Point Of Sale

How to Accept Credit Card Payments as a Small Business

83% of businesses that started to accept credit cards saw an increase in sales. 18% of those businesses said they made at least $20,000 more a month.

That’s a lot of extra money that your small business could be tapping into simply by learning how to accept credit card payments from your customers.

What might seem like a headache and maybe even a hassle when it comes to the potential of extra revenue is actually pretty simple. Setting up credit card processing for your company is easy, and it can increase your revenue by a lot.

Here’s how to get started.

Learn About How to Accept Credit Card Payments

Before you even get to the step of selecting a payment processing service, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the process.

If you’re a brick and mortar store, then you’ll need to factor in the necessity of a point-of-sale (POS) terminal, which isn’t something that all payment processors offer.

It’s best to figure out what your business needs in terms of physical sales terminals, online payment processing, inventory tracking, loyalty programs, and any tax or receipt related information.

Once you’ve got this, then you’ll be able to have a better understanding of which payment processor will provide you with the services and features you need to accept credit card payments.

Understand How Credit Card Processing Works

Sure, you insert the chip or swipe the card and the money gets transferred to your small business’s bank account. But, what’s really happening when you accept a customer’s payment?

Whether you’re using an in-person terminal or an online payment form, your customer enters their information into the software or equipment.

Your payment processor transmits that data to your merchant account. If it’s an online payment, it goes through a payment gateway.

Before they accept or decline the payment, the payment processor will verify with the bank that’s issuing the card. Then, the bank will either accept or decline the payment and the transaction is complete.

At this time, a payment processor will usually deduct their fees from the payment and deposit the rest of the money into your merchant or small business account the next day or two later.

Choose an Account Type

It’s not as simple as just deciding that you’re going to accept credit cards. There are different types of accounts that a small business can have for payment processing.

  • POS System: Restaurants, retail stores, and any other physical stores will need to have a POS system for in-person payments. For this, you’ll need equipment to insert chip cards or swipe cards without chips and print receipts as well as software to handle all of the actual processing.

  • Online Payment Gateway: These types of accounts are traditionally offered through eCommerce platforms such as WooCommerce or Shopify. Payment gateways are ideal for small businesses that don’t plan on accepting millions in online payments. Or, if you want a more custom or robust solution, you can create your own eCommerce enabled web site and integrate a payment gateway such as Authorize.net.

  • Merchant Account: A merchant account will allow you to accept payments online, in-store or through mobile applications. Multichannel sellers will benefit the most from merchant accounts, and they add an extra layer of security and reliability.

What’s the right type of account for your small business?

If you accept any sort of in-person payments, then you’ll definitely need some sort of POS terminal such as Payanywhere, Clover, or Square.

If you sell only online, then go with an online payment gateway.

Select a Payment Processor

Next, you’ll need to select the right online payment processor. When selecting the right one, you’ll need to factor in things such as:

  • Equipment: Do you need equipment for your store? A POS system? If so, are there options for purchasing, leasing, or renting.

  • Fees: Does the platform charge a monthly fee to use their service? How much do they charge per transaction?

  • Volume: How much do you plan to process per month? If you plan on accepting more than $100,000 in transactions per month, then you should look for a payment solution that offers volume discounts.

  • Payment Methods: Does the payment processor only take credit card payments or do they allow customers to pay with other platforms such as mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay?

  • Integrations: If you’re using an eCommerce platform, then it might only accept certain payment processors. Check to see what kind of other integrations the payment processor works with to ensure it will work with your other software.

These are all items that you’ll need to take a look at while also considering what type of account you’ll need from the section above.

Now it’s time to compare the different platforms.

Compare Different Credit Card Processors

When comparing, it’s best to put the different payment processors side-by-side and write down the fees, features, and integrations of each.

Because you have a pretty good idea now of what you need, it’ll be easier to discard ones that don’t immediately meet your biggest needs.

If you own a restaurant and know that you need a POS system that has features specifically for your business and your customers, then look for a provider that offers you that solution.

POS systems exist, for example, that cater to the needs of full-service restaurants or that are easy-to-use in retail settings.

iPads, larger systems, and card readers can all be a part of this software. It just depends on what is important for your business.

Once you’ve decided which platform is best for you, you’ll want to ensure that you can integrate it with your website or in-store software (if you have any).

Let Striker Payments Help

Woo! You made it. Now you’re ready to start accepting credit card payments. But, where do I start? How can I get help? We know this can be very overwhelming.

The final step in figuring out how to accept credit card payments is to do a free consultation with Striker Payments. We offer payment processing solutions for retail stores, restaurants, eCommerce businesses, and many more.

Complete our free form and we’ll have one of our specialists contact you with more information so you can make the best decision for yourself, your customers, and your wallet.