How to accept a Credit Card Payment

credit-card-paymentsSay you’re at a show and a customer is interested in your product, but he’s spent all his cash.  “Do you take a credit card payment?” he enquires.

It’s the sales you lose by not having a credit card machine that you should worry about, but whether the fear is real, it’s hard to quantify.  More and more customers like to pay by credit card.

People like a credit card payment because it gives them security. However, would the potential extra sales cover the costs of setting up to receive payments by card?  There is no doubt that it will cost you money, and time too, as credit card processing providers won’t give prices until they have risk-assessed your particular business, making shopping around for the best deal a time consuming process. However, PDQ Machines offer their customers a competitive rate and a straight forward order form through their website which in turn cuts down the time spent shopping around.

Electronic payments have advantages that outweigh the disadvantages of handling cash.
To receive credit card payments, you need a terminal to transmit the cardholder’s details to the acquiring banks, and a merchant bank account to receive credit card payments.

Merchant Accounts

Credit-Card-Machine

Credit Card Machine

The merchant account ‘acquirers’ process the credit card payment for you.  PDQ Machines offer both the terminal and the merchant account facilities. You can have a merchant account that covers face to face and CNP (cardholder not present) telephone sales and eCommerce (Internet sales). Therefore, if you are already with an acquirer and you are in need of an extra machine for a Short Term Rental, then PDQ Machines has a solution for you that can help you take sales at shows .

There will be, a monthly minimum service fee, transaction charges, PCI Compliance charges and authorisation charges, however PDQ Machines do not charge a set up fee.

Credit card payment transaction fees are charged as a percentage of the transaction value, while debit cards are charged at a flat rate. Some providers make separate charges for services such as statements and set up fees.  

Many acquiring banks and terminal providers’ want to assess the business before they’ll give a price.  They look at many factors, including how long you have been trading, turnover, proportion of credit/debit cards, and risks of fraudulent and/or disputed sales.  They may run credit checks, and ask for references. It’s a long process – could be from 2 to 8 weeks, so allow plenty of time to set this up before, say, a show. PDQ Machines are currently working on a time frame of between 5-11 working days depending on the type of business.

PDQ Machines acquirer partners will still have to see how long you have been trading, turnover, proportion of credit/debit cards, and risks of fraudulent and/or disputed sales and will run credit checks, and ask for references but we are only one of the providers that will offer you a price before all this happens.

PDQ Machines can set up your account to accept credit card payments but not commit you to hiring or buying a terminal on a permanent basis.  You pay a small monthly minimum merchant service charge (MMSC) account management fee per month and then hire a terminal on a short term rental when needed.

Price is not the only consideration, therefore, when choosing a merchant account provider, make sure that they are a reputable business.  Check that they are known to the leading credit cards, Visa and MasterCard, and perhaps ask contacts about their experience with providers.
Chip and Pin Terminals

credit-card-payment-terminal

Credit Card Terminal

As well as a Merchant Account, you will need a terminal to process the credit card payments.  In a face-to-face transaction, the favoured equipment and soon to be industry standard is the chip-and-pin terminal.  It’s the most secure system because it authorises the transaction before it takes place, then the customer endorses it with a PIN number.  To receive the authorisation, the terminal must be connected, either by telephone or broadband, to the bank’s computers. The machine prints a receipt for the customer, and saves a sales list for the trader.  At a show, you’re unlikely to get landline connections, so you need a mobile chip-and-pin credit card payment terminal.

Chip and pin terminals can be rented or bought.  If you buy, you still need to pay monthly telephone charges.  Rental fees  may or may not include telephone charges, so check this.

Mobile phone alternatives

There are some options based on mobile phones.  They cost less to set up, but are more risky, because they generally don’t offer the trader indemnity against fraudulent transactions.  They also don’t provide the customer with a printed receipt, although some offer the option of an e-mailed receipt.  Since a common reason for chargebacks is that the card holder doesn’t remember the transaction, this makes these solutions risky.

Show Organisers Process Card Payments

Some event organisers make arrangements to accept credit card payments on behalf of exhibitors.  This means that stallholders don’t have to worry about hiring terminals  and setting up merchant accounts : the show organiser does all that.  There is a high cost involved, but it could be modest compared with setting up credit card payment services  for one show only.

Increasing numbers of customers prefer credit card payment, either because they’re run out of cash, or for the protection a credit card offers them on higher-value purchases.

Only you can tell whether you can generate enough turnover to justify the costs.  Furthermore, only you can tell how many sales you might lose if you don’t take cards.  Why not go to the PDQ Machines website to get more information, just click here

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