An ineffective credit card processing system can do a lot of damage to your business, especially if it’s a small business struggling to survive in this harsh economy.
All businesses are now obliged to keep up with their big competitors and accept various forms of payments but there is more to it than meets the eye. If you’re not careful when choosing a credit card processing system, the recurring costs might be too much to bear.
Sure, it might sound easier to just stick to cash, but given that we’re quickly moving to a cashless society, contactless and mobile payments have become the norm.
You don’t want to miss out on potential sales just because the world of card processing systems sounds too complex and too expensive.
It takes some research and careful comparison to pick the right system. Below, we talk about how to improve your business’ credit card processing system.
How does a credit card processing system work?
If you’re new to this, you might be confused by the process. Let’s simplify it: credit card processing systems allow customers to pay with their cards whether in a brick-and-mortar shop or online.
To accept credit card payments, your business needs a credit card reader. When a customer buys a product or service from you, they can just swipe the card against the card reader (or tap it) and the transaction is instantly approved.
For online stores, you don’t require any equipment such as a card reader. You will only pay a gateway fee. However, you will pay a small fee for each transaction. There are also recurring costs (monthly or annually) as well as upfront costs for physical shops where a terminal is required.
1. Know What You Need
The first step towards improving your card processing system is knowing what your business needs. There are so many card processing providers out there with some great features but not all of them are right for your business.
There is a lot to be factored in including the upfront cost, contract, as well as hidden fees.
Consider your priorities as well as your budget. Do you want to accept all the major credit card networks or just a selected few? Do you want the system to support contactless payments too? What about mobile payments?
Think about what your business needs and then see what other credit card processing systems offer.
2. Pick an Efficient System
If your goal is to attract more customers with credit card payment options, then you should also consider a simple and speedy system. For the transactions to go smoothly, the card processing system needs to be straightforward and easy for your employees to handle.
You also want a system that can be set up as quickly as possible so that you can start using the service independently almost immediately.
Also, the speed of transfer is important here. Customers hate waiting (no surprise there!) so the faster a transaction is authorized, the better!
When shopping around for card processing systems, you also want to consider what payment options the system supports. Swipe/tap/contactless payments are essentially a must, especially now amidst COVID-19 when people are encouraged to pay without direct contact.
3. Compare the Prices/Costs
A credit card processing system with high recurring fees is hardly efficient for your business. With so many card processing companies out there with varying fees, it’s hard to tell which one’s is truly cost-efficient.
For example, a certain card processing system might require little upfront costs (you can purchase a card reader for as low as £19). However, their transaction fees or recurring fees might be too high.
On the other hand, some card processing systems have higher upfront fees but the service turns out to be more cost-efficient in the long run as their payment processing fees are lower.
There are also weekly or annual fees and other seemingly small fees that can add up and eat your profit.
The only way to know you’ve chosen the right card processing system is to compare the upfront costs as well as recurring fees. You can do so by visiting Cardswitcher to know more about price comparisons and selecting the right supplier.
4. Read the Fine Print
Nobody really reads contracts all the way through, right?
Well, you should and here’s why.
The price may sound great and the setup might have been very quick, but reading the small print will really reveal whether a card processing provider will be right for you in the long term.
The contract will tell you how to use the system and also what happens if you don’t use it as described.
However, there is more. Some suppliers might require a 3-4 year commitment. This can be too long for a business as you never know when you might need to change something. Also, see if there are any cancellation fees in the contract that might prevent you from moving on to a better provider at some point.