How to Accept Credit Card Payments: A Tech Guide for Small Businesses
Over 60% of Americans have at least one credit card.
These cards are becoming the preferred method of payment. This means your business needs to be able to accept credit card payments to stay competitive.
Below we’ve outlined ways to accept credit cards in a store, online, or on the go. Keeping reading to learn your options and what steps you need to take to get started.
Accept Credit Card Payments in Your Store
Let’s start with the traditional method of accepting credit card payments through a brick-and-mortar store. Your first step should be opening a merchant account.
This account will hold all of your charges until they’re officially processed by the bank.
Next, you’ll have to open a business bank account to connect to this merchant account. In some cases, your merchant account provider will process payments or you’ll have to find a credit card processor.
The final step is getting a point-of-sale (POS) system to physically accept credit cards from customers. The good news is in-person transactions typically carry lower fees.
How To Accept Credit Cards Online
Online credit card payments have been growing in popularity over the last decade as more people shop on the web.
Merchant accounts are still required yet payment service providers take care of it for you. Major providers like PayPal and Square can be integrated with your online store. They carry a built-in merchant account.
Here are the benefits of working with a payment service provider:
- Signing up to process payments is quicker and easier
- These all-inclusive platforms offer a ton of payment options for you to use
- Fees from these providers are lower and more transparent
Although these can be used by brick-and-mortar stores or e-commerce operations, they do typically require a website to run.
Use Your Device To Accept Payments
Advances in technology have allowed businesses to process credit cards through a card reader for a phone or a mobile device.
A mobile credit card reader attaches to your smartphone to act as a credit card reader. These devices enable payment through traditional credit card swipes, chip payments, or contactless payments. They are particularly effective with outdoor events.
These are the types of readers available for businesses:
- Magstripe: These are the types of credit cards customers will use to swipe a payment
- EMV: An encrypted chip payment that makes using your card more secure
- NFC: Contactless payment options where a customer needs to approve transactions with a PIN or fingerprint
Here’s where things get exciting. Any of these three reader options can also be accessed through Bluetooth. But, you will still need to be a short distance away from your device.
The Best Way to Accept Credit Cards
You’re probably wondering what’s the best way to accept credit card payments? The truth is it depends on your type of business and what you feel comfortable doing.
Merchant accounts could be more practical for in-store purchases. But, PayPal may be better for your e-commerce operation.
Keep reading the rest of our site for more informative articles on the latest trends in mobile technology and business software.