How To Accept Credit Card Payments For Your Business

If you are looking to expand your business, you may be looking to learn how to accept credit card payments. Accepting credit card payments for your business can increase sales by multifold in a few simple steps.

Things Needed to Apply for Credit Card Processing

In order to initiate the process you should have your basic personal and business information handy. This includes:

  • Your personal particulars such as SSN, bank statements, statements of financial standing etc.
  • Your Employer Identification Number (EIN) & recent tax filings
  • A short write-up on your business

Step 1 – Shop for a Merchant Account

Obtaining a merchant account is a pre-requisite for accepting credit card payments for your business. A merchant account can be obtained from a bank, a third party provider, or a third party payment gateway. Banks are typically wary of giving startups or non-traditional businesses a merchant account, so you may need to try the other two avenues instead.

Step 2 – Compare Setup Fees, Transaction Fees and Payment Frequencies

Having your own merchant account with a bank results in high setup fees, but offers the least commission for transactions. On the other hand, third party gateways typically have lower setup fees, but higher transaction fees. Setup fees and transaction fees also vary by business type and maturity. You may also note that certain third-party providers may have significant delays in releasing credit card payments to you. This is to account for risk of credit card chargeback. You can evaluate your needs and make the appropriate choice in your quest to understand how to accept credit card payments.

Step 3 – Establish a Merchant Account

Fill in the necessary application for the merchant account service that you have chosen and ensure that processing limits such as maximum number of transactions per month and the largest value per transaction limits are set as per your needs. You may be required to present your business as well as personal credit history for obtaining a merchant account since credit card payments are similar to obtaining an unsecured loan. As an additional security measure, you may be required to securitize the merchant account with a portion of collateral from your business bank account.

Step 4 – Integrate the Credit Card Payment System With Your Business

If you have a brick and mortar store, your merchant account provider will provide a credit card terminal and the merchant I.D. through which payments can be conducted. In the case of an online store, you will need to set up a shopping cart interface. For businesses who do not have a shopping cart interface, you can either use third party providers who provide this option, or use a virtual terminal from a third party provider to run the credit card information when customers present it. You can also request your merchant account provider for a physical swipe terminal to manually enter credit card information that is provided by online customers.

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