Start Accepting Credit Cards
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There are many incentives to start accepting credit cards as a form of payment for the products and services that your business offers. The benefits of accepting credit cards almost always outweigh the risks, and the chances of this are greatly improved if you do your homework before opening a merchant account. In this article I'll talk about the importance of accepting credit cards, what to expect as you compare merchant accounts and how to keep your merchant account in good standing once you begin processing.
Convincing a business owner that they need to start accepting credit cards isn't as tough as it once was, and it's getting easier every day. Credit and debit cards are a staple in consumers' wallets and the trend isn't showing signs of letting up any time soon. For merchants, the ability to accept credit cards often translates to larger average tickets and greater gross monthly sales volumes. Of course, along with the greater sales volume comes the expense of processing credit card transactions. Fortunately, profit from increased sales typically far outweighs processing costs.
Here are a few helpful points that you should know before beginning your search for a merchant account that will allow you to start accepting credit cards.
Merchant account fees are not standardized
Merchant account Rates and fees vary widely from one provider to the next. Aside from the amount of fees charged, some accounts will have entire categories of fees that others won't. As you being to research your options, look at every account as an individual.
Credit card processing rates and fees are not written in stone
Haggling is the name of the game when it comes to negotiating the best merchant account rates and fees. Consider the rates and fees of an initial merchant account quote as a starting point from which you can start to reducing costs.
There are a lot of providers competing for your business
Don't begin and end your search at your local bank or even with the providers in your town. There are thousands of merchant service providers all competing for your business. Use this competition to your advantage to get the best rates possible. Consider using a web site like CardFellow.com to get quotes from multiple providers from a national market.
Once you begin contacting merchant service providers, you should expect to encounter some pretty good sales people that may employ high-pressure sales tactics. The key is to remain methodical in your search process and look at the facts surrounding an account, not the salesperson's interpretation of them.
The best and truly knowledgeable salespeople will use the rates and fees of their merchant account quote to help portray the benefits of their offer. They'll take the time to learn about your business, present calculations and estimations of processing expenses using an effective rate, and they'll take the time to answer your questions in a consultative manner. These are the salespeople to look for, but not necessarily the ones to expect.
Once you decide upon a merchant account provider and start accepting credit cards, your education about credit card processing has just begun. Don't look at the task as complete, but as just beginning. The bankcard industry is always changing and new regulations that affect you are commonly brought to legislative attention. The phrase "knowledge is power" translates to merchants in the bankcard industry as "knowledge is money." The more you know about credit card processing, the more you will be able to save yourself in processing expenses.
Once you begin processing credit cards, frequent reliable and unbiased sources on the subject to keep yourself up to date about the industry and ways you can optimize your merchant account to lower costs. The best sources of merchant account information are the ones that aren't trying selling you processing services.
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