Merchant Services For Small Businesses: A Guide
In today’s troubling business climate, small businesses need every advantage that they can possibly muster to survive and prosper. Being able to give faultless, convenient service to your customers ensures that they will enjoy their experience and will be far more likely to return; simple things that tend to go unnoticed, but really count.
A simple way to ensure that your business can provide seamless service is to arrange a Merchant Account. A Merchant Account allows your clients and customers to make their payments to you through credit and debit cards. Setting up a Merchant Account may seem like a simple business decision, but it is amazing how many businesses are yet to realise what an advantage a Merchant Account can be. Merchant services for small businesses are now available through hundreds of different suppliers worldwide so the process of setting up your Merchant Account could not be simpler.
A Merchant Account is a simple way to take your small business to the next level. Being able to accept card payments shows that your company is a serious operation and can allow you to begin trading nationally and internationally: the only other elements required are a thirst for success and an expansive business mind.
- Card machines for small businesses
- Small business card processing
- Why is it important for my business to establish a Merchant Account?
- As a small business, will I face any problems setting up a Merchant Account?
Card Machines For Small Businesses
There are three types of Merchant Account available - choosing which one to go for depends on what type of business you run and what sort of transactions you wish to process. Retails Merchant Accounts are for face-to-face transactions where the credit card holder is present during the transaction. The other two (Mail Order and Internet Merchant Accounts) are remote accounts, where the cardholder is not present.
If you run a retail establishment, or run another type of business where your customers buy direct from you in person, you will require a retail account and a card machine to process payment directly. These card machines will generally come as part of the package from your Merchant Account provider. You will essentially be hiring the machine from the supplier. The cost of hiring the machine will be minimal, although the cost will vary from company to company. It is more important to focus on the service rate that each company is offering you: this is where the cost of the transactions will differ quite significantly depending on which provider you go with.
Small Business Card Processing
Merchant Service Providers make their money through charging their client companies a small amount for each transaction that they handle. Most providers will offer lower rates per transaction for companies that are processing a larger volume: the more transactions you put through, the less it will cost your company per transaction. Because of this, small businesses tend to suffer because the volume of payments being processed will be lower. It is worth having a look around and trying to find companies that favour smaller businesses and offer more competitive rates for lower transaction volumes.
Also, be wary that providers may put a cap on the amount of transactions you can process each month. This means that if you have a busier month than normal you may not be able to process payment without incurring extra cost. This is obviously best avoided, if possible.
Why Is It Important For My Business To Establish A Merchant Account?
Cash is becoming redundant as a form of payment. Most people now prefer the ease and convenience of card payments because it means they do not have to carry cash around with them. Moreover, any stigma that was attached to card payments as being a risky way to pay has now been smashed: security measures involved in card payments have been increased dramatically and people now feel very confident in using their cards to make payments wherever they are in the world.
Not being able to accept card payments makes your business look prehistoric in today’s world. You could actively be losing customers by not being able to accept debit and credit cards so it really is something that is worth investing in. Competition in the Merchant Services marketplace means that rates are much better than they used to be and a Merchant Account is incredibly simple to set up. Having a Merchant Account is such an easy transition and could make a huge difference to the fortunes of your business.
As A Small Business, Will I Face Any Problems Setting Up A Merchant Account?
Traditionally it has been more difficult for a small business to successfully apply for a Merchant Account. Small businesses, especially new businesses, face problems through not having a long and established trading history. A strong trading history with a healthy turnover is required by some Merchant Service providers before they will allow you to set up a Merchant Account and begin making payments through them.
However, due to the surge in demand for Merchant Accounts, providers are now much more supportive of small businesses and over the last few years it has become a much more simple process to successfully establish a merchant account. It may take a bit more ‘shopping around’ to find the provider that is right for you, but Merchant Service providers have recognised the small business a legitimate partner in Merchant Services.
A Merchant Account has become a necessity for every type and size of business and by not having one you are simply shooting yourself in the foot on a daily basis. It is an attractive, and extremely simple feature to bring to your daily business routine and it ensures that you can cater to your customers by making payment as simple as possible. Have a look at the different options available, take your time doing your research to make sure you are getting the best rates possible, and set up your new Merchant Account today.