In today’s economy, opening a small business can be a risky proposition. With so many competitors both in a business’ general area and online, it is important that a small business takes every step possible to grow profitable. For this reason, many small businesses utilize merchant services, which offer businesses a number of competitive advantages.
One way that merchant services help small businesses is that these services provide potential customers with a variety of payment options to choose from. Consumers want the option to pay with cash, checks, debit cards and credit cards. If a business does not accept a certain form of payment, it makes it difficult for that business to establish legitimacy in the eyes of consumers. With a merchant account, not only can a small business accept these forms of payment at the register, but they can also accept mail and phone based credit card orders. By increasing the number of payment possibilities, a business increases its sales prospects.
Oftentimes, small businesses are hesitant to take checks, as each check takes time to verify and deposit. But some consumers prefer to pay with checks, and will take their business elsewhere if their checks are not accepted. This is where merchant services come in. With merchant services, checks are converted into electronic documents, a process that reduces check deposit time and simplifies both transaction records and the check verification process.
Perhaps the greatest advantage that merchant services provide small businesses is the ability to maintain an online presence. With an online store presence, a business can serve customers in a far wider geographic region. Instead of being limited to a brick-and-mortar store’s immediate area, an online storefront makes it possible to sell items to consumers all over the world. It also makes it possible to offer a wider selection of products than those that would be found in a single physical store.
With an online merchant account, a business can immediately process credit card and debit card transactions, and will be protected from invalid payments. The business will be able to accept payments from all major card providers, and website generated sales require no salespeople.
Online merchant accounts also protect consumers, as they allow critical customer information to be stored in a data center, which offers far more security than a single computer. With the prevalence of identity theft and fraud in today’s society, it is important to let customers know that they can trust a business with their important credit or debit card data.
By utilizing merchant services, a small business will substantially improve its chances of attaining financial success. Any small business owner not utilizing these services is giving up potential sales.