Running a successful business takes a great deal of hard work and dedication. It also involves giving yourself every advantage possible, since your competitors are trying to outdo you at every turn.
One such advantage is accepting credit cards since it provides customers with additional methods of payment.
Once you begin accepting credit cards, you can start taking phone and online orders as well, which is sure to expand your sales quickly.
In the past, it was quite difficult to begin this process, but new technology has made it simple to provide yourself with this extra tool of business.
Credit Card Terminal
The credit card terminal is the traditional way accepting these payments. Unfortunately, it’s not viable for most small businesses because there are fees associated with using them. In the end, most small companies don’t make enough money to make this type of technology worth the cost.
If you’re running a small medical transcription business out of your home, you won’t have much use for the full terminal, as you’ll only be accepting periodic payments from clients.
You could run the best focus group transcription service in the country, but you probably won’t make enough money to make the terminal worth your while.
Automated Response Unit
An older method of accepting payments is through an automated response unit. This device makes an imprint of the credit card on carbon paper. The drawback is that you must send the receipts to the credit card company every week to receive payment.
Overall, this could be a good option for some small businesses because it’s a simple and easy way to accept credit cards. At the same time, though, it’s not viable for many home businesses because receiving the money takes too long and it involves meeting with each client in person.
The majority of home businesses end up using an online merchant account so that customers can pay with credit. The money is collected by a third party that has access to the right technology and is then deposited into your account.
Payments that you receive arrive almost immediately, although you’ll have to pay the third party for the help.
This method is very popular because anyone can set up a merchant account in a matter of minutes. You can then begin accepting credit card payments on your website or through your email address.
Some small business owners have also set up merchant accounts with their local banks. The problem is that these services are often geographically limited, so you cannot use them to take online orders.
Banks will also sometimes place a limit on the amount of money that you can accept via credit, since they don’t process every order individually.