May 20, 2014 965 Views

How to Accept Credit Cards

Credit cards are essential for online business.

Credit or debit cards are used in 80 percent of retail purchases and almost all the business conducted over the Internet. Merchants must establish an account with a processing company in order to accept credit cards. Whether a business sells its goods online or in person, getting a merchant account is the first step toward increased sales.Three common processing systems that most companies utilize include the following.· Point of Sale (POS) Machines
· Online Payment Virtual Terminals
· Mobile Credit Apps

How to set up an account.

There are several steps involved in setting up an account. Companies must organize and meet any legal requirements. Some businesses must be licensed on a local, state or national level. Merchants must open a business account at a financial institution and organize a system to keep records. If a company plans to sell over the Internet, then it must establish a reliable connection.

Choose the best provider for the kind of business you plan to conduct. The decision should be easy based on the following criteria.

· If you have a physical location where goods are sold, then you will need a credit/debit card machine, also called a Point of Sale (POS) machine.
· If you plan to sell online, you will need a website to accept consumer orders and take payments through an online virtual terminal.
· If you travel to fairs, flea markets, festivals, and other venues to make sales, then you should choose Mobile Credit Card Apps.

POS credit card machines facilitate many services for merchants.

National providers offer the best options for projected growth. Your business will be able to get the hardware and software necessary to handle credit/debit card processing efficiently, personal check verification, and other services conducive to retail business. If you conduct business from stationary, mobile and online locations, then a national provider is the most effective solution.

National providers have predetermined rates for processing services of 1.6–2.2 percent of the amount charged. Comprehensive services may include mobile credit card swipers, smartphone applications, and online terminals. You will enjoy access to technical support 24/7.

Local providers offer a more personal approach. These include local banks where you may have your business account. The rates for processing tend to have greater flexibility. You can meet personally with processing personnel, and broken equipment can be replaced very quickly. Many local processors offer options for mobile and online credit card processing.

Online payment terminals allow access to Internet business.

More business is conducted online every day. An online presence allows companies to accept orders 24/7 and strengthens the bottom line. Many people conduct business exclusively through their online websites. Setting up an online account with PayPal, Google Checkout, or Amazon is very easy for small businesses. These providers are the most popular choices with online merchants.

PayPal

· PayPal charges 2.2–2.9 percent and $0.30 per transaction, but the rate decreases as sales volume increases.
· International transactions incur a 1-percent surcharge. Currency conversion costs 2.5 percent.
· Merchants and consumers enjoy encrypted SSL protection on all transactions.
· Non-profit organizations qualify for lower rates of 1.9–2.2 percent plus $0.30 per transaction.
· Customers enjoy 24/7 technical support, available 365 days a year.

Google Checkout

· Google Checkout charges 2.2–2.9 percent and $0.30 per transaction, but the rate decreases as sales volume increases.
· Merchants who sell inexpensive items under $10 can choose an optional fee structure of 5 percent plus $0.05 per transaction.
· Checkout is secure with SSL-encrypted protection.
· The virtual terminal can be customized to match your website.
· Customer support is only available by email.

Amazon Payments

· Amazon Payments charges 1.9–2.9 percent and $0.30 per transaction, but the rate decreases as sales volume increases.
· All transactions under $10 are charged 5 percent plus $0.05 automatically.
· International transactions incur a 1-percent surcharge.
· Customers enjoy 24/7 technical support, available 365 days a year.
· Merchants and consumers enjoy encrypted SSL protection on all transactions.

Credit card swipe apps allow merchants to accept cards at mobile locations.

Merchants enjoy the ability to accept credit cards anywhere with smartphones, iPads and Android-enhanced mobile devices. Popular processing service providers include the following.

Intuit GoPayment

This processing service is available for Blackberry tablets and smartphones and Google Android.

· The credit card reader and software application are free.
· Swiped cards are charged 2.7 percent for each transaction. Keyed-in transactions cost 3.7 percent.
· Interactive order screens can be accessed through iPad and Android Apps.
· The application integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks software for record keeping.
· Intuit also offers online payment terminals.
· Merchants enjoy 24/7 technical support, available 365 days a year by phone. Merchants also enjoy email, chat, and an FAQ section to answer common questions.

Square

This processing service is available for Apple iOS and Google Android.

· The credit card reader and software application are free.
· Swiped cards are charged 2.7 percent for each transaction. Keyed-in transactions cost 3.5 percent plus an additional $0.15 for each transaction.
· Interactive order screens can be accessed through iPad Apps.
· Customer support is through email and FAQ only.

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SMB Reviews
SMB Reviews 498 posts

SMBReviews is committed to providing small and mid-sized business owners with the information and resources they need to select the best service or product for their company.

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