Many people seeking the best payment processing solutions for their business may not realize that they already have several key components in place. For example, newer credit card terminals have multiple data and USB ports which can accommodate check readers, PIN pads, POS systems, and contactless card readers. By purchasing a few peripherals, or making a couple of small changes to the ways they do business, business owners can take simplify the process of collecting payments and cut the costs associated with almost every transaction.
Some payment processing solutions involve a combination of features that you already have in-house. If you have a fast internet connection, you may benefit from LAN compatible credit card machines, which can help you cut the cord to your phone company. Similarly, if you are taking more sales over the phone, a payment gateway or virtual terminal software can help you accept credit cards and checks from each terminal. Most cash registers and POS systems are already compatible with newer credit card terminals, so you can eliminate hand-keying of order totals while you make bookkeeping chores easier and more accurate.
Other payment processing upgrades may require you to replace your current equipment, but you might be required to do this anyway. Credit card associations like Visa and MasterCard have mandated that certain terminals, PIN pads, and credit card swipers are out of PCI-DSS compliance. For the merchant, non-compliance generally means a monthly fee as well as potential liability for credit card data theft if non-compliant terminals, peripherals, or software are compromised. Aside from the industry-mandated fines associated with a breach, every customer who needs to get a card replaced (or experiences fraud-related inconvenience) is going to contribute to negative PR. By upgrading your equipment to PCI-DSS standards, you now have an opportunity to invest in features that didn’t exist a few years ago.
The best small business payment processing solutions are naturally tailored to your individual store. Some small retailers benefit from the ability to take EBT cards and WIC payments, which are generally handled through terminals. Debit card processing has become a big benefit for most shops and stores thanks to the Durbin Amendment which cut debit card interchange fees nearly in half. Since debit card transactions that include a PIN number essentially have a flat rate, (generally in the 25 cent range), merchants can retain a few extra dollars on larger transactions compared to credit cards.
Technology is a big part of payment processing, but as any business owner knows, price is always the primary consideration. No matter whether you’re looking to guarantee checks or accept payment from smartphones, the cost of processing is one expense that can be managed and controlled. By shaving a few tenths of a percent off of every transaction fee, you can reap thousands of dollars per year in new revenue if your volume is high enough. If you have ever wondered why automated gas pumps want your zip code, or store clerks steer you to “debit” transactions, then you may want to take a look at similar cost-saving features for transaction processing.
Capital Processing Network makes a wide variety of products and services available for business owners. By working with companies on a one-on-one basis, we can help merchants determine the best mix of technology and card processing services, so they are able to expand their business capabilities while they save on all kinds of payment processing costs.