Imagine if you went to a wedding where the photographer used a small digital camera, the caterer was microwaving TV dinners, and the bar was stocked with store-brand liquor. You would probably think that the event was run by amateurs. By the same token, consider using a plastic credit card reader, which plugs into your smartphone and costs $9.95, to process your company’s credit card transactions. Do you think your customers would put a lot of trust in your business?
Don’t get us wrong, cheap credit card readers have a place when it comes to settling individual debts or collecting payments for lemonade stands and yard sales. However, if you want your customers to take your business seriously, you will want to upgrade your credit card processing equipment and get a merchant account. Not only will you look a lot more professional, but you will save money in the long run while you process cards securely. Some older versions of “dongle” type credit card readers did not encrypt card numbers, so customers may have a negative view of these items. Meanwhile, any reputable credit card machine sold today is going to feature security that is certified under industry-standard PCI-DSS requirements.
Personal credit card readers have become fairly common over the past few years. Square, Intuit, and PayPal have readers that plug into the headphone jack of your smartphone, and can put funds (up to a limit) into your account the same day or the next day. The rest of the funds may be deposited more slowly over time, which can be a bad thing for shops that depend on cash flow. These credit card acceptance devices may be a good idea for club fundraising or small scale shops that don’t expect to make more than a couple of thousand dollars every month. If you are trying to run a business that can support at least one full-time employee, accepting credit cards with these readers may not be the best solution.
Professional-grade credit card processing equipment and terminals are available to almost any business type, and the cost of credit card processing is a lot lower than it was just a few years ago. Today, even a small merchant can get wireless credit card terminals and portable machines that add a lot more professionalism to the transaction process. Additionally, the ability to run transactions through a merchant account means that you can improve your cash flow, handle returns and recurring payments, and lay the groundwork for expanded business.
Many users of “plug and play” credit card processing equipment discover the limitations of these devices when they have to charge a lot of transactions or make a high-priced sale. In many cases the funds will be held for up to 10 days while the credit card transaction is verified, so as a merchant you must wait patiently for the funds to clear. Customer service and support for these devices varies, so if you have a technical issue, payment question, or have experienced a chargeback, you might experience a certain level of frustration.
Capital Processing Network has payment processing solutions for businesses that want to take credit cards, checks, and debit cards. Even if you have a fairly small business, you can still impress clients and customers with professional credit card processing equipment. In an age of widespread credit card fraud, customers want to feel safe when they hand you their credit card, and having professional looking terminals is a great way to inspire confidence.