For many new small businesses or ones in the midst of a growth period, accepting credit cards is the next logical step to seeing your sales increase. However, how to accept credit cards can often seem very complicated to business owners. Choosing the best method to accept credit cards is really just an exercise in comparison based on the number of transactions you anticipate handling and the types of payment you will be accepting.
There are four different options available for accepting credit cards. Choosing the best one for you will depend on the specific needs of your business.
Point-of-Sale (POS) Systems
A complete checkout system, which will typically include a credit card swiper; NFC reader for Apple Pay, Android Pay or other electronic payment options; touch screen; barcode scanner; and other equipment. This works best for businesses with a physical location that also connects multiple cash registers and business systems together. However, it does require a merchant account.
Mobile Credit Card Processors
A dongle or app allows you to accept credit cards using a smartphone or tablet. Usually it requires a credit card reader that can attach to your phone, but often does not require a merchant account. This option is best for businesses that sell in a variety of locations and want to process transactions outside of their physical locations.
Credit Card Terminal
This terminal can be set up to swipe credit or debit cards in person, or to manually enter credit card numbers from other orders, such as by phone or online. This option requires a merchant account and is best if you only need the system to accept payments. However, if you want to tie your purchasing into bookkeeping software, then this system might not be as affective for your needs.
E-commerce has continued to grow as businesses take their stores to the virtual world. Thus, if you are not going to invest in a physical location, then there are several online service providers for processing credit card payments that also provide shopping cart software, as well as handling all the additional steps to collect the funds from the credit card company. They typically do not require a merchant account, but they are hosted by a third party, which may mean increased fees.
Overall, the type of system you use to accept credit cards should depend primarily on the type of business you run and the location of the business. Yet no matter what option you choose, it is important to make sure you can accept credit cards to continue to grow your sales.
Merchants Bancard can assist small business owner with the knowledge of how to accept credit cards due to their extensive industry experience. They also provide assistance in choosing the best technology for any small business.