The concept “cash is king” transformed into plastic cards long ago. Even in the digital age of increased card fraud, businesses can’t overlook the value and opportunities associated with card processing services.

The cashless society we’re quickly entering has spurred an even greater need for businesses to invest in card processing services that can help businesses attract customers, grow revenues and diversify how customers engage with your business. With cash-free being the norm, card processing services are a necessary investment.

In an age where consumers have seemingly endless options of where to shop, businesses no longer have the luxury of dictating how customers want to pay. One industry study indicated that 77 percent of consumers chose cards (both debit or credit) as their preferred way to pay. Just 12 percent of those surveyed preferred cash and those figures continue to dwindle each year.

Most businesses that shy away from card processing services simply aren’t informed about how much consumers value the convenience of using a credit or debit card to pay. Other businesses are simply trying to avoid the burden of paying the added interchange fees that come with accepting card payments. In 2018, however, businesses can no longer afford to dictate the consumer payment experience.

Card processing services are an investment in your business, just like the software and hardware you use to power those payments. From a logistics standpoint, businesses need to get away from accepting old-fashioned checks and cash. Not only is this a less secure way to manage money, it’s also more burdensome. Investing in card processing services can alleviate unnecessary headaches and keep a business up to speed with their customers expect.

Card Processing Opportunities For Merchants

As more and more consumer spend shifts toward e-Commerce channels, businesses must be equipped to accept credit and debit cards. The latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates in that in just one quarter alone, e-commerce retail sales topped $127 billion. Not accepting credit cards limits your businesses ability to tap into that growing e-commerce pie. While plenty of business is still conducted in physical stores, having a card processing system that works properly in-store and online can streamline how businesses manage their revenues.

Merchants today have a wealth of card processing opportunities to take advantage of. No longer are businesses constrained to having to pick between one or two options about how they want to integrate card processing services into their business. Processors like Payline are built to help businesses think outside the box and experience payments differently.

The biggest benefit of card transactions is that they’re simple and straightforward for both the business and the customers. There’s a digital transaction for each purchase, which makes record keeping incredibly efficient. Merchants can have a better handle over the daily revenue flow as card processing services can provide real-time insights into how much is actually coming in on a daily basis. The convenience of having this data in one place should be enough to encourage businesses to accept card payments and invest in card processing services.

Some merchants may be overwhelmed by the number of options. In reality, merchants should view an increased number of card processing options as opportunities to diversify their business, attract new customers they couldn’t previously catch the attention of and drive new revenue streams. These opportunities come through a variety of card processing services.

Accepting credit cards puts your business on a level playing field and adds credibility. Not accepting credit cards could deter some customers from even considering your business. Plus, credit cards come with some perks. They encourage more impulse buying to improve your business’ cash flow and make it easier to manage your day-to-day profits. The sheer convenience for you and your customers alone makes the decision a no-brainer.

 

Point-of-Sale Terminals: The First Customer Touchpoint

A Point-of-sale system (POS) enables businesses to easily onboard a card processing system to get you up and running in the world of card payments with very little onboarding necessary. A POS terminal allows the merchant to process card payments quickly and efficiently with little or no interruption to the customer experience. A POS terminal is the device in which a merchant gets approval, or denial, of a payment — ensuring each customer transaction processes smoothly.

For businesses with physical locations, they’ll need to invest in card processing services, but there are also a wealth of options that can be customized to fit any businesses need. For example, POS hardware can be bought or leased, it can be conducted through plug-in card readers that reduce clutter — and increase the mobility of where you can accept payments.

 

The Online Payment Gateway: The Mediator for Safer E-Commerce Payments

The next stage in the card processing service is an online payment gateway. This is necessary for any business that accepts payments online. An online payment gateway provides for the secure transfer of payment information across your systems. This improves checkout flow and ensures your business and your customers’ data are fully protected. Serving as the middleman in the card processing services, the gateway reduces unnecessary risk.

The gateway serves as the online version of the card reader and is a vital part for merchants to process their payments. For businesses that accept payments online, a gateway is necessary to get payments processed quickly and securely. Since most businesses today accept payments in-store and online, it’s important that merchants work with a card processing service provider that can help both sides of the equation. Having a physical POS and a gateway that seamlessly integrate with your billing systems makes accepting card payments easier than ever.

Growing a Business with Better Card Processing Services

Industry data suggests that customers will spend 12 to 18 percent more when using a credit card instead of cash. Since they’re less likely to think about how much they’re spending without cash on hand, it’s easy to grow revenues by encouraging customers to use their card. Businesses naturally grow when they accept credit cards since customers spending habits tend to be more conservative when paying in cash. Diversifying how you interact with customers can scale your business simply by encouraging customers to spend a little more with each purchase.

Once you accept the minor fees that you’ll have to pay for accepting credit and debit cards, it won’t be long before you realize the vast benefits that come with allowing your customers to pay using methods they prefer. Since fees vary by processor, you might even be surprised by how low the fees are — and what little impact they have on your day-to-day business revenues. Businesses often pay by type of transaction as card present or card-not-present may have different rates for processing services (offline vs. online payments). There’s also the option to pay per payment volume, or per transaction. Choosing a system that works for your business all depends on how much your business processes monthly.

Luckily, when working with a card processing provider like Payline, you don’t have to fit into a one-size-fits-all model. Payline removes the confusion and complexity of payments and offers products and pricing that are tailored to fit the unique needs of your business. Every plan includes cost-plus pricing (flexible based on how much you process), no upfront fees, and free equipment. Don’t be swayed by shallow promises, like “discounted rate” or “zero surcharges.” Find a partner that’s transparent about how it charges.

Attracting new customers can only be done by being flexible with what type of card processing services you offer. Your customers don’t care how you process your payments, they want to know that you’ll accept the type of mainstream payment method they’re likely already using on a daily basis. In that case, credit and debit cards are still king.

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Anna Kragie is a content contributor for Payline Data. She previously wrote for PYMNTS.com, as a Sr. Content Producer, where she focused on financial services and payments innovation, fraud and security, emerging payments, and FinTech news, research and thought-leadership content across the payments industry.