Access the Cashless Cash Cow – How to Accept Credit Card Payments

Whether your sales are in-person from a POS (Point of Sale) Machine in a brick and mortar business, or if your salesroom is on the internet, your business depends on being able to accept credit card payments. After all, cash may still be king, but credit cards are definitely the crown prince. But not all credit card processors are the same, and it’s important to know what the best set-up is for your business.

In order to do that, there are a few terms you need to be familiar with.

Merchant Account

You need an account like this to accept and process credit card payments and to get paid by the credit card companies. Your bank can help you set up a merchant account, or you can go through an all-in-one payment service like Square ,PayPal, or Payline.

Processing Fees

These are fees your Merchant Account Provider charges for their services. The fees are almost always a percentage of each transaction, plus a per-transaction fee for certain types of transactions.
accept credit card

Point of Sale (POS) System

POS systems handle payments for in-store sales. It will include a payment screen, a credit card reader, a receipt printer, and a cash drawer.

Many POS systems, such as Square POS, include features like inventory and sales reporting.

Payment Gateway

A payment gateway connects your online store’s checkout page to your payment processing solution. Some processors – like Square, PayPal, and Payline – include a payment gateway. Others require you to have a separate payment gateway account. Most payment gateways include a virtual terminal to accept payment for phone sales, invoice payments, and recurring charges.

Shopping Cart Checkout

This is a secure page in your store’s check out process. It connects to your payment gateway so you can securely accept customer payment information.

Accepting Credit Card Payments: The Break-Down

You can accept credit cards in one of three ways:

  1. In-person

In-person credit card payments require a card reader that allows you or your customer to swipe or dip (using the chip reader) a credit card. Processing fees for in-person sales are lower than online sales since in-person credit card payments carry a far lower risk of fraud.

  1. Mobile Payments

You can accept mobile payments in person as well. Mobile payments process through their own readers (like Apple Pay), or through a smart-phone based app.

  1. Online

This includes ecommerce and virtual terminal purchases, and uses a payment gateway that allows customers or sales staff to enter credit card information into a secure online form.

While all-in-one solutions support all types of payments, other merchant account providers require you to have one account for in-store and mobile card reader sales, and another for online store and virtual terminal sales. You should have your money within 1-2 days.

It’s really important that you consider all of these things when deciding what kind of credit card processing system to use. Every Merchant Account Provider and every credit card processing system works a little differently. Do yourself and your business the favor of doing your research using the links provided in this article

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