Many merchant services providers offer their clients credit card phone processing services as an optional interface to process credit card payments from their customers. It is often referred to as a mail order/telephone order, or MOTO, interface. It is one way that merchants can process their customers’ credit card payments when the credit card is not actually present to swipe through a card reader.
Why Use MOTO?
The kind of businesses that MOTO services are likely to benefit the most, are often companies that have one or more of the following characteristics:
• Take the majority of their credit card transactions through the mail, over the phone, or in some other way that the customer’s credit card is not actually present.
• Have a low quantity or monetary value of credit card transactions in a typical month.
• Do not have the space or the desire to use a card reader and a POS system.
• Conduct much of their business away from the home base of the company.
The benefits that MOTO credit card phone processing offers to these businesses can be substantial. For one thing, getting set up is easy. It involves opening a merchant account, or linking your merchant account to the MOTO service, and being able to access the interface, usually via a 1-800 phone number, using a touchtone phone. Another advantage of using the best credit card phone processing providers is that there is no need to pay for or accommodate extra equipment. A touchtone phone or mobile phone is the only needed equipment. The interface is also versatile and can be employed whether the credit card being used is physically present or not. It is accessible anywhere or any time you have access to a touchtone phone, making it essentially portable for travel purposes.
Getting Set Up
Setting up your business to use the best credit card phone processing services is usually simple. First you will need to open a merchant account. This can be done through the service provider. Since a merchant account provider takes on financial risks in your behalf, you will most likely be required to give information such as mailing address, social security or tax ID numbers, and other identifying information, as well as financial information. The account provider may also check your credit with one or more credit bureaus. Once the account is open, and set up to receive transactions through the credit card phone processing system, you should be able to access the system using your account number and password, or other codes. Once you are into the system, you will most likely be able to check your account balances, hear the details of recent transactions, enter a new transaction, and other actions.
Processing A Payment
When you access the interface, the audio script may go something like this: “Please enter your account number followed by the # sign.” You may then be instructed to press a certain number on your keypad if you want to hear your account balance, press another number if you want to hear transaction details, and another number if you want to enter a new transaction. Press the number that corresponds with entering a new transaction. You will probably be instructed to enter the cardholder’s account number, expiration date and other pertinent information using the keypad of your touchtone phone. The system will probably read the numbers and information back to you so that you can verify that the information is correct. Follow the prompts given by the credit card phone processing service to submit the transaction.
Do not navigate to a different action or transaction until you have received confirmation that the transaction has been received. This could cause a transaction to be lost or miscommunicated, and result in errors. Also, do not end the phone call until you have been instructed to do so, or you have received the needed confirmation numbers.
Generating receipts for your customers with credit card phone processing companies usually doesn’t automatically happen. If you need to create receipts to mail or email to your customers, you have a number of ways to generate and deliver those receipts to your customers. You can handwrite the receipts, detailing the items or services sold, the date, customer name, credit card information and so-on, on carbon copy paper that has the company letterhead on it. Keep one copy for your business records and give one to the customer. You can also generate a receipt using computer software. Print out and mail, or email/fax the customer a copy of the receipt.
While you are using the credit card processing services, have something handy to record information such as confirmation numbers and other details with, such as a ledger book and a pen, or a computer spreadsheet with labeled columns. This way you can easily record the needed information as you process the transactions. Using a headset or the speaker phone setting may be helpful to free up both hands for typing. If you opt to use speaker phone, make sure that you are in a private setting, in order to avoid inadvertently divulging your customers’ credit card information to any other person. If you need to check some details about your merchant account or specific transactions, you may be able to do that online periodically throughout the month. Also, you will probably receive a written monthly account statement that will help you to stay accurate with your account.
The credit card phone processing company you choose should have live customer service so that if you run into problems while using the credit card phone processing system you can get it resolved quickly without causing a hassle for you or your customer. The quality of customer service offered by a credit card processing company can make a big difference in the everyday experiences you have with in your business.
Choosing The Best Provider
The credit card processing provider you choose will have a significant impact on your business. Try to choose a provider that will be a good fit for your company. The best credit card phone processing companies have reasonable rates, an intuitive and simple to use interface, and high quality customer service. They are easy to get set up with, and are available 24/7.
When it comes to essential services credit card processing services are the top of any merchant list. To be a successful business it is important to be able to accept payments in a method that businesses and consumers are willing to pay with. Many businesses and consumers alike are moving towards credit cards as a form of payment. Not accepting credit cards means not doing business at all with many of these parties.
If you’re a business on-the-go, it is still vitally important to be able to take the payment as soon as possible in order to close the deal faster. A slower deal could turn towards the customer deciding to go a different route. Many businesses lose deals this way. With the rise of online reviews and information it is possible to find the best mobile credit card processing companies that are able to create unique solutions to accept payments when on the go.
Why Mobile Credit Card Processing?
Mobile credit card processing allows you to close a deal quick and accept the payment then and there. Other forms of payment can be slow and can sometimes cause complications that your business is better off not having to deal with. While some customers may be willing to pay via check or some other method, a credit card or debit card purchase is currently the most convenient method of giving a payment. It also produces opportunities for automatically recurring payments.
The best mobile credit card processing companies are able to provide you with an easy-to-use solution to accepting and processing payment. Many of the solutions may have different ways to address mobile payments but are effectively getting the job done. It is important to understand the method for the solution in order to understand the limitations and requirements of the solution.
Different Types of Mobile Processing
Cell Phone Applications
One way to accept mobile payments is via a mobile application on a cell phone. This often requires the credit card number to be recorded in the application in addition to other information. These solutions generally allow for invoices to be sent via email in order to give a receipt of the transaction to the client since there is not a paper trail involved.
When it comes to the best mobile credit card processing companies, a common strategy is to provide a mobile terminal that works off of the most common cell phone frequencies through a carrier. This allows for payments to be processed from anywhere using a magnetic swipe or in newer cases the new chip technologies. This ensures that the transaction is secure because it required for the card to be present for the payment to be made. This is more secure for both the merchant and the customer.
It is crucially important to understand the rates and fees associated with any service prior to signing up for the service. Many of these companies will have rental fees for equipment and will have additional service fees either based on the size of the transactions being processed, the frequency of transactions, or simply a per transaction fee. Compare different mobile credit card processors in order to figure out which one has the best payment method which meets your needs.
For those contemplating the lifestyle that of an entrepreneur it is vastly important to have an understanding of the financial responsibilities associated with starting your own business. Many different types of businesses often carry different requirements for getting started in addition to keeping the business up and running. There are bills associated with building rental, utilities, and services that are required for your business to be able to communicate. Many business owners don’t properly understand what costs to account for before starting business.
Before you start your own business it is important to have a plan of action. Having a true plan of action involves understanding where all of your finances will come from, how they will be used, and how effective that use of funds will be. Each financial decision you’re making for your business should be associated with a value to determine whether or not that decision is actually crucial to the operation of your business. At the start of a business it may be necessary to reduce some of the luxuries that some businesses enjoy. Cheaper furniture and accommodations may make it harder to operate, but it’ll it easier on starting the business.
It’s important to have a listing of different types of costs both in one-time and recurring basis. Here are some common types of costs and what they usually entail:
Any type of service where you’re billed each month can be essential to your business since you’re willing to pay for it automatically. Utilities, equipment rentals, and access to the Internet are some examples of key monthly charges. In addition, your business may need a telephone number and even a fax service to be able to ensure that your customers are able to communicate with you. While there are certainly alternatives to traditional services, it is important to figure out how you can integrate them before automatically writing them off. Services like Skype offer competitively priced phone services in the United States and around the world.
All businesses in some capacity have an inventory to worry about. Many businesses that offer products have to worry about keeping an inventory on file for their business. It is important to understand what items are being sold on a daily basis to understand what needs to be purchased and how you’re going to finance those additional purchases. In addition, it is important to keep on hand different items that the businesses uses during the course of doing business such as paper and pens.
Your revenues are a key aspect of the business which needs to be kept in check. Having access to information about your revenues on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis can help you, as the business owner, make more intelligent decisions with your capital. Making sure you’re only buying things that are essential to your business can ensure that every single aspect of your business is being handled correctly.
Solving Cash Woes
For those that are having a hard time paying for the expensive costs of starting a business, small business startup loans may become a saving grace. Many small businesses can use loans to their advantage for key pieces of their operation. Expensive machines and tools can be difficult to acquire on one’s own and are the reason the Small Business Administration has made general loans available to all sorts of small businesses. It is important to talk to your bank or financial institution to find out whether small business loans are a great resource for you.
Most of us have heard about Microsoft—after all, it’s one of the world’s most successful companies, and certainly the largest player in the world of personal computers (PCs). But did you know that Microsoft also provides solutions for small retail businesses through Microsoft point of sale software? Indeed, the Microsoft Dynamics POS (point of sale) system is designed to integrate your entire operations and make your retail business run smoothly from the front-end interface with your clients to the back end interface with your inventory, customer loyalty, and other programs.
Ease of Use
One of the biggest hurdles for most software systems is the learning curve—if you operate a proprietary system that was created by a single computer software engineer who had his or her own preferred coding language and format, you will have to teach every new employee how to navigate through the system. While many employees today are very tech-savvy, there are few things more frustrating than not being able to find the information you are looking for in a computer system. In a retail setting, employees that do not know how to operate the software could even cost you money by ringing up client transactions incorrectly, and cause you to lose business if customers get frustrated.
One of the biggest benefits to using a Microsoft point of sale system is its familiarity. Anyone who has ever used a PC has probably used Microsoft software at some point. Even users of other operating systems often have an adapted version of Microsoft Office or other Microsoft software that they use on their machine. This familiarity with the interface means less time spent training new employees. Using your new Microsoft point of sale services will be intuitive for your employees, and help create smooth transactions from start to finish.
Often the information that a cashier requires from your register is going to be different from the information a manager needs to obtain. In these cases, it may be important for security purposes to keep some information protected from employees who are using the system. With a Microsoft point of sale system, you can customize the user experience so it is tailored exactly to each person’s role, only allowing sensitive information to be accessible by those who are authorized to see it.
Your business is not a series of isolated parts—instead, the supply chain management, inventory, store sales, and customer experience are all intertwined to create a successful retail system. Businesses with several different systems that are not integrated may find it difficult, redundant, and costly to integrate information from back-end systems and supply chain to the front-end systems in your facility. Having the ability instead to track all of these things simultaneously can create smoother operations, ensuring you have the right inventory on hand, and that your suppliers are keeping costs as low as possible to maximize your profits. Systems that share information will often lead to more productivity than isolated systems.
Tailor Your Customer’s Experience
No matter what kind of retail business you operate, you know that creating a positive customer experience is what brings back repeat business, and helps lure new customers through recommendations and word-of-mouth advertising. With the best Microsoft point of sale software, you have the unique ability to create personalized shopping experiences for your clients by tracking information about past purchases, developing customer loyalty programs, and using multichannel retailing, mobile interaction, and flexible payment options. In addition, it can integrate your marketing, sales, and promotions into one system so you can easily track the effectiveness of these methods in driving sales and profit.
Make the Right Decisions
Should you order that new retail product for your store? Should you change your store hours to better suit your clients’ shopping habits? For small businesses without the best Microsoft point of sale services, the answers to these questions would just be a guess. With the insights of a program like Microsoft Dynamics POS, you can view detailed data about shopping and sales trends that can help you predict what your next move will be, keeping an eye on increasing profitability. You can also access information about employee productivity to ensure that you are getting the most out of your most valuable asset—your people.
Reporting and Security
One of the least glamorous, but often most important, features in any point of sale solution is the reporting and security features. No matter how much information is in your system, if you cannot get it back out in a meaningful way that allows you to analyze sales trends, interpret customer data, and make adjustments to your business accordingly, the system is useless. In addition to providing comprehensive and customizable reporting solutions, the Microsoft point of sale software is designed with enhanced security features to protect your store information, employee data, and customer insights from potential data thieves.
Allow for Growth
Some small businesses are afraid to purchase a comprehensive retail management solution like the Microsoft POS software because they anticipate future growth, and don’t want to wind up stuck with a system that cannot accommodate that growth. The Microsoft system is designed to meet the needs of small businesses today, but also be flexible enough to expand when business increases in the future. It even has an additional Retail Payment Processing Management Headquarters module that can be added if you open up new store locations and want the ability to monitor sales from several stores at the same time.
The customer insights, tools for tracking inventory, integrated front- and back-end systems, and reporting features of the best Microsoft point of sale systems are changing the game for small and medium businesses. Now you can have all the functionality and features of the systems employed by larger retail outlets, at a price that is affordable and in a package that is easy to use and intuitive to manage.
When you’re ready to change the way you do business, enhance the information you have available to make the right decisions, develop better control of your entire supply chain, and improve your business operations, it makes sense to turn to Microsoft, a company that you know and trust, that has been leading the computer revolution for decades.
There are so many Americans today who use credit and debit cards to pay for things. In fact, it’s quite uncommon to see someone approach the cash register and pay for items with cash. It may be a good way for consumers to reduce their spending and get out of debt, but most Americans are still carrying plastic around in spite of the pleas of personal finance experts like Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman. If you own a small business, you had better plan on using a credit card processor in order to accept payments, because your customers are planning on you having one.
A small mom and pop shop may not have a credit card processor, but customers can walk out just as easily as they walked in if credit cards are not accepted. More often than not, they would rather spend their money in a store that accepts credit cards than they would run to the ATM and withdraw cash to buy something from your place.
If you have never used a credit card terminal, you may wonder what to look for in one that will provide you with the features that you need to run your business, and provide your customers with a payment portal that possesses all the features they need. Searching online for the best credit card processors reviews is one way to get started.
Traditional Credit Card Processors
The traditional credit card processor involves the use of a credit card terminal where either the customer or the merchant can swipe a card. They can, however, vary vastly in complexity. The simplest type is a separate machine that plugs into an electrical outlet and into a telephone jack. It is completely separate from the cash register. Usually the customer would hand over his card to the merchant, the merchant would swipe the card, and then he would follow the prompts on the credit card terminal. Once the magnetic strip on the card is read by the credit card terminal, the machine would call to request the funds to be transferred over to the merchant’s account.
Credit card processors that are a bit more complex, but that are still housed within the traditional category, would combine the cash register with the credit card terminal. If you’re out shopping, for instance, and you stop in a quick service restaurant like Subway, take a few minutes to look at their POS system. They usually have a touchscreen monitor with a credit card reader built right into the monitor instead of having a separate terminal.
Before making your selection as to which kind of processor to employ, do some research and find out what might be most useful in your industry and in your specific business. Read some credit card processors reviews to help you determine what would fit your needs best.
Online Credit Card Processors
Setting up a merchant account for online sales is a bit different that accepting payments in person. While applying and waiting for an underwriting process to ensue is usually a standard procedure with both in-person and online merchant accounts, when it comes to accepting payments, online accounts can be very different. You might want to take into consideration the following fees that could be incurred with an online merchant account:
• Discount rate. This is something that is charged to every merchant account regardless of payments being accepted online or in-person. While the name may lead you to believe that you will be granted discounts, you will not. The discount rate is the rate at which you will pay your merchant account provider each time you complete a sale.
• Set-up fee. With an online account this fee is commonly waived. Setting up a newly opened merchant account can take some time, particularly when a credit card terminal is needed in order for payments to be accepted. When payments are accepted online there is no need for a credit card terminal to be installed and set up.
• Annual fee. This is a fee that you will incur just for having the account open. It usually repeats each year on the anniversary of the date you first set up your merchant account. Happy anniversary!
• Transaction fee. This fee is a flat rate that you will be charged every time a payment is processed. With a traditional merchant account that comes standard with a credit card terminal, this fee is charged to your account regardless of the payment being accepted or declined. Even refunds will incur a transaction fee.
• Statement fee. This fee is has a variety of names, depending on what merchant account provider you do business with. The term “statement fee” might lead you to believe that it is a fee that you would incur each month for the preparation, printing, and mailing of a paper statement. While this is part of the monthly fee, it is not the only element included in the fee, so even if you opt out of paper statements you would still be charged a statement fee each and every month. The fee also accounts for any time that you may be spending on the telephone with customer service reps troubleshooting and fixing any problems with payment processing.
Take the time to read the best online credit card processors reviews before you select a merchant account provider.
Mobile Credit Card Processors
A mobile payments processor can provide your business with the ability to accept payments on the go. It is a convenient and fast way to get paid. As with traditional and online credit card processors, conduct some research and find the best mobile credit card processors reviews before settling down and buying one. As you compare one processor with another take the following into consideration:
• Additional monthly fees that you may incur
• What devices your processor might be compatible with
• What cards can be accepted
• Special add-on features from one provider to another
Find a Credit Card Processor that Fits Your Needs
Whether you’re looking for a traditional credit card terminal, an online merchant account, or a mobile credit card processor, make sure you take the time to research first. Read several reviews from independent sources that describe in detail the pros and cons to each system. Making an informed decision can help you get the best services for your specific business.
No matter what type of business you have, when you accept credit or debit cards for payments, you can become the victim of a credit card scam. Even if you have taken steps in the past to prevent some type of credit card fraud from affecting your business, you may still fall prey to new fraud methods or scams. It is important that you continue to stay aware of the various schemes as they come to light and to investigate new methods of protection and prevention.
Most of the time credit card processing firms will also be on the lookout for fraudulent schemes. They will want to protect their business as well as yours.
Some of the Most Common Scams Today:
One of the best ways to protect your business and yourself from becoming a victim of fraud or scams is to remain aware of the most popular scams. Some scams are so prevalent that credit card companies and the Better Business Bureau have issued statements warning businesses about those scams.
• Posing as a Credit Card Processing Company Representative
This is a common scheme affecting businesses that accept credit cards. The con artist approaches a business claiming to be an employee of a credit card processor. The con artist will contact your business with the claim that they can help you to lower your processing rates. Actually, they intend to get access to your payment terminals. If the criminal is allowed to reprogram the terminals, not only can your business suffer losses to the criminal, but you will probably end up paying large amounts of fees that you didn’t originally agree to.
• Posing as a Credit Card Company Employee
These con artists are calling companies as if they were an employee of the credit card. They then schedule an appointment to meet with you and to adjust the rates on your point-of-sale terminals. With that access, the con artist will install a device or software which will give them access to your customers’ payment information.
• Claiming to be Social Engineers
These criminals sound like they are from a legitimate business, credit card processor, or credit card company. Once again they will be trying to gain access to your customers’ information or to your payment terminals. Using public information, they will sound believable. However, you should be concerned any time you are contacted by an individual who wants to gain access to any of your business information.
• An Offer of Lower Rates – By the Way, You’ve Just Purchased a Service or Product
As with the previous scams, the criminal approaches a business owner with an offer to reduce their credit card processing fees. As part of a lengthy and complicated contract, the business owner agrees to purchase an expensive service or product and agrees to a ‘no cancellation’ clause. The business owner loses large amounts of money and has little to no recourse because the actual transaction is legal. It is a scheme set up to take advantage of busy, distracted, inexperienced or trusting business owners. This scam has been investigated by the FBI.
Beware of These Tactics
While the details of the scams will change in order to appear as new situations, there are some basic behaviors that criminals and con artists will use to pressure business owners into giving up money or information. These tactics include the following:
• The salesperson or representative will schedule their appointments with you during shift changes or at the busiest time of the day. This is order to take advantage of your distractedness and lack of attention to get you to sign material without having read it or to gain information or authorization that you didn’t intend to share.
• The salesperson or representative is intent on pressuring you to complete the transaction. If the salesperson cannot allow you time to investigate their company and their claims, check references, or have your lawyer look over the contract, then you should take your business elsewhere.
• Some of the paperwork has blank areas or sections “to be filled out later”. This situation places a legal contract in the hands of people with criminal intent and can be filled out to their great advantage and your significant loss.
The best credit card processing firms will be anxious to prove their legitimacy to you. They will also be willing to help you learn how to be on the lookout for fraudulent schemes and transactions. They will be able to share some important tips with you to help you avoid becoming a victim.
General Tips to Help You Avoid Credit Card Processor Scams
• Maintain a Current PCI Compliance Program
As you work to maintain your compliance with the Payment Card Industry standards, you will be alerted to any areas where your business is vulnerable to risks. There are many lapses in attention which can lead to criminal access to credit card information.
• Recognize Current Scams
When you are aware of the details of current schemes, then you will be able to avoid those scams and will also be better protected against new scams. By learning to recognize the methods used by criminals, you will be more likely to recognize behaviors, promises, and techniques used in cases of fraud.
• Always Investigate Suspicious Activity
Most cases of fraud are only successful because the victim was willing to believe suspicious claims. Whenever you feel that an offer is questionable or that you haven’t had time to fully investigate the legitimacy of a company, you should either walk away from the offer or take time to get the information that you want.
• Call the Company’s Main Number, Visit Their Website, Follow Up With All References
Doing your homework is one of the most effective ways to protect your business. If you are approached by a person claiming to be a representative of a major credit card company, you can quickly verify their legitimacy by looking up the main number and calling it. When you visit a company’s website, you may be able to read up about their way of doing business. Hopefully, you will also find links to watchdog sites or customer reviews which can give you more information. Many companies which are established to take advantage of you will provide references, believing that you won’t follow through. When you do take the time to follow through, you will provide yourself with a wealth of necessary information.
The top credit card processing firms recognize that the success of their business is tied to the success of your business. They will work closely with you to help you avoid credit card processing scams and will work with you to recover if you have been affected.
When dealing with your business finances it is crucial to be able to take advantage of any kind of service that would put you in a financially advantageous position. Some businesses which operate in high risk industries or those that deal with issues of bad credit lack the ability to take advantage of financial loans from many lenders. This puts business owners in a delicate situation if they ever run into an issue where they are having a hard time dealing with financial problems.
Economic downturn has a tendency to harm those who already need assistance, therefore it is important for a business owner to know of the services that are there to help them. Merchant cash advance loans provide businesses access to funds up-front for a promise to a portion of their credit card sales in the near future. This affords many businesses the opportunity to get a lump sum of cash to make a well needed adjustment to their business in order to help them in the long-term.
Many businesses end up looking for loans from banks and lenders when a key piece of equipment breaks or is in need of service. These types of repairs and service fees can be quite costly to a business, therefore it is crucial that businesses are able to obtain financial assistance. Merchant cash advance loans are the perfect opportunity a business needs to get their hands on the finances while still being able to continue doing business as they would normally.
How It Works
Merchant cash advance companies will generally need to take a look at your business’s financial dealings with credit card processing. Merchant cash advances work by taking a portion of your businesses credit card payments for a period of time until the agreed upon amount is paid back. This is different from other business practices that generally involved sum payments over time; meaning if your business is having a hard time bringing customers in, your business is not having to give up other resources in order to pay back the lender.
This is a potentially more secure method of accepting a loan from a lender that does not necessarily tie the loan towards a security or putting an item up for sale to pay for the expenses. Many businesses end up having to take actions that could cause irreparable harm to their business in the long term such as letting go key staff or getting rid of other equipment they use to repair the equipment they absolutely need. Merchant cash advance effectively addresses these issues.
While merchant cash advance loans are a great tool for businesses in high risk industries and for businesses suffering from credit problems, they are more costly in the end compared to getting a small business loan. It is important to measure the need for the repair on the equipment against alternatives in the short-term if there is any way for the business to save up the money to replace or repair the equipment. In some cases there are still ways for the business to perform its job without using the equipment until they are able to pay for the repairs.
Merchant cash advance loans are a great tool for businesses that are in dire need of repairs or funds within a short notice. A great advantage that merchant cash advance loans have over other types of loans is the speed of a transaction and how quick the approval process is in comparison to other types of loans. They are great for taking care of emergencies.
If you want to be a successful business owner, there are a few things you will need to learn how to do. For one thing, you will likely need to learn how to throw a business plan together. You may also need to learn how to hire a few employees. Without a doubt, if you plan on accepting any payments by credit card, you will need to learn how to work with credit card processing companies so that the transactions can be made.
By reading this article, you will have a much better understanding of how your business can expand by learning how to accept credit card payments.
Why Do You Need To Accept Credit Cards?
As a business owner, you do have the option of deciding whether or not your company will be able to accept credit card payments. Some businesses still choose to go without this option. However, with the incredible growth in everyday credit card usage, it is very important that you consider this decision with care.
It is a simple fact that if you choose not to accept payments made via credit card, you could severely limit your opportunity for customers. When there are more convenient options elsewhere, you may find that many of your potential customers choose to go somewhere else.
By setting up an account with one of the top credit card processing companies, you open the doors for an entire new group of customers. The moment the word gets out that you have started accepting payments by credit card, you could easily see a huge growth in your revenue.
Set Up A Merchant Account With The Right Credit Card Processing Company
In order for your company to be able to accept credit card payments, you will need to establish a merchant account with one the best credit card processing companies. There are many different credit card processing companies to choose from, so it is important to find the processing company that works best with your particular line of business.
Before you set up a merchant account, here are 3 things to consider:
1 – Type Of Credit Card Processing Company
When you set out to find a credit card processing company to work with, you will notice there are several different types of companies to choose from. The type of company you choose will depend on your particular needs. Some of the top credit card processing companies include:
*Third-party providers (such as PayPal)
If your business handles only a small amount of credit card usage, you might need only a third-party credit card processor. However, if your annual credit card sales are high, you will likely want to set up an account with a bank or an independent processing company. Make sure that you fully compare each option before making your decision.
2 – Type Of Merchant Account
In addition to finding the best credit card processing companies for your particular line of business, you will also want to consider the particular type of merchant account that you need. There are a few different types of merchant accounts, giving business owners the chance to accept payments in a variety of different ways. The following types of merchant account are some of the most common:
*Retail Merchant Account – Ideal for retail business that participate in only Point of Sale (in person) transactions.
*Mail or Telephone Order Merchant Account (MOTO) – Best for companies that use telephone and mail in orders.
*Internet Merchant Account – Great for companies that use e-commerce.
As more and more people have started using credit cards for everyday purchases, many companies have decided to start accepting credit card payments for multiple different things (i.e. telephone order, Point of Sale purchases, and e-commerce). Because of this change in credit card usage, some of the best credit card processing companies now offer a variety of different services with each merchant account. This convenience has given businesses much more flexibility in their ability to accept payments via credit card.
3 – Cost
Of course, there is always a cost associated when working with the top credit card processing companies. There are a variety of fees attached to each different kind of account, so try to look for an account that will give you the best deals on the particular services you need.
When considering the cost of a merchant account, make sure to remember the following items:
*Monthly minimums and maximums and included fees – If your monthly credit card sales go beyond the boundaries of the limit, you might be charged additional fees.
*Fees for account cancelation
*Fees associated with PoS, mail/telephone order, and internet credit card transactions
How Do You Start Accepting Credit Card Payments?
Once you have decided on one of the best credit card processing companies for your business to work with, you will also need to determine how you are actually going to accept payments that are made by credit card. Because businesses are so different, there are many different ways to accept credit card payments. Your own decision will be determined by your line of business and your specific needs.
Here are some of the most common credit card processing methods:
*Credit Card Imprinter Machine –The imprinter makes a carbon copy of the card, giving you the chance to process the payment later on. Because of the later processing time, imprinters are mostly only used for short-term situations and in small businesses.
*Credit Card Or “Swipe” Terminal – With a credit card terminal, cards are physically swiped and the transactions are processed either immediately or at a later point.
*Mobile Credit Card Processing – Payments can be made via mobile device by either typing in the number or swiping the card through an external piece of hardware.
*Virtual Credit Card Terminal – The customer’s credit card number and personal information are submitted to an online form and the payment is processed online.
Get Started Today
The sooner your growing business can start accepting payments by credit card, the sooner you will be able to see your business grow. Take the time to compare several different credit card processing companies, and find the best one for your business.
As a small business owner it can be disheartening to know that there are larger businesses operating in the same industry as you. In many cases businesses find larger competitors in their own area, making it more difficult to appeal to a limited market. While it can make business harder to make profitable, there are a lot of things that small businesses can do to try to get ahead of the curve. Believe it or not, there are a lot of strategies small businesses can put into play that will help them gain a competitive edge against their competition.
While large businesses are going to inevitably be able to provide more money in traditional advertising, there are a large number of activities small businesses can get involved in that either provide cheap or free advertising depending on the situation. In these cases, there are generally a lot of charity events where businesses can either sponsor the event or provide something to the event to get some recognition. These types of events are great for small businesses and the community alike. It gets the name of the small business out there while providing assistance to those in need within the area.
In addition, there are a large number of traditional businesses who generally provide advertising options to offer your products or services to their own audience. Many local movie theaters and bowling alleys have their own form of advertising; they may be willing to provide you with the better deal knowing that you too are an independent business. It is important to take advantage of local businesses from this perspective due to the competitive nature of many industries and the mutual benefit both parties receive from the relationship.
Don’t forget to offer free or reduce price services and products to local sports team and educational activities to help get your name out there.
Word of Mouth
While franchises usually run things in a certain way, your business has the opportunity to take a more creative route to bringing customers through the front doors. Getting your word to as many people possible requires innovation and providing your customers with something that the others are unable to. It may be possible to provide rewards to your existing customers if they are able to introduce new individuals to your business. Offering referral programs can be a reward for customers as well as your business.
Another way businesses can take advantage of their status as a small local business is through financial assistance opportunities being provided by local banks and credit unions. There are a number of small business loans offered by different financial institutions backed by the U.S. small business administration as a way of helping small and local businesses adapt to the economic situations many are being presented with. Use of these funds are great for starting or honing a business into a profit maker.
Local Goods and Spirit
It is crucial to be able to claim to your customers that your business is locally relevant by ensuring that your business is taking advantage of everything the local community has to offer. If you’re a restaurant offering food, making sure you’re getting your ingredients from local sources if possible could not only be a cheaper option but it may inspire others to eat at your restaurant through local pride. Being sure to take part in holiday festivals and other events will ensure that your name is constantly out there and greatly associated with the local economy. Individuals with pride of their local community will often visit your store when they need something you offer and will recommend others do the same.