Credit cards are the quintessential companion to everyday life. In the past, there were images of rich women shopping using credit cards (the bill will later on be paid by their rich husbands) and coming home with dozens of paper bags filled with purchases. This image has changed and has become less frivolous and more practical. You’ll see a career woman charging purchases from a beauty shop; a mom paying for groceries using her credit card at the checkout counter and a dad charging toys for his kids on a weekend. These mental images just illustrate how necessary and common it is to use a credit card.
Make Your Business Grow
If you’re a business owner, whether brick and mortar or an online one, you will stand to benefit from having Merchant Services Cincinnati. Accepting credit card payments, even if it’s just limited to visa and master card at first, will greatly increase your chances of attracting more customers. For one, it is a more convenient way to pay than cash. Two, people don’t always have money to spend. Credit cards basically have a 21-day cycle. The purchases charged today are not immediately reflected on the billing statement. The customer has at least 21 days to prepare the payment for his or her purchases – giving freedom to shop without cash. If the charge is made past the cut off date, the bill will reflect the following month, making it even more convenient for your customer.
Let’s say you own a frozen yogurt and ice cream shop inside one of the malls. The traditional ice cream stands only collect cash, right? But if you notice, more and more people are coming into your establishment and looking for the Visa/MasterCard accepted sign. When they don’t see one, they will most likely walk out the door and just look for another shop which does accept credit cards. So by not having a credit card merchant, you are losing customers and potential clients. This is already lost income on your part.
How Does It Work?
Credit card payments have become faster and quicker since the Internet came about. You can do offline and online transactions or swipe the customer’s credit card on the POS or Point of Sale machine. In the olden days, you would need a dedicated phone line for this; but now that the internet is around, transactions are done online in just a few seconds. You can even have the cards swiped using a special attachment to your Smartphone or connected to a laptop via a USB.
The ideal set up would be to have your merchant status configured before you open the actual store. This way you still have time to test the system and see to it that things are flowing smoothly. The last thing you want is to have a customer complaining that he was billed $350 dollars for ice cream instead of $3.50.
Aside from crash testing the system, make sure that you practice the process of charging for a purchase many times before your store or shop opens. Also, trace the process and paperwork between you and the card merchant.
What to Look Fortunately
One of the first things that you should look for in credit card transactions is the transaction speed. Again, you don’t want the client suspecting that you’re doing anything more than just charge him for a tub of ice cream. It should not take more than a few seconds and should be easy to use.
Second and very important is the accuracy of the transaction: both on the charges made to the customer and the money that is reflected to your account. It will be pointless to have a credit card merchant if you are not able to collect the money at the end of the month. You should also clarify how many days after the purchase date you will have to wait to see the money on your account.
How to Apply
Applying for a merchant status is not difficult. You must present your business papers if you have a physical store; and information about your website if you are a seller or reseller online. You can be a small or large business and the procedures for getting a credit card merchant will still be the same.
Business owners easily see the difference that allowing credit card transactions make. There are more walk in customers and more repeat orders or transactions in online shopping sites. In a way, customers feel more confident about buying items or dining out when they know that they don’t have to pay for it immediately. It’s all about cash flow basically. They don’t want to spend the actual money they have on them when they can charge it to their credit cards and pay for the items at a much later time. It’s a win-win situation for all parties concerned.