When it comes to payment, cash is no longer king. It was for a long time, but consumers are now praising the wonders of non-cash payment methods. According to a 2019 study, the average consumer now uses non-cash payments for three in four transactions.
With improved security measures, near-unlimited spending limits and rewards, and online shopping at a rising trend, credit card payment is at its peak relevance. In fact, credit cards account for 34 percent of all card-related transactions online.
For business owners and entrepreneurs alive, the idea of credit card payment has both positive and negative impressions. This article is going to show you why your business should consider credit card payments.
How to Accept Credit Card Payments for Small Businesses
Before you can start accepting credit card payments for your small business, you first need to know how to execute this process. There are three core steps that you need to undertake (according to MerchantMaverick) :
1.) Find a Credit Card Processing Provider
The first thing you need to do is find an online provider that offers credit card processing services. Many companies provide this type of service at various rates.
Make sure you decide which portion of the credit card transactions you will process online, over the phone, or in person. At the same time, consider the type of credit cards you’ll accept (Visa Mastercard, American Express, etc.) Keep in mind that processing fees vary between the card types and transaction types.
Look for a provider that offers the most competitive yet reasonable fees for the type of credit cards and transactions your business will be processing the most. Also, consider the volume of transactions that you plan your business to process. Keep in mind that some providers offer better deals when you process more transactions.
Are you running an online-exclusive business? If so, then make sure the payment processing company you choose integrates with your website easily. For brick and mortar businesses, research the ideal type of hardware that you’ll need to purchase to see if they will be compatible with your POS system.
2.) Open a Merchant Account
Once you’ve chosen your credit card processor, the next step is to create a merchant services account with that provider. PayPal and other popular providers that you use for your personal transactions aren’t ideal if you’re doing business. Instead, you need to establish a business account to enable your company to start accepting payments via credit card.
Creating a merchant account will require you to provide details about your business. At the same time, you will also need to set up a connection with your business bank account where the money will be deposited.
3.) Create Payment Terminals
The third and final step in accepting credit card payments is to set up payment terminals across your business. Doing so will ensure maximum cash flow opportunities for your business. At the same time, you will also provide the utmost convenience for your customers.
For brick and mortar businesses, you will need to set up hardware, like a card reader or a POS system (that’s if you don’t have one already). There are many card readers available on the market — choose the ones that let you accept payments via a swipe of a card, a contactless tap, or an inserted chip.
If you do sales exclusively online, you will need to set up an online payment process. But if you’re using Shopify or other eCommerce platforms, the payment portal will come within the platform itself. If you’ve built your website and would like to accept payments from there, you may need technical support from your card processing provider or web developer. They will add the credit card processing feature to your website.
Don’t forget to educate yourself every step of the way. To understand how to make the most out of the hardware or software you added to your payment processing, look for training resources from your payment processing provider.
Ways to Accept Credit Card Payments
As a merchant, you can accept credit card transactions either in-person or online. On the other hand, mobile payments have also become a popular option amongst consumers in recent years. Mobile card readers and wireless terminals have paved the way for businesses to accept payments anywhere in the virtual sphere.
Accepting Credit Cards In-Person
For brick-and-mortar businesses such as restaurants or retail stores, you will need at least one credit card machine for every location. Nowadays, companies choose between a traditional countertop credit card terminal and a POS (Point of Sale) system.
In-person credit card transactions involve the customer presenting their card physically when making a purchase. Since the card and its cardholder are present for this transaction, it poses a lower risk of fraud. Because of this, in-person credit card transactions also have lower additional fees.
Does your business accept orders online or provide digital services? Either way, you will rely on online credit card processing. Transactions are done online typically have higher processing fees than in-person transactions since the business will be employing the services of a separate company that offers a safe and secure payment process.
If you want to accept online credit card payments, you need an online storefront, such as a website or eCommerce store. At the same time, you will also need a payment gateway to process digital payments from customers safely.
Transactions that don’t require the presence of actual credit cards commonly take place over the phone. This type of payment is commonly used in the restaurant industry, particularly for takeout orders. Over-the-phone payments involve the customer providing their credit card number with the merchant. The merchant will manually enter the information into their card reader.
This type of credit card payment typically incurs the highest processing fees since they post the greatest risk of fraud. You will need a credit card reader, a POS system, and an online payment gateway system to process credit card payments over the phone.
ReliaBills Can Also Accept Credit Card Payments
While known as invoicing software, ReliaBills has the tools and features also to accept credit card payments. Our system is built for convenient invoicing and payment processing in mind, offering a simple payment processing solution that can also scale as your company grows.
When you upgrade to ReliaBills PLUS, you will get additional features that will help you process credit card payments easily. These features include:
- Electronic payments: Get paid faster with electronic card payments. With ReliaBills, you won’t need any gateways, plus you will also get seamless reporting.
- Auto collection notifications: A fully automated multimedia collections schedule will ensure that you’ll never have to make awkward collections calls again.
- SMS text messaging: Don’t just rely on email to reach out to customers about payment due dates. Our automated test message system will engage with your customers as well.
- Chargeback recovery: ReliaBills will recover chargebacks, so you won’t have to do it yourself.
- Automated failed payment recovery: Errors can happen at any given moment. Fortunately, ReliaBills is also aware of this possibility and will notify you when it does. We can even handle the situation, so you won’t have to worry about it.
- Auto billing: ReliaBills can store customer payment information so you can get paid faster via auto payments (recurring billing).
Other Useful Features
- Virtual payment terminal: With the ReliaBills integrated online merchant services, your customers can pay with a single click. You even have the option to accept payment directly from your website. In addition, you can also receive electronic payment via mail, phone, and in-person.
- Online customer Auto Pay auth form: With ReliaBills, you can enroll your customers to AutoPay so you can securely store and maintain their payment details.
- Automated reverse payment fees: ReliaBills will recover lost funds from failed payment, as well as apply fees whenever it’s reversed.
- Automated late fees: ReliaBills will let you place a grace period for your payment due date, as well as set fixed fees, percentage fees, or a combination of both.
- Recurring billing: Recurring billing is the ribbon that wraps everything together. With a recurring billing system, you will be able to charge and collect payment from your customers automatically without having to ask permission from them every billing cycle.
For just $24.95 per month, you can get access to all of these features, plus the ReliaBills basic plan. So, what are you waiting for? Create a free account now and upgrade it to ReliaBills PLUS for better credit card payment processing. For more information about pricing, click here.