As small and medium businesses grow, credit card processing equipment becomes an integral part of daily business transactions. Often the typical swipe machine is too cumbersome and inefficient and as volumes increase or a business takes their merchandise on the road.
When it is time to review your credit card processing equipment, consider these issues before making a decision:
- Where are your payments originating? Review your last 30 days of transactions and come up with percentages for the number of cash transactions, online payments, and card swipes including the type of card. If the majority of your payments are made online and you expect that trend to continue, focus your efforts toward online credit card processing. If you are getting more card swipes and this is expected to grow, it is time to trade in that old swipe machine for something more effective.
- Will you be going mobile? Many businesses exhibit at local trade shows, conventions or fairs to generate business. Also some businesses have salespeople on the road throughout the day conducting business. There are new technologies available, including devices that attach to smartphones or tablets to allow card swipes with on the spot validation and processing.
- How much are the rates and fees? Every merchant account processor has a variety of fees based around your volume and the types of transactions. Review all of the fees carefully and compare to your existing transactions. The discount rate is the typical fee that is charged for every credit card transaction. There are also application fees, equipment costs, per-transaction fees, monthly minimum fees, statement fees, and others. Calculate how much your typical monthly bill would be for each potential processor, and then determine which would be the best choice for your business.
- How fast will you grow? If you are experiencing significant growth you may consider a more elaborate retail point of sale system with built in credit card processing equipment. There are many systems to choose from, and most will integrate with your back office accounting software. Carefully evaluate all of the costs associated and calculate your return on investment.