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How to Accept Credit Card Payments

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Last editedJan 20222 min read

If you run a small business, you’re no doubt aware that cash is no longer ‘king’ when it comes to payment preferences. Especially for younger buyers. Risk-averse Gen Xers are most likely to prefer paying by debit cards, often via their mobile digital wallets. To attract a wide customer base, however, it makes sense to offer multiple payment options, and credit cards should be on your list. 

If you’re asking yourself ‘how do I go about accepting credit card payments for my business?’ you’re not alone. In fact, a surprisingly high number of businesses still don’t offer this as an option. In this post, we’ll look at how to accept credit card payments for small business, including advice on how to get set up without delay.

Getting started with credit card payment processing for small business

The first step in accepting credit card payments for small business is to find a credit card processing provider. There are lots of options out there, each offering similar services at different rates. To help you find the best credit card payment processing for small business provider, think about how many credit card transactions you’ll potentially be processing. You should also consider whether you’ll be taking these payments in-person, online or via phone. Also, determine which types of credit cards you want to accept, e.g., Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and so on.

Aim to get the best deal for the number of transactions and types of credit cards you’ll be processing.

Create a credit card payments for small business account

Once you’ve selected your credit card processor, you’ll need to create a merchant services account. This is a business account that allows you to start accepting credit card payments for small business. To set this up, you’ll generally need to provide some information about your company and establish a connection between your business bank account and where the money is to be deposited.  

Accepting credit card payments for small business terminals

If you run a physical store, you’ll need to buy hardware, including a card reader, as well as a POS (if you don’t already have one). Again, you’ll have a wide variety to choose from, but if you want to make things convenient for your customers, go for a payment terminal that works with contactless technology.

If you’re selling online, you’ll need to set up an online payments system. For example, you could work with an ecommerce platform like Shopify which comes with a dedicated portal for credit card payment processing for small business. Alternatively, you could rely on technical support from your card processing provider or web developer to add credit card payment processing for small business to your website.

Fees for accepting credit card payments for my business

Whether you require credit card payments for small business for online, in-person or telephone customers, each method comes with its own relevant technology, and each will incur a different fee.

  • In-store transactions usually incur lower fees because they’re considered lower risk. However, you’ll need to invest in a card reader and POS.

  • Online payments typically have higher credit card processing for small business fees. Plus, you’ll need a digital storefront or website and a payment gateway.

  • Over the phone transactions involve the customer sharing credit card information which is then entered manually into a card reader. These often incur the highest processing fees because there’s a higher risk of fraud.

Understanding your credit card payments for small business options is a smart move. Accepting a variety of payment options will serve to not only increase your customer base, but boost your credibility in the eyes of your shoppers.

We can help

GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

Over 70,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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