Now that we've answered the question "why," let's move on to the "how."
The process of setting up credit card payments may seem intimidating at first, but it doesn't have to be. With a little research and some guidance, you can make sure that your customers are able to pay you in the way they prefer, making your business successful and helping you grow. In this blog post, we're going to tell you everything you need to know about accepting credit card payments as a small business. It makes for an insightful reading, so plow on, my friend.
How to accept credit card payments?
There are only two requirements to begin accepting credit card payments: a merchant service provider (MSP) or a credit card processing service and a collection method for your customer's credit card information. To process payments, you must decide whether to use a merchant account or a third-party payment processor (like Paysafe); and when determining how you will collect card data, you need to take into consideration whether you will be accepting payments online, in person, or by phone.
This entire process of choosing the right payment solution for credit card payments can be daunting (especially for a budding small business owner) with all of the new knowledge that needs to be processed and evaluated for your business needs. To make it simpler, we will go through each option one by one so you can make an informed decision by having a better understanding of the matter. Let's get started!
1. Processing Credit Card Payments: Merchant Account vs. Third-Party Payment Processors
A merchant account is a type of bank account that allows businesses to accept payments by credit and debit cards. Merchant accounts are established through banks or other financial institutions, and they typically come with several fees, including monthly service charges, transaction fees, and statement fees. In order to set up a merchant account, businesses must usually provide proof of their business license, tax information, and banking history. Once a merchant account is established, businesses can begin accepting card payments from customers.
Third-Party Payment Processors are companies that handle transactions between a merchant (business) and a customer. These companies are different from banks or credit card companies, which simply provide the underlying infrastructure for payments. Third-party payment processors typically work with businesses of all sizes, providing them with the ability to accept credit card payments and other forms of electronic payments instantly. They are also responsible for verifying that the credit card information is correct and that it has sufficient funds to cover the transaction. In some cases, these companies also offer additional services, such as fraud prevention and data security. So, if you’re looking for a third-party payment processor, look no further than Paysafe.
To accept credit card payments, it's important to take the time to evaluate your needs and choose the best payment solution for your small business. Merchants should look at their current customer base and sales model to determine which option makes the most sense for them. Having a thorough understanding of the different options available can help merchants find the right payment solution for their business.
2. Collecting Credit Card Information: Online, In-Person, or By Phone
When it comes to collecting customer credit card information, businesses have three primary options—online, in person, or by phone.
- Online Payments: For online payments, businesses need a payment gateway that can securely process payments. Payment gateways allow customers to enter their credit card information on your website, and those details are passed securely to the payment processor for processing. This is a convenient way for customers to make payments quickly and securely without having to leave your site. Alternatively, online payments can also be made via a shareable payment link. These links can be generated quickly and easily and can be sent by email, text, or integrated into an invoice. The recipient simply clicks on the link and follows the instructions to complete the transaction. This method is fast, efficient, and eliminates the need for paper currency. As businesses continue to move online, this is becoming an increasingly popular and essential option.
- In-Person Payments: For in-person payments, businesses need a point of sale (POS) system. POS systems are designed to collect customer credit card information securely, and they are available in various forms, such as fixed or portable terminals (card readers), mobile devices (scanning QR codes), and integrated payment solutions. These terminals allow customers to swipe their cards or tap contactless cards. Card readers are available with most major payment processors (like Paysafe offering qualified businesses a free Clover™ POS) and provide a secure way to accept payments quickly and conveniently. Merchant accounts might not always provide you with such hardware.
- By Phone Payments: Finally, for businesses that accept payments over the phone, a secure payment processing system is essential. Payment processors provide virtual terminals which allow merchants to securely enter customer credit card information and process payments quickly and easily. Additionally, some payment processors offer automated telephone systems (IVR) which provide an automated payment experience and can also be used with any type of payment processor.
The ability to send money electronically has revolutionized the way we do business. No longer do we have to rely on cash or check transactions, which can be slow and cumbersome. Instead, we can use a variety of payment methods that are fast, convenient, and secure. No matter which payment solution you choose for accepting credit cards, it is important to ensure that you adhere to all security regulations and procedures. This will help protect both your business and your customers from fraud and data theft.
If this all seems too overwhelming, then there is another way: use a reliable company that offers an all-in-one payment processing solution that covers everything you need to get started for taking credit card payments. Now that we know what goes into choosing the right payment solution for accepting credit cards, let’s explore one of the most reliable options available: Paysafe.
Paysafe: Small Business Payment Solution
Paysafe is a trusted and reliable third-party payment processor that provides merchants with secure and efficient payment solutions. We offer robust features such as fraud prevention, tokenization, virtual terminals, card readers, and more. We also offer a suite of integrated solutions to help streamline the payment process and reduce manual data entry. Paysafe is trusted by thousands of businesses worldwide and offers flexible pricing plans that can be tailored to fit any budget. Additionally, Paysafe offers a small business program that provides businesses with access to the latest payment technology so that you can focus on what's important - growing your business. Our small business offerings include but are not limited to:
- Cost-Effective Fees: For businesses that are looking for a reliable and affordable payment processing solution, Paysafe is the perfect option. Our cost-effective processing rates and PCI protection make us an attractive choice for any business. Additionally, our next-day funding guarantees quick and easy access to your funds. To learn more about Paysafe and our small business program, contact one of our representatives today.
- Dedicated Account Management: One of the benefits of using Paysafe as your small business payment processing solution is the dedicated account management we provide. This ensures that you always have a contact at Paysafe who can help you with any questions or issues you may have. Our account managers are knowledgeable and experienced in all aspects of payment processing and are available to help you every step of the way. Regardless of your processing needs, Paysafe's team of experts are there to help you succeed.
- Integrated Clover™ Suite: With this integration, you'll be able to manage your inventory, customers, and payments all in one place. Plus, you'll have access to all of the features that make Clover™ plus Paysafe the leading point-of-sale system, including built-in security, 24/7 support, and advanced reporting. With this integration, Paysafe is committed to providing you with the best possible experience by helping you save time and money. Take your business to the next level with Paysafe payment solutions.
- iAccess Business Portal: The iAccess portal from Paysafe gives businesses a single view of all their transactions, helping them to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. The portal gives businesses access to Paysafe's merchant account dashboard, transaction history, customer data, and other features, providing real-time visibility of payment activity, including completed, pending, and failed transactions. Businesses can use this information to track customer spending patterns and trends, identify potential fraud, and monitor chargeback activity. Furthermore, the portal provides businesses with an in-depth analysis of Paysafe's payment processing services. With these insights, businesses can enhance their customer service and make the most out of Paysafe's products and features.
- Customized POS Systems: Paysafe also offers customized point-of-sale systems designed to fit the needs of any business. With our available POS systems, businesses have access to a variety of features, such as custom payment processing, integrated inventory management, and more. This ensures that businesses can accurately track and process payments quickly and easily. Furthermore, Paysafe's POS systems are highly secure, protecting businesses and our customers from fraud and other risks.
Whether you’re a small business just starting out or an established company looking to upgrade your payment processing system, Paysafe is the perfect solution for accepting credit cards and can be one of the most useful small business tools you can have at your disposal. So, don't wait any longer. Start making the most of your business today by signing up for credit card processing with Paysafe. With our reliable services and helpful features, you can make sure your customers have a seamless experience every time they pay you—and that's good news for everyone involved. Good luck!