The fears associated with accepting credit cards as a form of payment in your business are a common concern for business owners. In this blog, we will try to speak to some of the most common. Also, lay ing out some of the biggest disadvantages of accepting credit cards for payments in your business.
Processing fees are unfortunately inevitable. The credit card processing fees paid on each card transaction, also known as a merchant discount rate, are split among the financial institutions that enable these payments. They will include the following fees:
Which is the largest portion of the merchant discount rate that goes to the issuing bank, which is the bank that manages the credit card used to make the payment. Examples are Wells Fargo, US Bank, Capital One, Chase, Citi, and Bank of America.
This fee goes to the card networks, such as Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.
Payment Processor Fee
This fee goes to the processor, the company that manages the logistics of getting card payments processed for your business. Check out Make the Impact for more on merchant services.
So your probably wondering how to reduce or even eliminate these fees? Well, finding the right payment company is your first step. Once you find a merchant service company you are comfortable with you can then negotiate the processor fees, and options to help reduce interchange costs. Some companies even qualify for certain programs that eliminate the majority of the cost altogether.
You will need to ensure that your method of processing is secure and PCI compliant. Most processors and new equipment provided are compliant but you will still have measures to take on your end. Here is a couple to think about:
Assign user IDs to everybody with computer or terminal access
Restrict Physical access to cardholder data
Install and maintain firewalls
Use updated antivirus software
Restrict access to business wifi and networks
Develop a security system and process
These may seem overwhelming and daunting, but we can assure you will feel better about the security of your company when these and measures like these are taken into consideration.
For more on how to keep your business and merchant account more secure feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Equipment costs are often unknown until you are further along, as what your company needs is determined by how you conduct business and interact with your customers. No matter how you receive payments there is a large chance the equipment or gateway to do so will have an upfront cost. Below we share some tips on what to watch out for:
Leases - Often time companies who require leases for equipment, will have some sort of term on the contract and when your contract is over you return the equipment. Merchants can often pay 3-4 times the purchase cost of a terminal or point of sale in leasing and we suggest buying your terminals up front.
No Transferable - Some points of sales that you purchase only work with the company you purchased it from. This is fine if the solution you purchase is scalable to the future growth of your company. But what if it isn't... you are back to square one with purchasing new equipment. Be sure to ask the right questions to make sure this is at least a 2yr solution.
Too Much Equipment - Sometimes more equipment is efficient and improves organization and faster customer checkout. Unfortunately, there is also the case of "fattening pockets" as some companies will try and sell you more equipment than you actually need. Feel free to ask the question "Can I add these later when I see that I need them?" If the answer is "no" you may want to look at another solution.
The cost of equipment is not the only thing to think about, how reliable is your equipment? Not just terminals and Points of Sale, but an internet connection, software issues, and app issues. Remember technology is great if it's working. We encourage products with at least a 1yr warranty, and multiple levels of customer service (rep, back office, 24/7 helpline) to ensure that if problems do exist, they can be handled quickly and with as little frustration as possible.
If this article is leaving you feeling even more stressed about accepting credit cards as a form of payment for your company, let me ease your mind some more. Most importantly, there is the chance you are losing customers because you don't currently accept credit cards is very high, it is projected that by 2024 87% of all consumers will only use cards to purchase goods. To prove this accurate we have seen a 20-40% revenue increase when businesses switch from cash-only to accepting credit card payments. Overall, most businesses find that the percentage of increased sales and convenience it brings to the customer is well worth overcoming any of these challenges. In addition to these benefits, if you find the right merchant processing company they should be able to help put all these concerns to rest with their support and expertise. Feel free to contact Make the Impact to start the conversation and recommendations for your company.