You are getting ready to fulfill your dream with an idea you know will be successful and a location you know is just right. You have a product or service you know people want, but you just don't know if you want to let them buy it with plastic.
True there are a few risks and inconveniences involved with allowing your customers to swipe it, but the benefits could mean the difference in success and failure of your new venture.
Setting up a merchant account is an essential first step in deciding to accept credit cards and can be a tenuous process. If you're already an established business with a solid sales history then it should be no big deal, but if you are just starting out there are some things they will want to look into:
How much you are selling and what kind of credit cards you plan on accepting are all aspects of your business they will want to examine. What you are selling? How are your customers making their purchases (e.g. in person or online)?
There are also some fees associated with a merchant account including a start up fee which could be anywhere from $50 to $200. Another concern with accepting credit cards are chargeback fees.
A chargeback is when the consumer disputes a charge on their credit card and is given a refund from the card issuing bank. This was meant to be a way to protect consumers from receiving poor quality products or not receiving the product at all, but there are also cases of fraudulent chargebacks. Identity theft and fraud are two problems with accepting credit cards that can lead to chargeback fees to your business.
There can also be fees assigned by the credit card processing companies as well equipment that you will need to purchase or rent. While these transaction rates should be relatively small it's still something to consider when choosing which credit card processing companies and point of sale systems are best for your business.
The answer to why you need credit card processing is: because it's necessary. Unless you have a profitable niche market that causes consumers to always bring cash specifically into your store, you are likely losing business by not taking cards.
The main reason why people accept credit cards is it gives their customers more options to be consumers. Most people don't carry much cash on them, and personal checks are quickly becoming obsolete. So, by not accepting a credit card you run the risk of limiting who is able to make purchases in your store.
An impulse shopper or a tourist is a perfect example of why taking cards is in your best interest. They may only come in your store once and you want them to be able to make a purchase then and there because they likely are not coming back.
Are there risks? Absolutely. Might it be frustrating and confusing? Also a good chance. In the end however, there is too much potential profit in the world of plastic to simply stand by and watch others take advantage. So take precautionary measures when you can to protect yourself and your customers against fraud. Research credit card processing companies to find the ones with the best rates and then sit back and enjoy success.