Understanding card payments

In any business, particularly retail, accepting card payments is one of the ways to increase your revenue streams. Any business that does not accept the card payment as a mode of payment is sitting on a goldmine. This is because the card payment is becoming the preferred medium of buying goods and services as more and more people move away from carrying cash.

Here is some useful information that you need to know about card payments:

Merchant account

Contrary to what many people believe, the process involved before one can start accepting card payments is not complicated at all. Depending in how quickly you move, it can only be a matter of days before you accept your first card payment.

Before your business accepts its first card payment, it has to have an account known as the merchant services account. This is an account that serves only one purpose, handling card payments that have been made through credit or debit cards. Without a merchant account, it is not possible to accept card payments.

Point of sale (POS) system

This system will provide you with all the tools that you need in order to process every card payment. It is the most commonly used method of accepting payments made through debit and credit cards. When it comes to selecting a POS, there is a wide array of options to choose from but the most recommended system is an EMV chip together with a compatible card system.

Online virtual terminal

If your business operates a website, accepting online card payments is something that you will want to consider. This is not difficult as your merchant is in a position to set up everything. A merchant will also help you customise your card payment solutions according to your specific business needs while also simplifying the process as much as possible.

What are the most important card payment details?

At the end of the day, the most important thing is getting your money within a reasonable time. The second most important thing is to make your card payment solution easy for your customers to use. Any choices you make, you should strive to accommodate all your customers, irrespective of what cards they use.

EMV – “Chip cards”

Although it’s not a must, it is absolutely vital that you accept those cards that have contain computer chips. These include Europay, Visa and Mastercard. In addition to the fact that they are getting more widely used, they are crucial if your business is to avoid fraudulent transactions.

When accepting any card payment, it’s not just about the card brand that most of your customers use. It is also about the card type. These include debit and credit cards in addition to chip cards.

With the advancement of technology, a card payment can be accepted by a number of different terminals. In addition to the different terminals, there are other features that also add value in how you relate to your customers.

Bottom line

Accepting card payments is all about giving your customers enough payment options. As you weigh the advantages and disadvantages, it is also important to arm yourself with adequate knowledge to put yourself in a position to answer different customer queries.

Card Payment