Accepting credit cards was a great thing for our business several years ago. I also recall how time intensive it was in determining how we would process transactions without spending a great deal of cash.
We’ve had several folks ask about credit card processing so we’ll share our thoughts and knowledge with you.
Key things to pay attention to:
- Contracts – commitments
- Is there software to purchase?
- Do you have to "Lease" equipment?
- What are the monthly fees?
- What are the per transaction fees?
- What is the percentage rate for each credit card type?
- Look for the hidden fees
Use your accounting software – Quick Books, Peachtree and many others have a built in tool which will allow you to run credit cards through the software. Some of the software companies even offer a link for your customers to click on which will allow them to pay automatically. If you aren’t a retail outlet or have q high producing shopping cart I would recommend this route. There is no additional software to purchase and no equipment involved. PLUS, the monthly fees are very low.
Ecommerce – Depending on your setup you may need to use your carts provider. If you a free to select your own provider we place all of our clients with Authorize.net which is an on-line provider. Basically you need to have two parts for this, Authorize.net which is referred to as your "gateway" or passage to processing. The second part is a merchant account which puts the money into your bank account. Sounds simple enough but you want to be sure you make the right selections, set everything up and have your website talking with the gateway. This avenue will also allow you to process transactions individually in case someone calls into the office or you are selling at a trade show.
Boomerang Marketing is an Authorize.net approved reseller and can support you in structuring your setup and completing the fabulous paperwork. 🙂
Retail: Here’s where the credit card processing can hurt! You’ll either need to purchase software or equipment and or both. Depending on your setup you may have a POS system which comes with the equipment as part of your terminal. For those who are utilizing a cash register not setup on a computer based POS you’ll need to get a unit which you swipe all cards through. Be careful here, for many of the "lease" agreements have you paying out so much you should review purchasing the unit or refurbished units.
Lastly, go with a reputable company or reseller. This is sensitive data and the last thing you want to do is go through an outfit that is shady or about to disappear!