In today’s digital economy, most consumers have made the switch to using credit cards to pay for everything from their morning cup of coffee to big-ticket items like vacations, home improvement projects and more. For businesses that have not made the switch with them, you could very well be leaving money on the table by not accommodating potential customers. Accepting credit card payments is an essential tool in increasing profits for your business, be it big or small, above-ground or below.
Why pay for something you don’t need? The role of a traditional parking attendant and his booth have become obsolete with the advent of self-service payment terminals. Today’s consumers expect the convenience of being able to pay for goods and services with a credit card and businesses that provide that service can cash in by accommodating them.
Credit card payment processing is offered through merchant services providers, or merchant banks. They supply and support credit card machines and the associated software for other businesses. This allows the client business to accept credit and debit cards for the purchase of goods and services.
The process begins when the customer swipes their card through a reader; the merchant bank receives the data and works with the card-issuing bank or card companies to approve the electronic transfer of funds. Within a few days, transaction fees are calculated and then charged back to the company of sale, along with payment from the customer’s sale.
To be able to accept credit card transactions, your business must apply for and receive approval from a merchant services bank. Once your account and payment machine are set up, the process is effortless: customers simply swipe their card on the way out of the parking structure and you ring up an easy sale.
Look for merchant services with secure transaction methods, such as message-level encryption and a “chip and PIN” system which can help protect you from fraudulent charges. Another key safety feature that you will want in a self-service payment terminal is encrypted transfer and storage of transaction information. When shopping for a merchant bank, be sure to include compliance with PCI Security Standards in your list of “must-haves.” PCI standards ensure that customers’ payment information is safely transmitted and stored.
Getting approved and prepared for credit card processing is a quick and easy process. The benefits to you and your customers outweigh the minor fees you’ll pay for payment processing and your customers love the convenience.