How to Accept Credit Cards as a Small Business

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How to Accept Credit Cards as a Small Business

Credit cards accepted here!

In a country where the average person has four credit cards, these are the words your customers want to see when they visit your store. And they’re more likely to spend more if they’re paying via credit card.

As such, credit card acceptance will not only help boost your sales and cash flow but also increase customer satisfaction.

As a business owner who wants to accept credit card payments for the first time, you might be wondering what it takes to get started. Read on for a step-by-step guide.

Determine the Mode of Credit Card Payment

There are four different ways a consumer can make a credit card payment:

  • Online
  • In-person
  • Over-the-phone
  • On-site using a mobile card reader.

The mode will determine the kind of hardware and software you need. If you’re a pure eCommerce business, for example, you only need to accept online credit card payments. This doesn’t create the need for hardware such as a card reader.

Depending on the nature and type of your business, you might need to offer more than one mode of credit card payment. If you’re a retail store with both physical and online operations, you can offer online, in-person, and over-the-phone payments.

Settle on a Payment Processing System

Regardless of the mode of credit card payment you choose, you need a payment processor. This is a service provider that processes the payment from a card holder’s account into your business’s bank account.

There are thousands of payment processors, and the one you settle on will depend on your needs. If you’re an online business, for instance, it’s preferable to go with a digital payments processor like PayPal. If you’re a brick-and-mortar store, a traditional bank’s credit card payment processing system would suit you better.

Most payment processors accept all the major cards, so you shouldn’t worry about setting up multiple payment processing systems. 

Open a Merchant Account

A merchant account enables your business to receive card payments. This is where you’ll find all the money after customers have made their credit card payments.

Most payment processors offer merchant account services, so setting up an account should be straightforward. However, be sure to consider account fees and other charges before making your choice.

If your business uses ERP software like IFS ERP which has a financial management module, you may want a merchant account that allows ERP integration. Keep this in mind as you search.

Set Up the Payment Infrastructure

Physical credit card payments require businesses to acquire and install a credit card terminal at the point of sale. Your payments processor may offer you the necessary hardware for free or at a discounted price.

If you will be accepting online credit card payments, the processor will provide a payments API to enable integration with your eCommerce website.

Accept Credit Card Payments Today!

The modern consumer wants multiple forms of payment. It’s time to accept credit card payments; otherwise, you’ll lose potential customers. With this guide, you now know the steps to take in order start taking card payments.

Explore our blog for more small business advice.