Credit card processing is essential for any business. Regardless of size, businesses need to accept credit cards to accommodate a wider range of customers. Allowing credit cards, instead of just cash or checks, can contribute to a boost in sales. Making a choice about a credit card processing vendor isn’t something to be taken lightly. You should know how credit card processing works and your available budget before signing a contract, especially if you’re small business on a tight budget.
How It Works
Credit card processing tends to follow a pattern. A business signs up with a third-party vendor that specializes in processing credit cards. The business then agrees to pay a small monthly fee, a portion of each transaction that is processed, and often an installation fee. When a sale takes place, information from the transaction follows a certain path.
While the initial steps are usually completed in a matter of seconds, the actual settlement process takes usually between two and four business days.
What to Look For
Before choosing a vendor or a contract, keep a few things in mind. What cards do you need to accept and how much are you willing to pay per transaction? Knowing your goals and expectations going in can benefit you in the long run. Compare credit card processing prices and vendors before making a decision.
Shopping for the right credit card processing company doesn’t have to be daunting. You can make an informed decision by laying out your goals, budget and expectations before comparing the contracts and options of vendors. Once you know how the process and your business can work together, you can easily choose the credit card processor that is the best fit.
Erica Bell is a small business writer for Business.com. Though she writes on a variety of industries, there is a focus on topics such as online marketing, business buying, phone services and social media trends.
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