, portable and mobile. Person not present transactions over the phone require a different type of card machine and for internet credit card processing a payment gateway is required.
The costs per transaction will vary between payment methods and this is something to be aware of.
Offering credit card payments on the high street offers customers a number of benefits:
- Ease of Payment
- A record of payment
There are benefits for the merchant too:
- Record keeping improved
- Reduce counterfeiting risk
- Reduce risk of staff misappropriating payments
- Increased customer confidence in business
- More secure than cash
People increasingly expect to be able to pay by credit or debit card and offering credit card processing can increase your sales. Small businesses should be aware of certain charges like the minimum monthly service charge (mmsc) to make sure offering card processing will increase their bottom line.
Offering card payments can increase your potential market outside your main premises, over the phone and online.
Research, ask around and shop around to get the best deals. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with the merchant services provider.