05 / 30 / 14

Small Business Roadmap: Getting Started

Accepting credit and debit cards in your business can make a huge difference to your sales because it significantly broadens your potential market. Every day, a growing number of consumers use debit or credit cards for their purchases and having an electronic terminal can increase the average sale by 30%.

In fact, your chances are slim-to-none in finding stores that don’t offer the use of credit and debit cards as a payment method, and those retailers that do not offer this method actually realize a loss in business. Unfortunately, consumers today no longer carry cash.

In a recent survey, eighty percent of consumers polled said they prefer plastic to paper currency.

Benefits for Retailers

Debit and credit cards are an essential component of any payment system. For retailers, the acceptance of credit cards reduces check payments, limits time, and therefore costs – thus, there’s an increase in your sales.

Retailers are not required to accept credit cards, but those who do increase their sales by 30%, since it is the preferred method of payment for most consumers.

Consider the many benefits, including:

  • Prompt payment and a reduced number of paper checks for brick and mortar stores at checkout. Did you know other forms of payment actually cost the retailer more money to process. If each transaction at a point of sale lasts an additional 30 seconds, it will cost merchants 27 million hours of overtime per year.
  • Ability to accept credit payments without worrying about the creditworthiness of customers, lack of funds or delays in payment
  • Increase sales by offering consumers a variety of payment options
  • Expansion of markets: the ability to sell to consumers nationwide, in the currency of choice can boost sales
  • The ability to enter into agreements for co-branding; retailers can have their name printed on the card, and thus increase their visibility while encouraging cardholders to shop at their establishment, whether online or at a traditional store
  • Reducing the amount of cash that is in a traditional storefront; cash is often considered a “free” form of payment for retailers, but this is a myth. Indeed, this form of payment can be very expensive when you consider the effort involved in handling money, counting and securing the money and coins, providing for secure transport to the bank, to guard against potential thefts and avoid mistakes made by cashiers

Some years ago, accepting various electronic payment could represent a considerable expenditure for small business owners, but over time, technological advances and the increasing consumer demand of credit cards, have drastically reduced merchant fees, and its become a disadvantage not to accept all forms of payment.

Securing a Merchant Account

The requirements for a merchant account can vary business to business, but for the most part, you only need to produce proof of address, identification of the account holder, business tax ID, and a bank account to transfer funds.

One factor that stands out among processors is the payment methods; the ability to accept any form of payment is an advantage because the retailer can complete the sale. Imagine having to turn a customer away due to their payment option.

It is necessary that entrepreneurs are well aware that meeting the needs of the customer is vital to successful financial performance, and that translates into offering every payment method available.

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