There is one major rule for a business who wishes to accept credit card payments: you need a merchant account.
If you happen to be one of those very rare types of businesses nowadays who only accepts cash payments, this doesn’t apply to you. I have a feeling, though, even if your business only takes cash payments, sooner or later you are going to want -- or need -- to accept credit cards.
The revenue you are missing out on by being a “cash only” business is almost incomprehensible. Cash only businesses are typically very small and don’t have a steady stream of customers coming through their doors.
Small town businesses can get away with not accepting credit cards. Anyone who has traveled across the country and stopped for a quick bite at a small town diner has probably experienced this type of business.
While these towns may be the bread and butter of where businesses have evolved from, they are most definitely in the minority now. Customers want and need payments options.
While it can’t be said people use credit cards to pay for merchandise don’t carry cash, by and large, the trend for payments is definitely heavier on the plastic and less on paper and coin.
Even customers who use cash often to pay for things usually carry credit cards too. Customers like to have options. It gives them a sense of control, which they have every right to.
What this means for your business is you need to be prepared to accommodate those needs for your customers. The only way you can do this is by providing them all the payment options you can.
Setting up a merchant account for your business will allow you to accept all forms of credit card payments.
The most common is with credit card terminals. These terminals all look very similar. They have a screen on them, a credit card swiper, and buttons for punching in PIN numbers or other commands.
You can also process credit cards by manually typing in the credit card number and customer’s information.
Another method businesses used once upon a time -- but which has been overshadowed by electronic payments -- is authorizations by phone. This method can be used as a backup in case a business’ payment system is down.
Although it doesn’t happen too often, it’s good to be prepared in case of emergencies. It can get very hectic very quickly if you aren’t prepared or have a staff member who doesn’t know how to process these transactions in an emergency.
A merchant account can also give your business the ability to process credit card payments online, usually for a small additional monthly fee. Even if you only do a small amount of business online, you will need a merchant account to process those payments.
PayPal is a very popular merchant service for online payments. Of course, RedFynn is growing in popularity, too, especially since our services save businesses big money!
You will probably be approached by your banking institution about setting up a merchant account with them.
Depending on what the rates are associated with their merchant accounts, it might make the most sense for you to go through them if you are already an account holder with them.
There are also Independent Sales Organizations (ISO) and Member Service Providers who you can set up a merchant account with.
These authorized agents work with banks and are directly registered with Visa and Mastercard. There are pretty hefty fines for ISO/MSPs who don’t identify themselves with their sponsoring bank.
The best way to check the validity of an ISO/MSP is to go to their website or check their marketing material. They are required to display the name, city, and state of the bank they are sponsored by and it must also state they are “FDIC insured”.
If they do not have this information clearly displayed, watch out! They could be a fourth party unregistered operator. There are countless horror stories from merchants about these uninsured organizations.
Steer clear of any provider who does not have this information clearly displayed. Don’t invite any extra headaches upon your business.
There are a lot of different options for merchant accounts and each option comes with its own fees. These fees vary but usually have a set rate per transaction plus a percentage of each transaction as well.
The rates vary depending on how big your business is, how much business you do, and what type of card is being used.
Do your due diligence and shop around. There are a lot of different types of merchant accounts, but they all give you the ability to accept credit card payments.
So, unless you are all about the Benjamin's and ONLY the Benjamin's, set up a merchant account.
Don’t lose out on credit card payments. This is a lot of extra revenue you’ll miss otherwise.
The RedFynn merchant account program is fantastic, complete with dedicated customer service just for you, so you always know whom you’re talking to and whom to call if you need anything! Plus, unbeatably low rates and superb security!
As you’re doing your diligence, keep us in mind. And give us a call if you have any questions. We’ll give you an unbiased answer to every question you have. We’re here to serve. (888) 510-9871
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