If you are like many business owners, you have wished that depositing written checks from your customers was as convenient as running a batch of credit card transactions. A batch of credit card transactions can be done without the hassle of running to the bank to make a deposit, and it only takes a few minutes. But now, depositing a check without entering your car or your bank is also possible with online check deposit services. Many banks, especially large banks, now offer this service to their clients, for both personal accounts and business accounts.
How It Works
In order to make the best online check deposit applications work for your business, there are a few things you’ll have to have:
- A personal electronic device that is supported by the app you will be using, a computer, or other electronic device that is compatible with the app or software used by your bank. Depending on the account type, the volume of checks deposited per month and the institution, the type of electronic devices that can be used may vary.
- A scanner may also be necessary if you will be using a computer. For some accounts, a small device dedicated solely for scanning checks may be recommended or provided by your bank.
- A DSL or broadband connection if you will be using a computer for online check deposit activities.
The process for remote check deposit will be slightly different with each bank, but the basic steps for completing your first online check are usually similar to the steps listed below:
- Visit your banking institution’s website or app store to download and install the app or software required to make remote check deposits.
- Log in to the app or software. Some banks have you use the same username and password that you use for online banking. You may have to register or verify the electronic device that you are using. This is usually a one-time requirement for each electronic device you use. Normally, the software or app will guide you with instructions as you log in and register your device.
- Once you have logged in, you will probably be prompted to select the account you want your deposit to go to. Select the appropriate account.
- Next you will probably be prompted to obtain and send an image of the check(s) being deposited. After signing the back of the check, use your electronic device or scanner, to take a picture of the front and back of the check(s) being deposited.
- Next, you will probably be required to verify the information on the check, such as the amount, the date etc.
- Once the transaction details are verified for accuracy, submit the transaction. Usually a transaction confirmation will be given at this point.
Tip: If your app does not seem to be working correctly, make sure that the app or software on your electronic device is the most recently available version.
Benefits Of Online Check Deposit Companies
If you are unsure if the bank account that you choose needs to have remote check depositing abilities, consider the benefits of being able to deposit handwritten checks remotely, without making a trip to the bank.
- You may already have all of the needed devices and internet connection specifications to make an online check deposit.
- In many cases, you can see the deposit in your account as early as the next business day
- Many online check deposit services allow you to see the images of checks you deposited for up to 2 years.
- Images of checks are usually stored by the online check deposit companies, not on your own electronic device, which keeps all transaction records organized and in one place, and helps prevent your devices from becoming overloaded with stored data.
- Some of the best online check deposit services usually keep their services secure, with firewall protection, encryption, and password protection. Check to make sure that the service you plan on using employs appropriate security measures.
- Online check deposit services are often offered free with certain types of bank accounts.
- Depositing checks remotely is usually a very simple process, thanks to intuitive software and app designs.
- You can save the money you would have spent on gas to drive to the bank several times a week or several times a month.
- You won’t need to rush out the door to make sure that you get to the bank to make the deposit before they close. With remote check depositing services, you can usually make deposits from your place of business or from your home any time of the day or night.
- When you are traveling you can deposit a check online instead of waiting until you get back into town a few days later, and you’ll know sooner whether or not a crucial check has cleared. Knowing sooner that a check has cleared can allow you to progress in a business deal more quickly.
Picking The Right Provider
Several factors may influence which online check processing companies are the best for your business. Keep in mind that remote check depositing abilities may not be the only characteristic you need in a bank account. You may need to take into account whether or not the account offers a line of credit, whether the account is able to take deposits from credit card transactions, the number of withdrawals allowed per month, the balance requirements and the fees associated with the account, as well as other factors.
If you are planning on making more than 20-30 online check deposits per month, or if you plan on making deposits that consist of many checks, your bank may recommend that you use a dedicated device to scan the checks that you will be depositing online. This device may be faster and easier to use to process larger quantities of checks. Depending on the bank and the type of account, this device may actually be provided to you free of charge.
Online check deposit services is a technology that can give you more versatility in the way you run your business, and the way you live your life. You can deposit your checks at the beach, or at the park if you want, and having the ability to make an online check deposit can be an advantage in many business situations. Finding the best online check deposit companies is literally like having the bank at your fingertips!
Many businesses that operate in high-risk industries have found it very hard to find a payment processor who will assist them. There are a number of industries which have a history of risk and fraud due to the nature of the industry. High risk payment processing companies can offer them a sort of safe haven by providing them with payment processing services that include the risk built-in to the payment process.
Finding a Payment Processor
Companies operating in online gaming, adult entertainment, and other types of businesses where credit card fraud are prominent are going to have a harder time to find a merchant account service compared to those operating a bakery or some sort of online service. These types of services suffer from criminals attempting to use another’s credentials in order to obtain some sort of financial gain. As a result, there are payment processors that provide a service to accept the payments while offering a stronger means of proving the payment is legitimate.
It is important to find a listing of companies specializing in high risk payment processing in order to find the credit card processing companies that are not only willing to accept a bit of liability in ensuring the payments are legitimate, but also have a history of helping their clients prove the legitimacy of their users. Many of these services provide their merchants with the resources required to improve the security of their online systems while also ensuring that orders are being proven legitimate.
For many of these types of businesses it is important to be able to prove the identity of the person placing the order or beginning their membership. There are different methods of proving the verification of the credit card user. Many of these services involve some sort of voice or information verification through an independent third-party that has personal information of the alleged user to prove they are who they say they are. In many cases this information is being obtained through a credit agency, thus the questions would be relevant to information that only a credit agency and the actual user would have access to.
It is important to ensure that teach user is who they say they are as the liability could fall onto the business in the case of fraud. High risk credit card processors understand the problems that arise for business owners and therefore have processes in place to deal with the issues as they arise. In many cases high risk payment processors have strategies that can eliminate or reduce the amount of credit card fraud that these businesses have to deal with.
At the end of the day if you’re operating in what payment processors consider to be a high risk business it is important to find a payment processor that specializes in high risk processing industries. The companies understand the complex needs of businesses that handle online transactions that are at high risk of fraud.
With the rise of new technologies businesses are constantly looking for new ways to innovate their offerings. The same goes for the payment processing industry. EMV is a new standard for specifications around smart card payments and technologies. These chip-based payment cards and terminals offer the ability to provide stronger security around payments and financial transactions. While this may not mean a lot to the average consumer, it means a lot for payment processors and businesses in general.
With the rise of payment fraud and breaches in web technologies it is becoming more important to ensure that all financial transactions and information is as secure as possible. While end-to-end encryption is possible, there lies a problem with one end or the other being breached which would cause problems for many businesses and consumers. EMV is an attempt to create a more secure standard for the acceptance and transmittance of financial information.
Benefits of EMV
As EMV is being implemented into newly distributed payment cards, consumers are going to find it easier to make payment with an EMV-implemented card. The contactless method of presenting a card makes it harder for their information to be stolen by a third-party since tricks at credit card scanners are going to be that much harder to implement.
A large amount of time was spent in finding ways to authenticate whether a card is legitimate or not, thus making it harder to product counterfeit cards. The card is authenticated during the process of processing the transaction, thus preventing the user from presenting a fake card that can appear to be legitimate. Each transaction is also associated with unique transaction information preventing some of the more prominent methods of executing new transactions through MITM attacks (man in the middle attacks).
There are also a number of online payment options that will support the EMV technology making it easier for consumers to make purchases on websites in a secure fashion.
The Cost of EMV Compliance
EMV compliance is a hot topic amongst businesses and payment processors. Many businesses in the United States are not EMV compliant due to their outdated payment processing equipment. The cost of ensuring their business is able to accept EMV payments is relatively high compared to the cost of simply installing a credit card processing terminal. For many businesses the cost is associated with buying a new terminal outright or upgrading their existing infrastructure to be compatible with the new hardware.
Many businesses have opted to not install the new technologies as of yet and are pushing the deadline for implementation, thus making it harder for consumers to use the new technology as a normal process. Often times consumers see the technology as something that is more rare and therefore consumers are not taking advantage of processing their payments using EMV. This is also making banks and financial institutions more hesitant on implementing cards with the new technology.
The Approaching Deadline
In October 2015 there is a hard deadline set for merchant to not only have EMV in place, but to have full EMV compliance to the latest standards. The liability will shift from card processors to merchant in ensuring that the standards are properly implemented. If security issues arise from the misuse of EMV standards merchants will be held fully liable for the damages and the breach of trust. This makes it important for merchants to ensure that their business is fully EMV compliant prior to the October 2015 deadline.
There comes a time in the life of any small business when the owner is faced with a difficult decision. There are a number of scenarios where a small business loan may be the most convenient solution to the problem being presented with them. It is important to understand the different scenarios where a small business loan may be an acceptable approach to solving the problem in addition to scenarios where a small business loan is simply the best approach.
If the business is hitting a point where there is interest outside of the current business locale it might make sense to open up another location. At this point in the life span of the business if the business cannot invest the finances to open that second location a small business loan could be perfect to get another location up and running. This will lead to the first or existing locations to have to take a bit of financial burden in order to work on paying off the loan, but once that new location is turning a profit the effects of the loan will truly be realized.
The Unavoidable Disaster
It’s important to know that there are things which occur that cannot be avoided. There is a well known quote circulating about how death and taxes are two things that will always occur. The third unavoidable truth in life involves natural disasters. Just as we cannot control the weather, we are also unable to control natural disasters.
Earthquakes, natural fires, and tornadoes are common causes of property damage and even the entire destruction of a building or facility. In these cases there is nothing the business owner or manager can do to limit the amount of damage; they are entirely at the mercy of Mother Nature.
There are loan programs often available to businesses to help them rebuild following a natural disaster. Often times the fees and rules on these loans are more lenient than other types of loans, offering small businesses the opportunity to become profitable once again during a longer period of time before having to pay off the loan.
Most entrepreneurs don’t understand that there are small business startup loans that can help them establish their business in profitable industries. Many banks and financial institutions are willing and able to loan funds for the process of starting and running the business. Many general loan providers will offer competitive rates on loans to help the small business owner get their business started and to assist in the acquisition of goods and equipment to get their operations going. While this puts the business in the position of owing money from the very start, it also gives the business an injection of funds from the get-go.
It is also important to understand the situations where a small business loan is more detrimental rather than helpful. If the business is having a hard time turning a profit due to factors that are not figuring in seasons or trends, it can be very difficult to turn back time through a small business loan. If there are businesses that are making success through methods you cannot compete with a small business loan isn’t going to help your business succeed. Innovation and offering new services to your customer base are going to do more than simply taking out a loan on the basis that the money will help your business pay the bills for a bit longer. If you don’t solve the actual cause of the problem, then the problem is not going to go away with more money.
The average American has 3.5 credit or debit cards in their wallet and only a small amount of money, ranging from $50 to $100 according to a survey on Yahoo.com. This should be reason alone to set up a credit card merchant account immediately if your company doesn’t already accept this form of payment. Some small business owners still feel like this is an unnecessary expense, however. Here are 6 reasons to apply for a card merchant account today.
- 1. Increase Sales
When your business accepts credit cards, you will immediately notice an increase in sales; not only in your gross sales, but also in the average transaction amount per customer. It has been estimated that a consumer who makes purchases with a credit card spends approximately 2.5 times more than a customer who pays with cash. This is due to a number of reasons.
- Most people are more likely to purchase large ticket items on the spot with a credit card rather than taking time to think it over while they go to a bank or ATM to withdraw the money necessary to buy the item.
- Customers who pay with credit cards are more likely to purchase smaller impulse items.
- They may also purchase items that they are unsure about thinking that they can always return them before their credit card payment is due. More often than not, however, once the customer has the item at home he or she decides to keep it rather than return it.
You will notice a significant increase in your gross sales simply by accepting credit cards.
- 2. Low Fees
The increase in sales that most businesses see from setting up a credit card merchant account are more than enough to offset the fees and costs associated with accepting credit cards. Not to mention that the fees are lower than ever. Most do not charge an application fee or any type of setup fee. Many offer other free services as well, including free virtual terminals and 24-hour technical support. The best card merchant account for your business may be different that the one that another business uses. Take the time to compare the different providers and their fees. A common mistake that first-time applicants make is choosing the credit card merchant account that advertises the lowest transaction percentage. Take the time to compare both the base rate and the processing rate before signing anything.
- 3. Improve Cash Flow
Accepting credit cards will have a positive effect on your cash flow. Most companies offer immediate approval on credit card transactions as well as same or next day funding. You won’t have to wait for a check to clear the bank before you can access the money or worry about a customer not having sufficient funds and paying returned check fees. Even if you aren’t in the business of selling goods, you can still improve your company’s cash flow. If you are the owner of a real estate agency or another business, for instance, where agents are subject to monthly fees and dues, you can set up automatic payments on a monthly basis to ensure that you get paid in a timely manner rather than sending out invoices each month and waiting for their next commission check. The ability to automatically collect recurring payments can also improve cash flow for landlords, home owner associations, fitness facilities, dance studios, piano teachers or other businesses that collect monthly services. You will get your money on time every month without any hassle.
4. Stay Competitive
You could very well lose business if you choose not to accept credit cards. Chances are your competitors already accept credit cards or are in the process of finding a merchant account themselves. You don’t want to give them any sort of competitive advantage. Furthermore, it has been estimated that if you sell anything on the internet and you don’t accept credit cards you automatically eliminate 90 percent of your potential customers. Even if you have a secure shopping card with another form of electronic payment, customers automatically assume that you are not legitimate and they will take their business to another site that accepts credit cards. There is a lot to be said for the sense of trust consumers experience when they see the logos of major credit cards on a website.
- 5. Grow Your Business
The best credit merchant processing services can also help you grow your business, which in turn, will increase your sales even more. The value added services offered by many different providers will help you analyze sales patterns, streamline your business, make more money per transaction and build customer loyalty. Such services may include but are not limited to:
- Inventory management
- Sales tracking and reporting
- Customer information capture
- Opt-in e-mail programs
- Customer loyalty cards
- Gift card programs
Successful businesspeople know that it costs less to keep an existing customer than it does to attract a new one. Anything you can do to increase customer loyalty is well worth it, especially in today’s rough economic climate.
- 6. Set Up Is Quick and Easy
A common misconception—especially for those that may not have all of the latest technologies—is that it will be extremely difficult to get the right equipment and software to accept credit cards. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact the entire process from the application to the installation is quick and easy. The best credit card merchant account will offer a variety of hardware and software options for the unique needs of your business. It won’t matter if you have the latest operating system on your computer or the most recent smart phone. A member of their professional staff can help you decide what pieces are the best fit for your business based on your existing infrastructure. Whether you need point of sale hardware, apps for mobile acceptance and/or web-based capabilities, most merchant providers will provide you with free on-site installation and training. In most cases, you will be fully capable of accepting credit cards in one or two business days after your application has been accepted.
If you are a business owner who is interested in setting up shop online and require a system to begin accepting credit, debit or other payment cards, you will need to set up an account with one of the best payment gateway providers. Read on to learn about this system, how it works and what you should look for in a provider.
What is a Payment Gateway?
When a customer uses a credit card as a method of payment in a transaction, the payment gateway is the service that is responsible for automating the process. It is typically a third party service that acts to process and verify the credit card’s information. This is done through internet connections that are secure. It tells the merchant whether the card can be used as payment or whether it has been declined. Without a payment gateway, a merchant cannot accept a credit card. It is also known as an IP payment gateway for transactions conducted online.
There are a couple of different ways that payment gateways can be implemented:
- Third-party Sites. The payment gateway can involve an order form that is secure. Once the customer completes the order form and submits it, she is taken to a third-party site to process her credit card.
- Merchant Application Program Interface. The payment gateway could involve a merchant application program interface (API). Since this program and your site’s server are integrated, your customers will never have to leave your website. Their credit card information will be taken and processed directly from your site.
How Does it Work?
Even though a transaction may be approved or denied in a matter of seconds, a payment gateway is actually quite a lengthy process with various aspects. When you consider the many steps taken by the best payment gateway providers in order to facilitate transactions between merchants and customers, it is amazing that the customer can hit the submit button for his order on your site and seconds later be taken to a page that tells him if his transaction has been approved or denied. A detailed accounting of these steps is outlined below:
- Credit card information is submitted. Your customer inputs her credit card information on a secure page of your website.
- Information is sent to the payment gateway. Your customer’s credit card information is encrypted and submitted to the payment gateway.
- Information is sent to the bank processor. Once the payment gateway receives your customer’s credit card information, it forwards it on to your bank processor over a secure internet connection.
- Information is sent to the credit card processor. Your merchant bank processor then sends the credit card information on to the credit card processor.
- Verification of funds. The credit card processor communicates with your customer’s issuing bank in order to verify the information and ensure the customer has enough funds in his account to cover the transaction.
- Approval or denial. The customer’s issuing bank checks for funds and either approves or declines the transaction. This approval or denial is sent back to the credit card processor. It also shares this information with your bank processor.
- Information is sent back to the payment gateway. Your bank processor forwards the approval or denial back to the payment gateway. The payment gateway then holds the results of the transaction. The whole process for authorization is completed by the payment gateway in a matter of seconds.
- Funds are transferred. The credit card-issuing bank transfers funds to cover the cost of the transaction to the credit card processor. The credit card processor then sends the money to your bank for deposit into your account.
What Should You Look For in a Payment Gateway Provider?
Payment gateway providers can provide your website with a number of different features and services. In order to find one that is right for you and that will fulfill your business’ needs, it is important to compare payment gateway providers. The following are basic features you should look for in a payment gateway provider:
- Cart compatibility. If you already have a shopping cart system set up on your website, it is important that you find a payment gateway provider that will be compatible with your existing system. If they are not compatible, they will not work together and it will be impossible for you to accept credit cards on your site.
- Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliant. Since the payment gateway provider you select will be responsible for handling and storing the credit card information of your customers, it is necessary for the provider to be PCI compliant. This ensures that your customer’s sensitive credit card information is kept secure.
- Multiple Card Support. If you will be selling your goods or services to individuals living outside of the United States or Canada, you will need to select a payment gateway provider who can offer support for a number of different types of credit cards. Your provider will also need to be able to process payments in different currencies.
- Reoccurring Billing. If your company offers services that are based on subscriptions or other renewable items, you will need to make sure that the payment gateway is able to process automatic recurring billing (ARB). It is also important that your payment gateway provide you with the ability to review your customers’ purchase history and account balance.
- Virtual Terminal. Being able to log in and process a transaction manually is important for online business owners. This can be useful for orders that are placed over the phone and is known as a virtual terminal.
- Fraud Detection and Prevention. The best payment gateway providers will have automated tools and programs aimed at fighting credit card fraud. This includes identifying transactions that are suspicious and supporting the Address Verification System (AVS) which checks that your customer’s billing address matches the address on file with their credit card issuer.
Doing a little research on different online payment gateway providers and how they work is important for finding the right provider for your company. This is an important step toward accepting credit cards and other payment cards in your online store.
When you first came up with the idea to open your small business, you probably were not thinking about how you would process credit cards. Unfortunately in today’s world, the inability to process credit cards can severely inhibit your ability to thrive as a business. As you begin to consider all the credit card processing business accounts available out there, it may seem daunting to have to choose one, but fortunately there are some things that can help you narrow down the right processor for exactly what you need.
What Does Your Business Do Exactly?
This may seem like a silly question—after all, if you’re the business owner, you know what you do. When you begin looking at credit card processing systems, though, this question should be focused on exactly what type of business you are running, and how that translates to customer transactions. For example, do you primarily do business online? Do you have a physical location where your clients shop? Do you ever travel with your business, and require the ability to accept payments in a mobile format? Do you accept payments in one or more of these ways, and need an integrated system?
Accepting Payments In Store
If you have a business with a physical location, you need credit card processing business services that accept swiped card transactions. One of the most important things about this type of system is the point-of-sale (POS) machine, where you swipe the credit cards. These machines can cost anywhere between $300 to over $1000 depending on the capabilities of the machine, and how they collect, organize, and transmit data. Sometimes a merchant credit card processing business will include the POS machine in the package deal, and in other cases it may be a separate charge. One way you may be able to reduce this up-front cost is to lease the machine for a monthly fee, or purchase a refurbished unit for a lower price.
Accepting Payments Online
Businesses that primarily accept payments online need to have an entirely different processing system. An online system must be properly integrated with your website, and offer seamless data transfer between the website interface and your back-end database systems.
In addition, any website that accepts payments must be mindful of data security standards and be in compliance with best practices outlined by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council for online financial transactions.
Accepting Mobile Payments
One of the newest and most exciting developments in credit card processing is the ability to accept mobile payments. No longer do you need to have a physical POS machine and a landline to process cards; now you can use your wireless smartphone or tablet to process transactions, often with very low setup and per-transaction fees. Most offer a pay-as-you-go option with a fixed percentage deducted for every transaction, which is economical and easy for small businesses.
If you sell more than one item, choose a system that has the ability to store inventory information, and attach to external devices such as secure cash drawers or receipt printers. In addition, be sure to choose a system that works with your smartphone and has an easy-to-use app.
Considerations for All Processors
Whether you are looking at in-person, online, or mobile processing systems, there are a few decision factors that must be considered for any payment system.
Fees and Costs
There is a cost to processing credit card transactions. With billions of credit card transactions every year in the U.S., and a shift in consumer behavior toward the use of plastic over cash or checks, though, businesses that avoid credit card processing business services may be losing out on clients and revenue in the long run. In fact, a Federal Reserve Bank of Boston study identified that 80 percent of individuals in the U.S. have a credit or debit card, and the average credit card transaction is as much as four times larger than the average cash transaction.
The most common fees you will see in any credit card processing system are setup fees, per-transaction fees (a flat fee for each transaction), discount rates (the percentage taken from each transaction), batch fees, monthly statement fees, and payment processor gateway fees (if you’re using a payment gateway).
In order to minimize costs, the best thing you can do is compare credit card processing companies. Start by outlining exactly how much volume you have in sales every day, and estimate how much of that will be credit or debit card transactions. If your transaction volume is high enough, it may even translate to significant savings in the percentage you pay per swipe.
Another reason many businesses avoid getting credit card processing business systems is the hassle required to get it set up. Depending on your needs, the setup may be as easy as filling out some information online, linking it to a bank account, and you could be accepting cards within a couple of days. In other cases, if you require a significant back-end system with integrated payment processing gateways, database requirements, and more, it could take quite a while to set up and involve significant up-front costs. In that case, weighing the value of the data you are collecting and the volume of card transactions is important. In addition, comparing the process and setup costs across several providers will help you identify the system that will work best and cost the least.
Another consideration is the time it takes to receive your money. When the transaction occurs, it goes through your payment processor to the credit card company (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc.) for approval. Once approved, the credit card company will release the funds to the processor, who will, in turn, deposit the money in your account. This process could take anywhere from two to three days, or even as long as a week (in some cases the processing company may hold the funds a little longer to protect against fraudulent transactions). Whatever the case, the funds should be available as quickly as possible.
The Value-Added Services
The final consideration for any credit card processing system should be the extra services they offer. For example, do they provide 24/7 customer service and IT support? Can they help you meet PCI data security standards (an important criteria, especially for a small business that may not be familiar with all the PCI DSS requirements)? Are the reporting features easy to use and do they provide you with relevant data for what your business needs?
Once you answer these questions, choosing the right processor is a matter of identifying the system that best fits with your card processing needs. Accepting credit cards is a big step for any business, and a critical step to increase your sales volume and open your business to even more consumers than ever before.
If you’re at a crossroads with your business a small business loan could be the best thing in the world to bring back that sense of wonderment to the services you offer. It is important to keep a business fresh and clean and to provide your customers with the best experience possible. Small business loans offer the ability to reimagine your business through expansion. It could also be a lifeline to save your business during a difficult time of the year.
Or it could be a bad decision in disguise.
Small business loans are created to assist small businesses in the United States in expansion or survival during difficult times. Many businesses often have those cases where it is hard to be able to make a profit or to even pay the bills. Even highly successful businesses are allowed to have a slow period from time to time. It could simply be the time of the year or there could be an influx of a trend that causes customers to move towards other products or services on a temporary basis.
Whatever the case may be a small business loan is an opportunity to obtain some financial security from financial lenders based in loans that are approved by the Small Business Administration. Many of the financial institutions in your area offer small business loans to approved businesses who can prove both financial need and the ability to pay back that financial loan within a given amount of time.
How does one determine whether a small business loan is needed? There are some basic questions every single small business owner should ask their self before applying for a loan:
- Do we have the financial means to go about this without a loan?
- What are the long-term consequences of taking this loan?
- Is this loan really going to solve the problem?
Before you take out a business loan, it is important to take a good look at the finances. You should have a good understanding of what aspects of your business are costing you the most money. Many businesses don’t even realize they could reduce their costs without reducing the quality of their service or making things harder for them. Often times businesses are spending money on services they rarely use to deliver their own goods and services. Other times they are not aware of different discounts they could take advantage of or competing vendors that could give them a better price.
Looking into restructuring one’s costs are always the best decision to make before resorting to taking out a small business loan.;
If your business is expanding in order to try to increase revenue or to make the business profitable, an expansion might not actually help. The long-term consequences involved in getting a small business loan could be a harder time in the long run if there are more costs associated with maintaining the property. The cost of business could increase with the added facilities and the hiring of new employees.
Many times there are solutions to a problem that you just don’t see from the very start. If your business is suffering from a lack of space to continue to do business, an expansion to another facility may not be the best solution to the problem. If you’re having a hard time making ends meet, a small business loan will not solve the issue as simply as reducing costs would. It is important to look at the problem you’re presented with and find two to three different solutions that could potentially solve the problem. Take the other options first or at least put them in consideration before applying for a small business loan.
A small business loan is a great tool for merchants that understand both the costs and the benefits associated with taking out the loan. It is important to note that there are different types of small business loans and there are different requirements that must be met to be able to apply for the small business loan.
Every business wants to perform. Performance means many things including high profits, hard working employees, and satisfied customers. Fortunately, there are simple ways businesses can improve their performance. One way involves processing credit card with a merchant account. Businesses who take advantage of the best card processing merchant account can easily improve their overall performance and experience many benefits.
One of the biggest benefits enjoyed by businesses that use the best card processing merchant account providers is higher revenue. This occurs for the following reasons:
- Customers can pay with their preferred method of payment.
- Paying with credit cards gives customers more flexibility.
- It is uncommon for people to carry cash on hand.
- People do not like to pay with cash, their most liquid asset.
- Customers are more likely to spend more per transaction because they can pay with a credit card.
When a customer has an easier time paying, they are more likely to pay on time. This allows businesses to collect their receivables in a timely fashion and it has a positive effect on the total overall sales.
In addition to better sales, businesses are also able to satisfy their customers when they use the best credit card processing merchant account. Customers do not like to be restricted when they are paying. Instead, they prefer to have flexibility to pay their own way. This is a result of increased payment options. The days of cash only transactions are gone. There are people who rely on their debit cards only. Others use specific credit cards for points. Some prefer to use the credit card with the lowest interest rate. Since the method of payment varies from person to person, accepting all forms of payment is the best way to satisfy all customers and get paid on time. In addition, customers also tend to feel more secure when they are paying with a credit card. When businesses provide this security with the help of card processing merchant accounts, they have a better chance retaining their customers.
Credit cards are also a much more efficient payment method during the point of sale. In many cases, these cards can be processed online with the help of an error proof computer system. This saves the business time, resources, and money. They do not have to pay someone to process the card. Instead, they rely on software tools to get the job done for them. Also, for those businesses that do need cashiers, processing credit cards is also preferred. It is a faster payment method that minimizes the transaction time and has fewer errors. Cashiers can quickly help customers when they process credit cards, resulting in fewer lines. The cashier is also less likely to make a mistake when they are swiping a credit card versus counting cash. Cash has a higher tendency to be miscounted or misreported.
Another benefit from credit card processing is simplified accounting. Many merchants provide businesses with reports on transactions. These reports make it easy for businesses to account for their sales and performance. Businesses do not have to wait to understand how they are performing. Instead, they know immediately and can make better decisions to positively affect their performance. For example, businesses can easily understand whether or not a promotion is effective. This gives them the opportunity to make any changes to maximize their performance.
Along with better accounting, businesses also notice faster collections when they can accept credit cards. Since their customers can pay in their own way, most of them pay sooner. This faster collection process eliminates costly collection methods. Instead of following up on past due payments, businesses can focus their efforts on activities that make them more money.
More Options For Making Money
For many businesses, credit card processing provides more options for making money. For example, the local boutique can open up a virtual boutique online. The ability to process credit cards anywhere makes this possible and allows the boutique to reach more customers and generate higher revenue. The same can be true for a self-employed lawyer who wants to make money selling legal advice. He or she can write a book and sell it online to their current and prospective customers. If these businesses did not have the ability to process credit cards, they would lose out on these options for making money.
Get Paid Anywhere
Furthermore, credit cards can be processed anywhere. This not only makes it easier for customers to pay, but it also allows a business to reach all customers. For example, many retail businesses are now utilizing floating cashiers to facilitate the needs of busy customers who do not want to wait in line. These stores use smart phones to process credit cards and get paid on the sales floor. This point of sale options allows the store to avoid lost business, particularly during busy store hours. In addition to floating cashiers, businesses can use the Internet, phone, cash registers, and more to process transactions and improve their performance.
Accepting credit cards is also the best option to minimize risk during a transaction. The following risks are eliminated with credit cards.
- Money can be miscounted during a transaction.
- Checks can be returned or fraudulent.
- Money is more likely to be stolen by employees and robberies.
With a credit card, the business knows immediately if the payment is accepted. This way they can seek an alternative payment method if necessary. Also, credit cards allow businesses to receive money immediately and start making interest off their revenue.
Pass On Fees To Customers
Finally, many of the fees involved with accepting credit cards can easily be passed on to the customer to ensure high profits. Some businesses pass on the fees with a price increase. Other businesses charge transaction fees. Either way, these simple steps allow a business to eliminate the fees that come with accepting credit cards and maintain the same profit level.
The benefits of card processing merchant services are obvious. All businesses can reap the rewards of processing credit cards and improve their overall performance.