Selling is one thing, but getting paid is quite another. The aim for small businesses is to collect payments as quickly as possible with as little cost to do so. You don’t want to become a banker for your customers, extending them credit and then trying to collect. Use payment options that put cash in your hands immediately upon a sale or the performance of services. Here are four ideas for you.
1. Select your processor.
It costs you money to receive payment by credit card, so shop around for a processor with fees you can live with. Check out set up fees, if any, and per-transaction costs. You aren’t wedded to your current bank. It’s a good idea to find a processor that’s integrated with QuickBooks or your other accounting solution to simplify data entry.
2. Protect yourself with EMV.
If you accept credit cards in person and haven’t yet changed from swipe (a credit card with a strip) to dip (a credit card that’s enabled for EMV, which stands for Europay, MasterCard, Visa), you can be liable for fraudulent charges. It’s simple; change to EMV technology. Visa explains that EMV chip technology makes it virtually impossible to counterfeit cards, eliminating in-store fraud…and your liability exposure. There’s a 2015 SBA webinar that explains EMV technology.
3. Expand your payment options.
The more ways in which you accept payment, the wider your customer base can be. In addition to payments by check and credit/debit cards, be sure to have a PayPal account. Increasingly this payment option is used by consumers and business customers. Apple Pay is another must-have payment option; it’s favored by many millennials who like to do almost everything with their smartphones.
4. Get the right equipment.
Make sure you have the equipment to process payments from your customers. For example, SumUp lets you accept Apple Pay, EMV chip, or magstripe cards.
Today, many small business owners and staff are on the move and want to accept payments on the fly using their tablets or smartphones. Simple devices, such as one from Square, facilitate credit card processing in the field.
Also, be sure to get apps for mobile processing. PayPal Business App can be used for Apple and Android devices. Using such an app not only enables you to process payments on the go, but also to view customer accounts and more.
Set things up right to offer a wide range of payment options for your customers while streamlining payment processing for you. Your past business practices may be out of date, so familiarize yourself with the latest laws and newest technologies.