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Does your business accept credit cards?
by: Jakob Jelling
It has become increasingly important for businesses to be able to accept credit cards. Credit cards are the preferred method of payment nowadays. Whether you are an online merchant or own an on-site business, if you do not accept credit cards you are missing out on a lot of revenue.

To accept credit cards your business needs a credit card processing system. Creating a merchant account gives you that ability. Merchant accounts are accounts especially crafted to fit the needs of businesses to accept money.

If you own a store, you will need a card swipe terminal to accept credit card payments. Your merchant account provider may be able to provide you with this equipment. There will be a purchase fee or rent fee associated with the equipment. You can also shop elsewhere for point of sale equipment. POS terminal software can ease the processing of credit cards and can ease the job of a cashier at grocery stores, merchandise stores, bookshops, or any other type of store you own.

Once the equipment is in place you are ready to go. When a customer asks ‘do you accept credit cards?’ your answer will be a definite yes. At the Point of Sale terminal, customers can check out their items and pay by credit. You slide the credit card into the machine and it will automatically make the payment.

To accept credit cards is even more crucial for Internet merchants. If you only use checks to accept payments, it can be troublesome for customers to write and mail the check. Online payment methods such as Paypal and StormPay also have drawbacks since many people do not have accounts with them. These can be your secondary payment methods but it is important to be able to accept credit cards.

Different websites have different reasons to accept credit card payments. Some sites ask for a membership or subscription fee. Some sites may deliver tangible products where the payment gateway must be integrated with the shopping cart. Others may require a fee for online consumption of such things as music, movies, etc.

You will need an Internet merchant account to make a payment gateway on your e-commerce Website to accept credit cards. You have a great choice when it comes to selecting a merchant account. Things to look for when making your choice are:

- Fees, such as transaction, set up and charge back
- Reliable security features
- Professional customer support
- The Company’s reputation and stability

If you are not skilled in programming, you should seek a merchant account provider that will set up your payment gateway for you or provide a cut and paste code. Setting up the payment gateway, to accept credit cards, in the right place and integrating it into your e-commerce Website is essential to driving sales. The gateway must be secure and the payment processing time must be fast.

Why you must Accept Credit Cards?

For online purchases, a majority of customers pay by credit cards. Thus if you do not accept credit cards you have reduced your customer base tremendously. Also credit cards promote impulse buying. You do not want to give your customers time to rethink their purchase when they are writing a check with all those zeros.

Also it can add credibility and professionalism to your business. If you accept credit cards, your site will look more legitimate and customers will have greater peace of mind when making payments. Your payment processor will be working and making money 24 hours a day, even while you sleep.

The benefits of accepting credit cards are many, even for on-site businesses. Credit cards are a convenient way to make payments. Customers do not have to carry cash around. Just slide the card in the processor and the payment is done. The merchant can potentially see a great increase in sales.

About the author:
Jakob Jelling is the founder of http://www.cashbazar.comVisit his website for the latest on personal finance, debt elimination, budgeting, credit cards and real estate.

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