Why Should Your Business Accept Credit Card Payments?

What’s the most compelling reason for any business to accept credit card payments?

Because everyone else is doing it!

Yes… you probably can hear the echo of your Mother saying, “Just because everyone else is jumping off the bridge, should you do it too?” Well, in this case Mom, the answer is YES!

Accepting credit cards certainly has some negatives. When your customer pays in cash, you take in 100% of the sale. For your business to be able to accept credit cards, you’ll have to establish a merchant account with a credit card processing company and pay their processing fees. Most business owners consider these fees as a part of the cost of doing business. These fees vary widely, and depending on which credit card processor you choose, your fees could run anywhere from 1% to 4% per transaction, plus monthly fees, batch fees, terminal rental fees, and more. Businesses with medium- to high-ticket sales are better able to absorb these costs and continue to make a profit. But what if you own a high volume business selling a small ticket item? Each transaction fee eats into your profits. Will the benefits of accepting credit cards outweigh the cost?

But consider the pros of accepting credit cards.

Research shows that as many as 80% of Americans own at least one credit card and prefer to use it for some of their monthly purchases. The benefits of using a credit card to make a purchase are simple:

  1. Convenience. There’s no need to carry cash when you’re out shopping, and it’s just about the only way to make on-line purchases.
  2. Flexibility. You can take advantage of a great sale going on now and make payments over time.
  3. Security. As a benefit of paying by credit card, you now get a number of different consumer protections. For example, if you drop that package with your new crystal vase while putting it into the car, your credit card company may pay to replace it.
  4. Rewards. Why pay cash for a purchase when you can pay for it with your credit card and get points towards your next vacation?

As a merchant, you need to leverage these advantages for your business. When you accept credit cards in addition to cash and checks, you’re offering your customers the option to choose their preferred payment method. Why is that so important? Because the shoe store, or the grocery store, or the clothing store, or the furniture store, or the restaurant down the street that carries the same items or offers the same services as you is accepting credit card payments. In the final analysis, if you want to stay competitive, that’s the real reason why you should too.