Is Your Small Business Cash-Only? 4 Reasons Why You Need a Merchant Account

January 12, 2016
Cash is no longer king. Card payments rule today.
Would you be surprised to learn that cash sales still make up 47% of transactions in the U.S.? The movement toward a cashless society has been trumpeted in the media, but many businesses still resist switching to debit and credit card transactions.
In Europe, though, cash is disappearing. And that trend is rising quickly in the United States as well. While most businesses already accept debit and credit cards, some are still holding out. If you’re one of them, here are some reasons to hook up with a merchant services company now:
Cash-only payment policies limit your revenues.
How do you feel if a merchant only takes cash, money orders or checks? Do you still complete the transaction or do you patronize another vendor? You’re losing business if you don’t accept debit and credit cards. Those losses will grow as more and more potential customers eschew paper currency and only carry plastic. By accepting card payments, you’ll probably increase your revenues.
It’s easy to obtain a merchant account.
In the past, small businesses could only get merchant services from their local banks, which often balked at serving new businesses, smaller companies and online ventures. Those days are long over. Today, even the smallest business has a wide range of choices for merchant services. Companies like PayPal, Intuit, Square and many banks will gladly get you started.
You can probably start accepting debit and credit cards tomorrow.
A Google search will reveal dozens of merchant account providers ready to help you. You can apply online and often get approved within one business day. Before you jump, though, investigate. Compare transaction fees, acceptance policies and any other costs on each sale to find the best service for your needs and business model.
Be forewarned: You will face a bewildering number of choices. Take your time before making a decision and check with several merchant account providers to compare features and costs. Read the fine print. Consider your needs, your revenue stream and your future plans before making this important decision.
Flexible card acceptance tools match any business method.
Card-swipe technology varies. From compact card readers that plug into your smartphone to full-scale POS systems that read cards with imbedded chips, there’s a solution to match any need. If your business is online, your shopping cart system will provide secure, encrypted card acceptance. However or wherever you do business, it’s simple to accept credit and debit cards.
An Important Decision
It’s a simple thing, really, to apply for and get a merchant account. If you’ve done some investigating and balked at the service fees, consider the alternative. You can pay the small percentages in fees that you must in order to use a merchant account or you can continue to lose some sales completely.
Of course, you’ll have to track these new charges and fees carefully, which can be confusing at first even if you’re using accounting software. Let us know if we can help you choose a merchant account provider and integrate it with your current bookkeeping system.

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