Whether you have an online store selling homemade crafts or you own a small service-based business, most customers expect you to provide the convenience of paying for goods and services with credit cards. Setting up a merchant account may seem like an inconvenience, but accepting credit cards online gives you the opportunity to expand your client base and your business. Merchant credit card processing providers take the headache out of dealing having to run to the bank to deposit money orders or personal checks.
Waiting up to two weeks for a customer’s personal check to clear delays the shipment of goods. If a customer sends you a bad check, your bank could charge you for having to return the check due to non-sufficient funds. Trying to collect payment through an alternate method has the potential to turn into a hassle. You may never receive payment for the services you provided. Using a merchant credit card processing provider allows you to collect guaranteed payment, speeding up order processing time and ensuring that you receive compensation for the time you have invested. In the event that your merchant credit card processor declines a customer’s credit card due to a lack of available funds, your customer has the ability to use a different credit card for providing payment.
Establishing a merchant account gives your business venture credibility. Small businesses who do not have the ability to accept credit cards give the impression of an unprofessional set up, and prospective clients may take their business elsewhere. If you provide goods or services on a repeat basis for customers, your merchant account may allow you to schedule recurring monthly payments for clients. This takes the headache out of submitting monthly invoices for payment and chasing customers who don’t pay on time.
You can report set up or annual fees associated with opening a merchant account as a valid business expense. Your online credit card processing provider typically takes a percentage of the total amount of the credit card payment as a transaction fee. Although this means that you will not receive the full payment amount for an order, you may also claim transaction fees as a business expense, lowering your overall tax liability. Once you know the transaction fee percentage, consider increasing your prices by that percentage amount, so you do not lose revenue.
Processing online credit card sales through a secured merchant account gives your customers a sense of safety, by knowing that the credit card processing system securely stores sensitive financial information. Quicker order fulfillment times and payment convenience keeps customers and clients happy, which leads to repeat sales and more income for your business.