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A Small-Business Owner's Guide to Accepting Credit Card Payments

A Small-Business Owner's Guide to Accepting Credit Card Payments

There are many small businesses that are not as prepared as they should be to manage credit cards transactions. Credit card transactions don’t just cost money, but they can also expose you to threatening security risks who may compromise the operations of your company and its stability. If you know how to accept card payments in an efficient and safe way, it will help you establish your company and help it to become a leading industry player. 

Accepting Cash vs. Credit Card

Credit cards are a more common payment method these days than cash. In POS transactions, cash has become a less common payment. As cash is less preferred, only a few merchants operate on a cash basis. As cash doesn’t involve any fees, transactions can be completed soon. But it causes troubles in other aspects. You need to store and protect cash which needs regular trips to the bank. There is also a problem of change in cash transactions. Either the seller or buyer should have the right coins and bills on hand to make balance. It is also harder to trace in terms of accounting. 

Benefits of Credit Card Transactions 

  • High sales – You need to accept credit cards by many customers. They are not just simple for them, customers can also benefit from using their card with cash back to rewards. Companies can provide a lot of benefits to the person who uses their cards. 

  • More purchases – It is very effortless and easy to make credit card purchases. Simply insert and swipe the card and the transaction can be processed quickly. Customers are far more likely to shop more when they don’t have to cash out an ATM or write a check. 

  • More cash flow – It is difficult to send invoices in a traditional process. You need to wait several weeks for a client to send a check and a few more days to clear a check. With credit card transactions, funds are transferred directly to your bank within a few days, no matter where a buyer lives. It ensures smooth operation and cash flow.  

  • Low risk of bounced checks – There’s always a risk of checks to bounce, though you have enough information about the customer. You can get paid every time with credit cards. 

Potential risks of accepting credit cards 

  • Risk of fraud – Some payment methods are safer than others, but there is always a risk of fraud. And it can be expensive and involves a lot of processes with several parties. 

  • Processing fees – Processing credit card is not free. You may have to pay more than one way. A lot of companies charge for each transaction in percentage, which adds up.

Some Tips for Safe and Efficient Transactions 

No matter how credit card payments are accepted, it is important to ensure that it is being done securely, safely and efficiently. 

Use approved program and equipments only

There are different POS systems out there. You have to be very careful when choosing services and products. Be sure to use those hardware and software which comply with PCI guidelines. Along with PCI guidelines, also read reviews and do your due diligence to know the best options which have been approved and tested. 

Don’t store card data

There is nothing wrong with it technically, but you become very vulnerable to security risks. When you hold the data of a cardholder, be it from a person or individual business, you are at risk of losing that information to unauthorized people.