How Merchant Services can Keep the Register Ringing at your Retail Business

It’s your heavy season and your business is booming - is there really anything you can do that can boost your business during peak season, and keep sales strong during the off season? Merchant services could be the difference you need to keep your customers happy, and consistently returning, season after season.

Why are merchant services essential to any reputable business? They reassure your customers that their money is being handled securely and smoothly. Customers want to be certain that later on down the road, they will not have to return to deal with the hassle of any potential problems. Most customers also have their own particular preferred type of payment, and knowing that they can securely use that choice at your business can make a huge difference in providing extra reasons for customers to keep coming back.

No matter what type of business you own, merchant services can make a big difference. There are options for credit card, debit card and ATM card processing - with extra opportunities for where to process: in person, over the phone and online. Some businesses may also wish to consider accepting e-Checks and gift cards as well. Each particular type of merchant service has its own individual advantages. Each type of merchant service is specially conformed to the type of business you are running, for the personalized options that you need.

These days most consumers are choosing to purchase with either credit cards or debit cards, as they are much quicker than cash or paper checks, help to provide a record for budgeting and offer a feeling of security. These consumers often do not even carry checks or cash with them, as they expect to be able to use either credit or debit anywhere. Some reports say that as many as eighty percent of consumers prefer to either use credit or debit for all of their purchases - it is also said that customers paying with these methods tend to make larger purchases. Processing credit or debit cards also offers security for businesses, as it lessens the amount of raw cash that is kept on the premises.

E-Checks are only used online, typically by smaller businesses. Like a paper check, the money comes directly from the consumer’s bank into your account. It can take three or four days to clear, as both banks have to verify the funds and the purchase. Unlike paper checks, this means there is no money loss from potential bad checks. Some consumers also find this method to be more secure, as well as having the extra advantage that while after purchasing, the money is still in the account for a few days to accrue additional interest.

Returns and credit back can also be easily applied. If, for whatever reason, you need to issue credit back to a customer, credits are instantly processed, either back to their original form of payment, or on to a gift card. In a similar manner, gift cards could be preloaded with a precise amount of credit for customers who are on a budget - this can be especially good for a business that has multiple areas where purchases are necessary. Instead of paying for partial service at one area, and then continuing to another area where payment is also required, having a card that could be used conveniently at all areas would lessen hassle and the amount of time required by the customers to be devoted for payment.

Of course, traditional gift cards are something to consider as well, as they are a great form of free marketing. If someone enjoys your services, they can share their knowledge as a gift card, bringing new customers to your premises. A friend’s recommendation is often rated much more highly than even a television advertisement. An extra reason for businesses to consider gift cards is that it is most often a way for a business to make extra money. Consumers rarely spend the precise amount of a gift card; if they spend under, it is free money for the business. If instead they spend extra, it is still extra revenue for the business.

Whether you own a new business or one that has been around for decades, merchant services focuses on allowing your customer service to be the best it can be. We all know that customer service can be the discerning factor that either can impress a customer or send them running for the doors. Reassure your customers that their money is being processed safely and securely with every purchase that they make with you. Cash and checks may have been the most popular payment methods at one time, but today, being able to process alternative methods as well will greatly satisfy customers who expect more.