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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Accepting Credit Cards for Your Small Business

If your small business does not yet accept debit or credit cards, you could be losing out on a great deal of revenue. Expanding the ability for your customers to purchase products can provide many tangible benefits. Yet, many small businesses are afraid to step into the credit/debit card processing arena. Many feel intimidated and overwhelmed when signing up for a merchant account. They don’t understand the fees and assume it’s a much larger hassle than it’s worth.

Below, we break down several pro’s and cons of signing up for a merchant account. We also provide different solutions to the perceived disadvantages businesses may feel when signing up for a merchant account.

Advantages

Increased Profits

Credit/Debit cards are popular with many small businesses due to increased profits. It has been proven, through a number of studies, that customers tend to spend more when using a credit/debit card for purchases.

Cash on hand means customers purchase on a physical level. As soon as the cash is gone the spending is finished. Credit/debit card purchases allow customers to buy on an emotional level. A customers will typically make a larger purchase without feeling the limitations of cash. They recognize that they can pay purchases off a little bit at a time, thus making it more likely they will purchase more of what they want.

Many small businesses have found that a great deal of customers only make purchases with debit/credit cards. They rarely carry cash or checks around. Accepting credit/debit cards allows you to cater to those customer’s needs and broadens the customer base coming through your doors.

Accepting Credit/Debit card can also increase profits as it allows you to conveniently accept payments from customers all over the world. A cash only model would be a slow and completely dangerous process from a client who lives on the other side of the world. There is absolutely no protection against fraud when accepting cash in a foreign currency.

Higher Sales Amounts

Another benefit of accepting credit/debit cards is that many businesses see an increase in sales due to impulse buys. For example, a customer may walk into the store for milk and realize that they need to get additional groceries such as eggs, cereal, toast etc. They might walk past the greeting card section and realize they need to purchase a card for a friend’s birthday. Cash on hand will always limit what a customer can buy, whereas debit and credit cards do not.

Convenient for Customers

Credit/debit cards are the most prevalent way to make purchases in this day and age. Not being able to process debit or credit cards can become a huge inconvenience for your customers. Most customers will tell you they feel safer carrying a credit/debit card thanks to the many different fraud protection services that credit/debit card offers. It is extremely rare for customers to carry around large amounts of cash to make large purchases.

Improves Your Businesses Cash Flow

Accepting credit/debit cards can help improve cash flow. Waiting for checks from prospective clients can take weeks. First the check must be written, then sent, then processed. However, being able to take a credit/debit card for your businesses products and services means that you have access to funds within 1-2 business days.

 

Disadvantages

While accepting credit/debit cards can be an overwhelmingly good thing for your business, there are a few disadvantages. However, we feel that by educating yourself about the disadvantages, most of the cons can easily be overcome with confidence.

Processing Fees

Many small businesses feel that fees can cut into a huge amount of profit and therefore don’t want to accept credit cards. Most merchant account providers charge a minimal basic monthly fee. Additionally, there is a transaction fee and a percentage of sale fee that is paid to the processing company for every transaction. That is why it is important to find the right merchant account company that will take the time to get to know your industry and your business. We recommend that you work closely with your merchant account provider to look at your business history and projected sales volume. This will help them in offering you the best pricing structure based on your specific business needs.

If you are thinking of shutting down your merchant account due to all the fees you have to pay each month, we encourage you to send a statement to SecureGlobalPay. We have a customized analysis system that we use to look through your statement to see where you can save money. We have saved thousands of dollars per month for some of our larger clients.

Chargebacks

Our experience in the industry means that we have heard just about every chargeback horror story out there. Every time a customer decides they don’t want your product they can dispute the charges and credit card companies will most often refund the customer. That means that you have to pay back the credit card company the money they refunded to the customer.

While there are customers out there who are not satisfied regardless of the customer service you provide, they are not as prevalent as many businesses believe. Additionally, with our experience across many different industries, we can offer suggestions to help you prevent a great deal of possible chargeback situations.

Preventing Fraudulent Activities

The possibility of fraudulent activities has prevented many small businesses from accepting credit/debit cards. However, SecureGlobalPay offers many different fraud detection and prevention measures that can be used to deter fraudulent activities including:

Require the Security Code (CCV, CCV2)
Not Storing Credit Card Information on Your Website
Use the Address Verification Service
Restrict the number of declined transactions
Review Multiple Orders Shipped to the Same address with Different Cards

What to do If I Suspect Fraud?

If a fraudulent transaction occurs, we encourage you to immediately contact the following persons for assistance:
Your bank or payment processor
Your Lawyer
Your Local Police Department
Working together, these departments can help direct you towards resolving the fraudulent charges.

We work hard to make sure that we service your merchant account in a way that will help you receive the full benefit of accepting debit/credit cards for your business.