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Useful Guidance Concerning Credit Card Payments

Useful Guidance Concerning Credit Card Payments

Twenty years ago you’d never have left the house without having some cash on you, whether in change or note form. Now, you’d probably never leave the house without having your Visa card on you and in this, you are no different from everyone else. Our world is becoming ever more advanced in terms of technology and how we make payments on a daily basis is changing too.

There are still businesses out there who only take cash, however, these are falling by the wayside and losing out to their competitors who are accepting an increasing number of payment methods. In this day and age, your business should, without doubt, be accepting credit and debit card payments.

If you are in the midst of updating your payment systems or a business just starting out, there is obviously a lot to think about and it can seem very confusing. However, accepting credit card payments really isn’t all that confusing and things are relatively simple if you just take your time.

Below you will find guidance that will hopefully explain the key information about accepting credit card payments and make the process a lot more straightforward for you.

Setting up a Merchant Account

In order to start accepting credit card payments, you will need to set up a merchant account. First of all, a merchant account is different from your day-to-day business account in that you will not be able to withdraw or put in money as and when you choose to. A merchant account is usually set up with your bank, or another provider such as Sage Pay or WorldPay.

The bank or whichever provider you choose to have your merchant account with will be able to set up your payment system for a fee and will also give you a number of set rates for your business transactions. Make sure you do your research before choosing who to have your merchant account with, since you might be able to get a more competitive rate elsewhere.

What equipment will my business need?

When you set up a merchant account, be sure to check exactly what is involved within the terms. For instance do you have to lease or buy outright the payment equipment? Payment equipment will include the card machines; make sure you check whether these are portable or countertop only.

Depending on your type of business you can also be set up for online payments, as well as having a virtual terminal which enables you to take mail and phone payments. Most businesses will be able to be set up to accept credit card payments without much hassle at all and without having to buy too much additional equipment.

What costs are involved?

When you set up a merchant account, you may have to pay an initial set up fee, although this will vary depending on who your provider is so make sure you do a bit of digging around before signing a contract with anyone.

In addition to a possible initial set up fee, you will also usually have to pay a monthly service charge for your card terminals (perhaps £15-25 per month), as well as a fee per transaction which can vary from pence to a specific percentage. Once again these fees will vary depending on who you have your merchant account with. These fees tend to be negotiable, so make sure you have done your research into what other people pay and what you think might be reasonable for your business to pay.

James writes for FIS. When not writing, he can often be found trying to find his credit cards.