In order to run a successful small or medium-sized business, one of the most important things you need to do is accept credit cards. This can be a challenge for businesses that are just starting out or expanding, but there are a few different ways to accept them. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the best way to accept credit cards for your small business, whether you run a brick and mortar location, e-commerce shop, or both.
The Different Types of Credit Card Processing Services
The best way to accept credit cards for small business will depend on a business’ specific needs. As you try to gauge what’s best for yours, check out several types of credit card processing services available to you.
Physical Credit Card Readers
Credit card readers are devices used to read a credit card’s account and cardholder details for payment processing. These days, they’re connected to the internet and can perform transactions electronically in seconds.
Physical credit card readers are a great option if you expect to process a high volume of credit card transactions in person — maybe you run a physical store. As well, you can conveniently connect your POS apps to a credit card reader and process payments from your mobile device, to offer your customers a seamless, user-friendly experience and keep them coming back.
Mobile Credit Card Scanning
Did you know your phone’s camera can do much more than take photos? If you’re selling your wares on the go, maybe at a market or pop-up shop, or on a sales floor, mobile credit card scanning is a fantastic solution. It allows you to continue accepting credit cards and provide your customers the seamless experience they expect. Ultimately, this can improve sales because of the increased flexibility, higher customer engagement and a better overall experience you’re offering.
The mobile credit card scanning method involves scanning a card through your mobile device using its camera. Your customers can tap, insert or swipe their card to pay, and a mobile POS app, like ChargeStripe, running on your device processes payments through software (just as a physical card reader would). Your device acts as the credit card reader and the app acts as the payment processor.
Remote Payment Processing via Text or Email
Another way to process credit card payments is by sending a payment request link directly to your customers or clients via text message, email or a messaging app like WhatsApp. A payment request is essentially an invoice generated and sent through your mobile device.
When you use a Stripe-connected app like ChargeStripe, the invoice will be created through Stripe. Your customer will receive a URL through their preferred method (text, email, etc.) and be able to initiate the payment process from it. The great thing about this is that the request comes from a third-party payment processor (e.g. Stripe), not from you directly, so it’s more professional and polite. Plus, your customer can choose to pay via credit card, but Interac e-transfer from their bank is another option, too.
Subscription-Based or Recurring Credit Card Processing
Depending on what you sell, your customers might sign up for a subscription on a recurring basis (e.g. maybe they subscribe to your monthly physical fitness training program). Whatever the case may be, if you need to process recurring payments, you don’t want to spend time doing it repeatedly for each customer, every month.
This is where inputting your client’s credit card information once, then having the payment recur on a regular basis comes in very handy. Reliable tools like ChargeStripe are equipped to handle this easily, however often you need.
If one or more of those services sounds like it would benefit your business, check out ChargeStripe. The digital tool is a flexible, all-in-one solution for small-medium-sized businesses that seamlessly integrates with your Stripe account, allowing you to accept credit card payments anytime, anywhere right from your mobile device.
Credit Cards: The Preferred Way to Pay
Credit cards are a sound, trusted way to pay in-person or online, and they’re well preferred over other payment methods. As the founder of CardPaymentOptions.com states, “People prefer to pay with cards, and fewer people are carrying sufficient cash for all of their purchases.” In fact, the use of cash is expected to continue declining, which paves more way for credit and mobile wallet payments.
This preference for credit is shown by a huge number of customers at physical stores not completing their purchases due to credit cards being unaccepted. It’s easy to understand this with data pointing to a compelling case for small businesses to accept credit card payments: A Federal Reserve Bank study found that cash payments accounted for just 19% of all payments, down from 30% in 2017.
Don’t Miss Out on an Untapped Market
Clearly, all of this means a huge untapped market of lost sales exists that hurt many small, unequipped businesses. It’s too easy to inadvertently become one of them. Whether you own a brick & mortar or ecommerce business and don’t yet accept payments in-person, online or both, this will certainly affect you.
The hard truth is that despite the fact not accepting credit cards inevitably hurts sales, you might stress about the affordability of payment processing fees, like so many entrepreneurs out there. This can be especially true if you deal with a high volume of transactions.
Well, we have good news for you. While it’s true a monthly subscription service can be pricey, you do have options, should you decide to move forward with taking credit cards as a payment option. Read on to learn more.
How to Accept Credit Card Payments with ChargeStripe
Whether you decide to accept credit cards in-person at a physical store, pop-up event or market, online through your ecommerce store, or over the phone, you need a solid credit card processing service. That is, a cost-effective, flexible, secure and reliable all-in-one solution. While there are an overwhelming number of options out there and you’ll certainly want to do your research, it doesn’t need to be a complicated process. That’s where a product like ChargeStripe comes in.
What is ChargeStripe?
ChargeStripe is a digital card reader that integrates with your Stripe account and lets you accept credit card payments from your mobile device. In under 5 minutes, you can set ChargeStripe up to process payments by typing in card details, securely scanning cards with your camera, or directly issuing a Stripe payment request via text message or email. Never used Stripe? It’s a very user-friendly payment system primarily for online payments, but works well for in-person payments, too.
Steps to Accept Credit Card Payments Using ChargeStripe
To accept credit card payments using ChargeStripe:
- Download the ChargeStripe app on your iOS or Android device.
- Open up the app and within it, set up your Stripe account (or log in if you already have one).
- Enjoy the freedom to begin accepting credit card payments from anywhere!
ChargeStripe Features and Benefits
ChargeStripe comes with practical, easy-to-use functionality through its convenient Stripe integration that will benefit you and your business over the long-run, including:
- Quick payment processing online, in person through swiping or scanning with your phone’s camera or a card machine, or over the phone by typing in card details.
- Automatic payout functionality to avoid delays and bank transfers.
- Smooth and seamless invoicing functionality to send payment requests by email or text message, manage client data, and follow-up with receipts.
- Functionality to easily set up subscriptions and recurring payments.
- Payments available in 27 currencies and 46 countries.
- Access to friendly and helpful customer support.
It’s free to download and install the ChargeStripe app. You’ll just pay a 1% fee on top of Stripe’s fees when you use ChargeStripe. The fees for Stripe will vary across countries or when using international cards, but in the US you can expect to pay 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.
What is the best way to accept credit cards for small business?
One of the best ways for a small business to accept credit card payments at their business location or online through an ecommerce site is with Stripe via the ChargeStripe app. Simply create a Stripe account and download the ChargeStripe app. From there, you’ll be able to receive credit card payments with just your mobile phone – no need to pay for card readers.
How much does it cost small businesses to accept credit cards?
Typical credit card processing fees are relatively high for small businesses, especially if they’re not earning too much income. You will likely pay anywhere from 1.3 to 3.5% of each transaction amount, plus subscription fees and any other hidden fees or taxes. With Stripe, small businesses pay a fixed fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction and 1% for using ChargeStripe. There are zero extra or hidden costs.
What are the benefits of using ChargeStripe?
ChargeStripe offers you:
- Quick online and in-person payment processing through your phone’s camera or a card machine, or over-the-phone processing by typing in card information.
- Convenient automatic payout functionality.
- Seamless invoicing functionality so you can send payment requests by email or text and follow-up with client receipts.
- Easy ability to set up payments on a subscription or recurring basis.
- The option to receive payments in 27 currencies from 46 countries.
- Helpful and friendly customer support, there to assist with whatever comes up.
How do I use ChargeStripe?
To get started with ChargeStripe:
- Download the ChargeStripe app on your mobile device.
- Open the app and set up your Stripe account, or log in if you have an existing account.
- Start accepting credit card payments anywhere, anytime.