Increase Traffic at Your Retail Business with the Benefits of Merchant Services

Nothing turns away potential customers in today’s modern world faster than a “cash only” sign. That may have cut it even just ten years ago, but not in this day and age. Unless you are the only game in a one-horse town, your customers who rely on the convenience of modern technologies are just going to go elsewhere to make their purchases.

Many businesses out there are just so used to the cash only model that it is hard for them to imagine switching to anything different. And frankly, it can be a little bit intimidating at times. Where do you even start?

The reality of the situation is that being able to process credit cards, and a whole world of other forms of payment, is easier today than ever before. Merchant services accounts are more than happy to get your business set up so that you can process just about any type of payment out there. By using a merchant account, you will not only grow your business without hardly lifting a finger, but even your existing customers will appreciate the newfound convenience of conducting business with you.

Credit Card Processing

One of the first things that all retail businesses are going to want to be able to do is set up credit card processing services. One of the most common ways to do this is through a retail swipe terminal. These are the machines you see on the counters of just about every grocery and convenience store out there.

There are all kinds of different retail swipe terminals on the market to suit your needs. Some of them require that you sign a screen or a piece of paper and for others, you just swipe your card and that is it.

One thing to consider when signing a deal with a merchant account provider is reading the fine print. Some providers will offer free swipe terminals when you sign a contract. The only catch is that sometimes they will hit you with a hefty cancellation fee if you ever decide to move to a new provider. In many cases, it is worth it just to buy the swipe terminal outright, even if they are offering you a free one.

Once your customers have swiped their cards, the transaction goes through a few complex steps that your account provider will worry about. Then in a few business days the money will be available in your business account.

Another advantage of these physical swipe terminals is that your account provider doesn’t charge exorbitant fees. They know that fraud is far lower in face-to-face transactions, so they don’t need to overcharge you for fear of a customer ripping you off.

Debit Card Processing

When you sign up for a merchant account, you will be able to process debit cards in much the same way as you process credit cards. Your swipe terminal may ask your customer to punch in her PIN number, but on your end, everything works pretty much the same. The only real difference is that the money comes directly out of your customer’s checking account.

Check Acceptance

Now you may be asking yourself, “Why do I need a merchant account to allow me to accept checks? I’ve been accepting checks for years.” That may be true, but you have also been accepting checks the old-fashioned way.

With a merchant account, you can accept paper checks in much the same way that you accept a credit card. You cut down on the length of time it takes to deposit them and your account provider will even guarantee the check. That means that if it bounces, you won’t be left hung out to dry.

A further advantage of check acceptance through a merchant services account is that they are turned into secure electronic documents. This makes it much easier to keep track of your records, rather than having piles of paper lying around.

Gift Cards

It makes perfect sense that if you have a customer who appreciates the service you provide that they will want to pass that experience on to a beloved friend or family member. That is one reason why merchant account providers can help you to process gift cards.

This way, when someone comes in and likes how you do business, they can pick up a gift card to share with a friend. Gift cards can also benefit your business in a variety of ways. For one, they represent an advance form of payment directly to you. It also means that you have a new customer coming along, one that could become a repeat customer.

In practical terms, it is also a rare case when someone will spend exactly the amount that is on a gift card. This means that either they will be spending more than they intended or less. If they spend less, that adds up to free money for your business.

The reality is that a merchant services account can greatly help to increase the amount of traffic that your retail business receives. People appreciate convenience, and when your customers realize that you respect them enough to offer those conveniences, they will continually repay you by giving you their business. All this can be attained simply by signing up for a merchant services account.