8 Ways To Make The Most of Your Merchant Account
So you have a business. Your business has a merchant account. You pay a single-digit percentage of your sales for the privilege to accept credit, debit, and gift cards at your register. It’s better to be able to get a lot out of your merchant account instead of just eating the cost and grumbling about it. Make it work for you, instead of the other way around.
As a small business owner you don’t need to be told about the popularity of payment cards. Just look in your wallet. Businesses have transitioned from signs that say ‘We Accept Credit Cards’ to signs that say ‘Cash Only’. It’s now outside the norm to not be able to accept cards. A merchant account lets you accept payment cards, and the benefits far outweigh the costs..
How to Make Your Merchant Account Work for You
Keep track of your transactions and make sure you verify every payment. It’s not easy, but make it a habit and you are far less likely to be ambushed by fraudulent charges or worse from angry customers.
Follow PCI guidelines. If you’re using EMV, still be careful. Most people just want their scarf or Slurpee or whatever, but you should be prepared for malicious individuals.
Know Your Pricing Structure
Interchange passes on the frequently fluctuating fees from card issuers to the business, resulting in more volatility of your bill. Tiered offers simple pricing into ‘buckets’ and a more reliable bill. Think of it in terms of risk – tiered is lower risk and rarely changes month-to-month. Interchange presents more risk, and has the potential for more savings and higher costs.
Input Cards Correctly
For card-not-present transactions, double check your input. The phone may be scratchy and a number may be misheard, or fingers may fall on the wrong keys. Inputting information incorrectly can be harmful to your business and your bottom line.
Pin Costs MORE
These days, PIN debit is going for a premium. Avoid it when possible to avoid tripling your transaction costs. Yes, it used to be the cheapest option, but not anymore.
Get a Mobile Attachment
Do you go to trade shows or events? Do you serve food or drink? Then you need a mobile attachment for your smartphone or tablet. There’s nothing worse than not being able to accept payment when you have your product in a customer’s face. Your merchant services provider should provide one free of charge.
Use a Virtual Terminal
A virtual terminal transports your tabletop hardware to your web browser, accessible from any computer connected to the internet. A virtual terminal has a lot of functions that increase efficiency and decrease costs, so read these tips on how to use your virtual terminal.
Connect to Your Website
Everybody’s got a website these days. But not every website can accept cards. To do that you need a merchant account tied into your website. Many businesses have tried out ecommerce by accepting payments online and shipping products to customers. It can be daunting at first, so outsourcing may be the best option. A fulfillment service is a great way to branch out into e-commerce without having to store, pack, and ship goods in-house.
Offer Card-Exclusive Deals
Consumers spend more with cards since they can’t see the money go out. Capitalize on this by offering BOGO or other deals, and you’ll rack up sales and profits.
These things will help you increase profits, stabilize your account, and ride the wave of the future. There’s no formula for business though, you just have to figure it out and make the most of what you’ve got.