Discover the Many Perks of Accepting Credit Cards

While cash is an acceptable form of payment for almost every type of business, more people today choose to pay for things using credit cards. Credit cards are easier to carry than cash and they are often safer, with limits to the customer’s personal liability if those cards are lost or stolen. Some credit cards offer their owners rewards in points, airline miles, or even cash. And it’s not only individuals who prefer shopping with credit cards. Many companies provide their employees with corporate credit cards that allow them to track expenditures more easily.

But credit card perks are not limited to individuals and businesses that want to use them to make purchases. A business owner or manager will find that there are also benefits in accepting credit cards from his or her customers. There are so many benefits, in fact, that most companies today would be remiss to accept cash only. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to set up the merchant services you need to start accepting credit cards and reaping the benefits. Here are just a few of the perks associated with credit card payments.

First of all, accepting credit cards allows a business to offer a variety of payment options to its customers. There are many types of credit cards from many banks, in addition to cash and checking account options that most customers have. That flexibility in the use of credit cards, in turn, allows those customers to shop more freely, to make impulse purchases, or simply to stock up on items they need for their homes or their own businesses. This has the immediate effect of improving a business’s bottom line. More money coming in generally means company growth as well as an improvement in the business’s credit worthiness. Better credit worthiness can, in turn, mean more growth, with only the sky as the limit.

Accepting credit cards from its customers also allows a business to take advantage of funds quicker than it would if it accepted only checks for the payment of goods or services. In fact, only funds from cash payments are available faster than credit card funds…and if the business uses a merchant account for processing its credit card receipts, those funds may be available just as quickly as cash. This, in turn, improves the cash flow of the business, allowing it to take advantage of special offers in sales of supplies it needs.

Another benefit of accepting credit card payments is that it allows a business to limit potential losses that could occur through accepting personal or business checks from its customers. After all, checks can take several days to clear or—worse—to bounce. In fact, it could be weeks before a business discovers that a large check it accepted is no good. At that point, the business will not only have to pay bank fees to pay for the insufficient funds, but it might have written its own checks against those funds, thereby causing those checks to be returned for insufficient funds. And that can open up all sorts of problems with the business’s own bank, suppliers, and debtors.  Additionally, in this type of situation, the business will have to go to the trouble of either recapturing the lost funds or recovering the goods that were sold. Often this proves impossible.

By comparison, credit cards—especially those processed through a merchant account—can be verified by the business almost immediately, often before the customer takes possession of the goods or services it has attempted to purchase. The business can discover right away if a customer cannot pay for his or her purchase, thereby saving itself a whole host of problems.

Yet another benefit of accepting credit card payments from its customers is that the business can take orders over the Internet or telephone more easily. No longer will it have to wait for a check or money order to arrive in order to fill a customer’s order. The customer’s credit card can be verified before the goods or services are provided. Once that verification occurs—and again, a merchant account can speed up that verification process to real time—goods or services are usually released even more quickly than they would be if the customer pays with a check. Quicker service for a customer—because of quicker payment verification—will often mean that customer will return to the business for future needs.

Of course, no form of payment is perfectly safe. Invalid credit card accounts manage to slip into the system. But when they do, they often leave a better trail than a bounced check would leave. And with the right merchant account provider, verification is usually fast and reliable.

In summary, a business that accepts customer payments via credit cards will provide convenience to its customers, increase the number of customers who seek its services, increase its sales volume, and improve its Internet, mail, and telephone services. With all those benefits available, why wouldn’t a business accept credit cards?