Are you looking for credit card payment services for small business?
Starting out in small business is no easy task, and trying to find payment services that suit your needs can be challenging. Here are a few tips on how to find the right credit card payment services for your small business.
Processing and merchant account
To start, your small business will need a credit card processor and a merchant account. A merchant account is simply a type of account that allows you to accept debit and credit card payments. You can get a merchant account through a bank or through a credit card processor.
We recommend getting a merchant account with a processor in order to simplify your processing. When your credit card processor also provides you with a merchant account, then you only have one number to call and don’t have to spend hours dealing with two separate customer service departments.
When looking for a processor, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
As a small business owner, you may not have a huge budget to pay for security measures to protect customer credit card information. However, you’ll have to pay much more if you experience a data breach. If your customers’ information is stolen, you’ll be liable and may have to pay steep fines.
Many small businesses believe that they won’t be targeted by hackers. But this assumption is wrong—it’s much easier for a hacker to break into the POS system of a local coffee shop than a national brand. Even large companies that have huge budgets for data security can be hacked, and we’ve seen their names in the news: Home Depot, Target, Sony, and others.
To protect your business and your customers from data breaches, it’s important to find a credit card processor that is fully PCI compliant and uses advanced security methods like tokenization, encryption, and off-site data vaults.
When a problem arises, you don’t want to have to wait on the phone for hours to talk to an uninformed customer service rep in a call center. As a small business owner, you likely don’t have the time or resources to wait around for support.
So it’s important to find a credit card processor that offers 24/7, in-house support. In-house support teams are usually more knowledgeable, easier to reach, and much more efficient than representatives in call centers. And you’re less likely to spend hours waiting on the phone. If you’re looking at a specific credit card processor, try calling their support line and test how long it takes for someone to pick up.
Ideally, your credit card processor will assign a dedicated representative to your account who will assist you and answer any questions throughout the lifetime of the account.
To get started with small business credit card processing, you’ll also need a payment gateway. The payment gateway is different than your merchant account. While the merchant account is a specific type of account, a payment gateway is the online engine that runs in the background of every credit card transaction, facilitating the transfer of information between all of the different parties that participate in credit card transactions (like the card-issuing bank, the credit card network, the merchant’s bank account, the cardholder’s bank, and more.) You access your payment gateway through a web browser and can use it to view transaction details, settle your batches, run reports, and more.
You typically get a payment gateway through your credit card processor. There are many different payment gateways to choose from, but we recommend looking for a credit card processor that offers a proprietary payment gateway. Proprietary payment gateways are developed and maintained by an in-house development team, so if you have a problem with your gateway, you can contact your processor directly and they’ll be able to address the problem immediately.
Integrated payment applications
When looking for credit card payment services for small business, you’ll get the most bang for your buck with a payment application that integrates with your accounting system.
Software integrations allow you to process credit card payments directly inside your accounting system or ERP. For example, if you use QuickBooks, then you can simply run a transaction from a sales order or invoice, and the payment is automatically posted to the invoice. No double data entry, no nightly reconciliations. The integration automates your payments so you can save time and money every day.
And when you spend less resources on credit card processing, you can spend more in other, more important areas to further develop your business.
Small businesses are often suited for mobile payments—mobile solutions allow you to accept credit card payments on the go, from trade shows or local events to customers’ homes. If you want to set up mobile payments for your small business, then make sure that the credit card processor you choose has options for mobile payments.
Small business owners tend to have a lot on their plates, and choosing credit card services is just another daunting task added to the pile. But with the right information, you can make an informed decision you feel comfortable with. We hope this article prepares you to find credit card payment services for small business.