Taking credit cards can mean more sales and better customer satisfaction rates, but it’s important to understand that credit card processing services aren’t always equal and don’t always operate in the same way. Technical limitations and other factors can lead to different credit card transaction rates, different amounts of downtime and varying credit card transaction speed from one processing service to the next. Transaction speed can be particularly important when taking credit cards, as a difference of only a few seconds in processing time can have major repercussions for various types of businesses.
Transaction speed can be extremely important in retail environments, particularly when multiple terminals are used on a regular basis. Fast terminals and fast credit card transaction authorizations will greatly improve the efficiency of a high-volume retail business and, conversely, slow credit card processing services can mean angry customers and fewer sales. Even a difference of a few seconds can quickly add up over the course of several days or months, so many active retail businesses look for the fastest, most intuitive terminals possible and take time to choose the fastest credit card processing options available. Efficiency is incredibly important in these types of businesses, and any mechanical inefficiencies need to be eliminated to improve profitability and to keep customers coming back.
Online businesses are also affected by credit card transaction speeds, perhaps more directly than physical businesses. Consumers are notoriously fickle when shopping online and may leave a page within a few seconds if a payment is taking too long to process. This can mean lost sales and complex charge backs. Larger Internet businesses could see a serious loss of efficiency and income after switching to a slow credit card processing service, so it’s extremely important for these merchants to choose and keep a low-cost processor as early as possible to ensure consistent sales and business. Businesses with both a physical and online component should realize that even if transaction processing speed isn’t important in a physical business, it can be an incredibly important factor in running and maintaining a sales-oriented website.
There are certainly a few circumstances in which credit card transaction speed isn’t especially important. Business that only handle a few large transactions per month, for instance, probably won’t see a tremendous benefit from a faster transaction speed. However, speed can be a good indicator to use when evaluating credit card processing companies, as faster companies tend to have better customer service and technical support, lower rates and better all-around service. Transaction speed is a good factor to consider when selecting a reputable processing company and improving profits.