The moment you allow your business to start accepting credit cards as a form of payment is the moment you open up a new world of payment possibilities. Giving your customers more ways to pay for the goods and services you offer means creating for yourself more revenue-earning potential.
The reason for this is that, whether your company focuses on B2C or B2B sales, credit cards are the de facto standard for the way that many customers make purchases.
Credit cards present businesses with the opportunity to take advantage of ‘float’ – meaning that they can enjoy the benefits of a good or service right away but not have to pay interest on it for up to 30 days. On the other hand, many individual consumers prefer using credit cards to make purchases via their cards in order to rack up special rewards such as shopping or mileage points.
Many business owners are wary of contracting with a merchant services company to set up credit card processing because they are concerned about having to pay a portion of each transaction to that company (which is true – they will). But, not getting a credit card machine due to the fact that you have to pay fees is an example of being penny wise and pound foolish. That is because, despite the fees, companies that accept credit cards are able to make more sales than they would otherwise – plain and simple.
Accepting credit cards legitimizes your business.
By displaying the logos of the credit cards you accept at your cash register or on your website, you grab a cardholder’s attention and create in them a sense of trust in your business. They trust the credit card brands enough to carry them in their wallets, and that trust transfers to the merchants who accept them. When they trust you, they’re more likely to buy from you.
Accepting credit cards can boost sales
When you take your business from a cash-only operation to one that accepts credit and debit cards, your potential clientele base broadens at a rapid rate. The more people you attract, the more likely you are to make additional sales.
Accepting credit cards helps level the playing field with your competition
The businesses with whom you compete are already accepting credit cards, so you really need to take that step in order to survive.
Credit cards encourage buying in general, and impulse buying in particular
Shoppers feel in control when they use credit and debit cards. They like being able to complete transactions quickly and easily without having to run to the ATM for cash or write a check, both of which are limited to their available funds. Some studies have indicated that customers tend to spend more when they’re paying with plastic instead of cash, most likely due to the credit line their card provides.
Accepting credit cards can improve your cash flow
Credit card transactions are processed electronically and settled quickly, with proceeds typically deposited into your bank account by your processor within a couple of days. This means no more waiting for checks to clear, no more billing and waiting to collect from your customers, and less cash to handle.
Accepting credit cards is practically a requirement if you do business online
The vast majority of transactions on the Internet are paid for with credit cards. If you are an e-commerce merchant, you can’t afford not to accept plastic money.
Accepting credit cards eliminates the risk of accepting a bad check
One bounced check can take a big chunk out of your profit for the day, not to mention the time wasted tracking down the customer to make good on the sale. Credit card transactions are screened as they are processed to reduce the risk of fraud. You can also rely on a reputable merchant services provider to deliver secure credit card processing that helps protect you and your customers from data breach and identity theft.
Credit cards are convenient for shoppers, who seek out merchants that accept them
Customers want to choose the method of payment that’s most convenient and beneficial for them. Frequently that means credit cards, especially if they offer points, mileage or other awards that are attractive to them. Can you afford to lose a customer just because you don’t offer a credit card option?
Accepting credit cards is a relatively inexpensive business expense
Credit card processing is a highly-competitive industry today, so you’re likely to find a merchant services package that suits your budget. Credit card processing rates are so low even the smallest mom-and-pop outfit can easily afford to accept credit cards. In fact, many merchants discover that the increase in sales generated by accepting credit cards more than covers the costs involved, making their merchant account an excellent return on investment.