The Importance of Credit Card Processing Services for Business Owners

Merchant Warehouse |

December 7, 2010

Business owners today use (and need) credit card processing services more than ever. Among the millions of consumers spending money in the marketplace, most use credit cards to make both careful and impulse purchases on a regular basis. The volume of these purchases increases annually and can ultimately support your business above older payment methods that are less reliable and secure for your operations.

It is important for merchants to choose the right credit card processing services when establishing their business or switching gears toward the development and growth of their business.

A Payment Revolution

In the technologically-driven world that we exist in today, two things – the Internet and credit cards – have revolutionized the shopping and buying habits of people worldwide. Credit cards have provided consumers with unprecedented buying power. Using a simple card, virtually anyone can buy anything at any time – and without the cash to immediately do so. In this manner, consumers can buy first and pay later, which is almost irresistible.

As there are many obvious advantages to credit card use, a great number of people use credit cards for shopping, vacations and even bill payments. Business owners have taken careful note of this trend and have implemented prominent credit card payment steps in their sales transaction setups. In fact, having a credit card payment system creates greater esteem for a business owner. If a business owner wants to implement credit card payments in his company, he will need a merchant account and the credit card sales transaction terminals to process such payments.

It is absolutely essential for a new merchant to obtain a merchant account from appropriate and qualified financial institutions and banks. By approaching a merchant services provider, a business owner can acquire everything from the crucial merchant account to credit card transaction equipment and setup assistance. It is a good idea to comparison shop and see what terms and conditions the merchant service provider companies have to offer. This is applicable to both conventional and online business owners. In fact, for many online business owners – or e-tailers – the preferred mode of payment is a credit card.

Of course, different merchants require various types of credit card processing setups. Most retailer merchants prefer using traditional credit card swipe terminals. This ensures an in-person, live sales transaction, which reduces fraud risk as well as processing cost. Online business owners, on the other hand, can easily use Internet credit card processing systems that include payment gateways, website shopping carts and more.

The “keyed-in” Kind

For any merchant who does not conduct business with a live customer in-person, they are referred to as a keyed-in merchant. It is critical for Internet, mail order and telephone order merchants to have a credit card processing service, as it is the major payment choice among consumers and other businesses. Merchants can manually process the credit cards themselves through a secure website or integrate a shopping cart to allow orders to be placed directly online.

If the majority of a merchant’s sales are in-person, they are considered to be a credit card-present retail merchant. The most cost-effective method to accept credit cards is through a point of sale – or POS – credit card terminal machine. If your sales are not conducted at a single location, then you are considered to be a wireless merchant.

In the course of searching for a merchant service provider, a business owner needs to look and act carefully. The history and track record of the merchant service provider needs to be taken into consideration. It is easy to find this information about leading merchant service providers through your local bank branch or through a search on the web. Of course, business colleagues and professional friends can also provide tried-and-true direct referrals.

Flexibility is Key

Be sure that the credit card merchant service provider is flexible enough to offer credit card processing services to retail, wholesale, mail order, telephone order, commercial and ecommerce businesses. Make sure that they can create custom-made programs for any business category that you fall under now or may fall under in the future. Doing business with you can be more convenient for your customers when you have a good merchant service provider supporting your credit card processing needs for MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express, Diner’s Club, personal checks and every leading ATM card network worldwide.

Ultimately, the right merchant service provider should provide convenience to your operation and add value for your customers, while bringing savings and ease of use directly to your business. In the course of your application process see if your merchant service provider can approve and set up your new account or transfer your account within a few working days to keep your business afloat with no downtime.