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Should your small business accept credit cards?

With so many people failing to pay their bills due to a poor economy, high gas prices, and unemployment it is normal for many small businesses to wonder if they should accept credit cards or not. There is a risk with credit cards because you cannot always guarantee you will get the money or you have to deal with really high fees. If you are interested in accepting credit cards it is a good idea for you to meet with your bank and talk about their fees and Merchant Accounts in order to see where you will be with the money.

Like any type of credit program you are working with, you will have a variety of different things to note. One is when you are actually trying to apply for the merchant account; you actually need to go through a screening process in order to gain approval. This will allow the bank to ensure that you actually qualify for the money that they are willing to offer you in order to process the accounts as there is no guarantee the customers will pay their credit card bills.

Meet with your bank to talk about the Merchant Accounts and the fees associated with them. There are some that are cheaper form others so you may not want to accept all credit cards and stick to the cards that have the lower charges on them. It is a good idea to consider accepting them because it does give you an extra way to get your customers to pay their bills. You need to look at the cost of the credit card machines and just how many transactions are being done with credit cards in order to see the benefits. There is a lot of money being passed through credit cards so you can easily justify spending $10 a month for the Merchant Account if you are going to bring in more than $500 or so each week or even each month from the credit cards.

Look at the contract term when you are considering signing up for a credit card machine. Typically the contracts are about 3 years, which means you really need to be careful as you can end up losing a lot of money if you sign up for a contract with incredibly high fees and you don't have a lot of people using the credit cards.

Consider what the Card Present transaction fees are compared to those when the card is not present. It is interesting to see that some credit card companies actually charge you more in fees when you run a charge on a card that is not present. This is usually because there is a higher risk the card could be stolen and you have no way to verify the name on the card matching that of the person standing in front of you or offering this number to you.

How many credit cards can you process each month? In some cases companies will charge you more if you have a large volume of credit cards that need to be processed so it is a good idea to be careful when it comes to volume pricing.

A good idea to consider when you are starting to accept multiple payment options is to use PayPal or online money transfer services. PayPal is secured and it is a great company to work with, especially for your customers that may use their PayPal account as their extra spending account. Some people will set up a debit card from their PayPal while others are required to input their email account and password in order to access the account and check on using it as a form of paying for your product or service. The fees are minimal and you really should consider accepting it.

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