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Four Credit Card Processing Tools You Should Know AboutApril 1, 2016
"What can I do to improve my sales figures?" If you are a business owner, you've probably asked yourself this question hundreds of times. There is no doubt that the volume of an organization's sales depends on the quality of products and services offered. However, there is yet another factor that ascertains where a customer spends his money.
While it may come as a surprise to you, payment choices offered by a business play a major role in influencing a consumer's purchase decisions. With the passage of time, credit cards have gained popularity as a method of payment among customers. Many companies would not have stayed in business if they did not accept credit cards. Hence, today, it is now extremely important for small businesses to own the newer tools that make the processing of card transactions simple and hassle-free. Here are some.
- Mobile Payments enable business owners to use their own smartphones and other mobile devices, including iPads and other tablets, to process credit card transactions over 3G, 4G, or wireless connections. Not only does this method have the advantage of portability, it also requires less investment in hardware. After establishing a mobile payment merchant account, business owners may use either a dongle or a mobile payment provider's app to input a customer's payment information for secure processing. Customers can choose when and where they want to pay, and receive a receipt via email or text message.
- Card Swipe Hardware that's affixed to the point of sale allows customers to self-swipe their card. This way, consumers can retain ownership of the instrument throughout the transaction. Buyers may use a secure pin code or signature to process their payment as a debit or credit transaction. In an age where data breaches are becoming increasingly common, card swipe hardware helps reduce security concerns, more so when a customer purchases a product from a business for the first time. Once the sale is complete, the consumer receives a hard copy of his receipt.
- EMV-Compatible Card Terminals are used to accept debit and credit cards that include an enhanced security feature, known as an EMV or smart chip. These cards have a magnetic strip on the back and a square chip on the front. Customers may pay using either the traditional swipe method or the EMV chip. As of October 2015, all merchants that accept debit or credit cards (except for gas stations) are expected to provide buyers with the facility of using EMV-enabled smart cards. Any merchant who fails to do so will be held liable in the event of any breach.
- Payment Gateways for Online Payment permit your organization's online store to accept credit card payments from customers or for brick and mortar merchants to process transactions online rather than using a terminal. They cost money and charge on a per transaction basis; nevertheless they can help your business run smoothly. There are many online gateways that you can choose from, such as PayPal, Authorize.net and Google Checkout. Gateways can be either external or internal. External gateways send your customers to another website for secure processing. Internal gateways keep the customer on your site and do the processing within your online store. Once you've picked the gateway that best suits your business, a programmer can fairly easily integrate it into your online software. Before entering payment data, customers may prefer to confirm whether certain online security measures, such as SSL (https:// prefix in the browser), exist or not. Adding SSL to your website is fairly straightforward. SSL certificates can be purchased from companies like GoDaddy for less than $100 per year. Alternatively, businesses can also approach their mobile payment providers for obtaining secure online payment options. If your business has payment plans or any sort of recurring payment, gateways allow for a more efficient processing of transactions. A savvy IT team can create workflows to automate the charges in the gateway at the time of the sale.
In order to retain and expand their client base, small business owners not only have to compete with local peers, but also websites and mega brands. Hence it is essential for an organization to pay attention to its customers' needs and preferences, and provide them with multiple payment options to facilitate the ease of transactions.
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