Remember when cash and checks were your only means to pay for the things you wanted? No? Well, we don’t blame you; it was a long time ago.
Nowadays, credit cards are the preferred payment method. In fact, according to Statista, 40% of Americans prefer using their credit card for transactions. At this point, you have to use merchant services if you want the lights in your business to stay on.
So what are Merchant Services?
Merchant services refer to the services provided by financial institutions that are authorized to accept credit and debit card transactions. In other words, businesses NEED these institutions so they can process card payments.
Why Do Merchant Services Matter to Your Business?
Offering the preferred Payment Method
As stated above, credit card payments are, by far, the preferred method of payments in the US. Next is debit, then cash coming in with about 18% of people preferring to use paper money.
If your business doesn’t accept card payments, you’re missing out on a massive chunk of people. While this might not be a breaking point for your existing customers, it can certainly be a deciding factor for those that are new to your business.
Compliance and Risk Reduction
Accepting card payments comes with the headache of staying current with all mandated regulations and compliance standards. When you’re choosing a payment processor, it’s important to note the level of compliance they hold.
For security, general PCI-DSS compliance is a must. If you’re in a more specialized field, like healthcare, you should look out for HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance as well. It pays to research the compliance that’s best for your industry and select a processor that meets that criteria.
When you decide to accept card purchases, you’re taking on a level of risk that opens you up to fraud, identity theft, and a menagerie of other legal matters. These issues are better left to your merchant services provider.
What really sets different providers apart is the added value they can bring to your business. All of them can offer you the ability to accept card payments, granted, but you can get so much more!
For example, we offer custom reporting so you can create reports based on the data that’s vital to your business. Understanding these trends allows you to make informed decisions for the betterment of your company.
Another handy feature is our Account Updater. This tool automatically updates the card information of your customers, so you won’t see a halt in payments if their card was lost or stolen, and they had to get a new one.
Continuously adding new features and improving on fundamentals is the core of a reliable merchant services company and something you should look for when searching.
You have some things to consider when you’re deciding on which company you want to handle your merchant services. There are lots of options, but we feel that there are more important things than just the price you pay.
To future-proof your business, you should think about what will make the customer experience better. Having tools that help you improve your business and your relationship with your customers is paramount to the success of your business.