What is a credit card merchant?
It means a business is properly equipped to accept credit card payments. Thus, almost every business today is considered a credit card merchant.
Nearly every person these days pays for their needs and wants using credit/debit cards, whether it be groceries, shopping for Christmas/Birthday presents, or dining out at a nice restaurant.
It is the way of the world. People who do carry cash usually carry only small amounts in their purses and wallets.
Using credit cards is easier, more convenient, safer than carrying cash, and faster. And it seems most everyone is in a hurry these days, doesn’t it?
Most people would rather swipe or dip a card into a reader than pay with cash. Fumbling through their purse or wallet trying to find the correct bills to pay for their goods can be a hassle.
People may not have to worry as much about being robbed on the street as they did before there were surveillance cameras everywhere, but my guess is if most people carried cash instead of credit cards, we’d probably hear about a lot more muggings happening.
Because of this, it is important for businesses to be able to accept credit card payments. Considering the vast majority of people pay with them, it is a no-brainer really.
You need to set up a merchant account with your financial institution of choice if you haven’t already.
This merchant account is basically an agreement between the acceptor (your business) and the merchant acquiring bank for the settlement of credit, debit, and gift card payments.
These accounts sometimes involve a payment processor, an independent sales organizer (ISO), or a member service provider (MSP).
In order to make these transactions happen, you need to have credit card terminals or a payment gateway, or both. Credit card terminals are the little swipe machines you use at the grocery store and gas station.
These are the most common you’ll find available on the market, but there are also swiper attachments for smart phones and tablets available, if you are a small business or mobile business.
The latter of the two is usually the more cost efficient option for new, small businesses who don’t have the budget to purchase several point of sale systems.
(But you’d be surprised at how ridiculously affordable and loaded with perks and programs certain POS systems are today [link]. Wink, wink.)
If this is your type of business, or if you do a lot of business on the road, all you need to have is your smartphone or tablet, a credit card swiper attachment, a payment gateway, and a payment processor to process your payments.
PayPal and Square are two popular and convenient options, and because of their services, there are millions of credit card merchants around the country.
RedFynn is another option.
We urge you to look closely at the rates, benefits, and features of every company you look into before making a decision.
Regardless of the type of business you are running, you need to be a credit card merchant in order to keep up with your competitors.
Let’s paint a hypothetical picture for a moment:
Imagine your business does NOT accept credit cards and is right next door to your number one competitor who DOES accept credit card payments.
You both open on the same day. You both have excellent products and services to offer your target demographic.
You both have invested a lot in marketing your businesses and getting exposure for your opening of your new business. (By the way, how are you paying for all your marketing? Cash? Check?) Your storefront is attractive and everything looks perfect!
You both have an excellent sales team working your floor, made up of very friendly, helpful staff ready and eager to help any and every person who walks through the door.
Then imagine the reaction your customers have when they discover you are not a credit card merchant and you can only accept cash payments.
And then imagine your reaction when most people walk in your door… your would-be customers… end up walking next door for the same items you offer because they don’t have cash to purchase it at your store.
Ultimate bummer, right?
Maybe you have an ATM machine. Well, what are the person’s limit for withdrawals are for a given day? And why make him or her go through the extra hassle of getting cash?
Don’t set yourself up for disappointment and failure as a business. No, it doesn’t mean your business will definitely fail if you only accept cash payments. Not definitely. But it’s likely.
There are some businesses who only accept cash payments and do still exist and can be profitable. But do the math. If most people pay with plastic, do you really want to pass up on their business?
Think about it for a minute!
Then think about this valuable piece of information: as a credit card merchant you are required to be EMV compliant, which means you must have the ability to accept smart cards… you know the kinds with microchips in them the whole world now uses?
This compliance mandate is effective as of October 1st, 2015.
Give us a call with ANY questions you have. We’re here to help. (888) 510-9871