Business Credit Card Processing: What Small Business Owners Need to Know

Hand Swiping Credit Card In Store

You and your customers need the credit card payment processing service of your business to be 100% secure, versatile, and reliable. Consumers usually buy more stuff when they pay using their credit card, and it is your job to encourage them to buy more by accepting credit card payments. Banks do not usually offer merchant accounts to small businesses directly, so you will need to opt for third-party providers. Providers have different rules and fee structures. To ensure that you find the most suitable deals and that your business will be protected, here are some tips for you:

Make Processing Fees Work for Your Business

Fee structures employed in business credit card payment processing is complex since it comes with charges from your processing provider, the bank where you have a business account with and the one that issues the credit card of your customer. These non-negotiable assessment and interchange fees include a flat fee and a portion of the credit card transaction that goes directly to the bank your customers have a credit card account with. There is also the negotiable processor markup, which is the fee that goes directly to the merchant account of your business. The amount of this fee will depend on the specific type and amount of each transaction and the risk profile of your business. Read and understand your contract to see specific fees that you will be charged with.

Avoid Additional Expenses

Aside from shopping around to get the best fees, you must likewise avoid extra costs associated with account and equipment limits. Avoid leasing software or equipment if possible because machines typically come with point-of-sale (POS) systems, and these can set you back up to $800. Likewise, leasing equipment comes with a contract that will cost you more money in non-negotiable fees and lease payments. That being said, determine under what circumstances your processor or bank considers grounds for terminating your account and if you might be charged with account maximums or minimums monthly.

Secure Your Business

Low key macro shot with old credit card.

Securing the best fees for credit card processing will all be for naught if you are put at risk for fraud or you are not able to access your money. Make sure that your processing provider deposits your funds on schedule, which is about one to five days. While policing fraudulent transactions will take some time and strategy, some banks can help out. In the event that you have an ecommerce site, ensure that the interface for your online transactions come with sufficient protection against fraud, such secure sockets layer (SSL) and CW2 verification on transaction pages. In addition, get in the habit of comparing your credit card processing system with your daily POS reports to validate that every transaction matches.

Using third-party credit card processing providers is an excellent way for your business to accept credit card payments. However, they do not necessarily need to be as costly as processing services offered by banks. Just make sure that all your credit transactions are profitable and always secure.