Steps To Accept Credit Cards In Your Business

By: Bruce Keiffer
National Card Systems, Inc

Without being too detailed in this short article, the first thing you’ll need to reveal is:

1. What Are You Selling?

The reason for this is because VISA/MASTERCARD does not accept every type of business there is. Because of high return and charge back risks, each sponsored bank has a criteria of what kinds of business they will and will not accept. That is why when you check with your local bank there is a very good chance that your application will be denied if you are anything but retail.

2. What Is The Criteria For Acceptance?

The less risk your business is to the bank, the greater your chance of acceptance. If you were operating a retail store selling stationary, your chances for approval is many times greater than if you were operating the same business from your home or over the Internet. To the bank the retail store is far more secure than your home based business.

3. What Do I Do Then To Accept Cards? I Am Not A Retail Store.

The answer is that you need to work with a company or a bank that can approve these kinds of businesses. They have met the criteria and the requirements from VISA/MASTERCARD to approve businesses other than your standard walk in Retail store such as Mail Order, Phone Order, and Internet related businesses.

4. What About The Costs? Are They Any Different For A Retail Vs. Home Based Business.

The answer to this goes back to the “Greater The Risk, The Higher The Cost.” In almost every case the cost (discount rate) to process a transaction is going to be more to you than if it was done in person. Most home based businesses process sales over the phone, through the mail, and over the Internet. There is no signed sales receipt in all of these types of transactions. This invites the high possibility of chargebacks. Hence, more risk, higher cost than if it was retail.

5. What Kinds Of Typical Startup Costs Can I Expect?

You should expect to invest a startup amount of between $190.00 – $300.00 from most companies in our industry. These amounts can include application, setup, equipment rental lease deposits as well as additional costs for poor credit, higher risk, etc.

6. What About Equipment. What Will It Cost?

This is going to vary depending on the kind of equipment you choose. If you lease your equipment, your payments should range anywhere from $35.00 to $49.00 per month for a complete processing system including a terminal and an automatic printer, and in many cases software. If you are looking to process Online Internet Realtime transactions, and want to add on Shopping Carts, etc, amounts will increase according to the amount of customization you need.

7. Is It Really Necessary To Accept Credit Cards To Be Successful?

Yes, it is. Here are just a few reasons why:

The average cash sale amount is $9.00. The average credit card sale is $40.00. That is a 450% increase per transaction. Is it any wonder why you do not see VISA/MASTERCARD signs disappearing from store windows? This is no different in a home based, and more importantly an Online business.

Another factor is this. Without giving your customers the convenience of accepting payment via credit cards, your sales are going to be far less than your competitors that do accept credit cards. This is a basic fact of business.

The bottom line?… If you are going to be in business, it is vital to the success of your business to offer your customers the convenience of paying by credit cards.