If you want your business to start accepting credit and debit cards, there are several options for you to select from. You can choose to use a merchant account services provider, a mobile credit card processor, or a third party processor that allows online credit card processing. We’ll review these options and discuss the equipment you’ll need for each.
The most common way for businesses to accept credit and debit cards is through a merchant account services provider. This is usually a bank or some other form of financial institution. The merchant account services provider handles the entire process through merchant accounts which it provides to businesses. These types of accounts include retail merchant accounts, internet merchant accounts, and mail or telephone order (MOTO) accounts.
The following equipment is available for payment processing: Simple swipers, point-of-sale ( POS) terminals, pin-pad terminals, or wireless terminals. This equipment can be bought or rented from most merchant account services providers, but you can also buy it from a source other than merchant account services providers.
Your next option, mobile credit card processing, is similar to merchant account services providers, except that they allow you to take payments using your smartphone.
The equipment that this option requires is a card reader that plugs directly into your smartphone. You’ll also need to download a mobile app.
If you don’t want to deal with merchant account services providers, you can choose online credit and debit card processing. This involves third party processors, such as Paypal. These companies handle all of your debit and credit card processing without you having to have a merchant account. These companies allow businesses to put payment buttons directly on their websites. They are also beginning to offer mobile card readers that attach to smartphones and other mobile units.
The only equipment you need with this type of company is your website, if you want to consider that a piece of equipment. Of course, you’ll need the card readers if you’re interested in swiping cards with your smartphone.
As you continue your research, you’ll want to consider the pros and cons of each option. You’ll need to consider the costs involved. You’ll also want to know how secure each method is. You should read all the reviews you can of the different companies offering these services. Visit online forums and read the posts and ask questions. Take your time, remain objective, and your diligence will pay off.