BluePay is pleased to bring you this valuable information from our partner, Due, makers of a free digital wallet that allows users to easily make and accept payments online.
You walk into a store to grab a quick bite to eat. The cashier rings you up and tells you that you owe $7. You take-out your plastic to pay only to be told that there’s a minimum of $10 for credit card purchases. You have two options; you're either find something else to buy or leave the store.
While sometimes it’s an inconvenience, accepting credit cards is beneficial for both businesses and customers. For businesses, credit cards can improves sales, like in the example above, and credit card payments are easier for your bookkeeping.
For customers, credit cards can earn them rewards and cuts down on having to carry around wads of cash all of the time. In fact, 43 percent of Americans chose debit cards as their preferred payment, while 35 percent selected credit cards.
But, how can you accept credit card payments securely at your business? Here are 5 methods:
1. POS System
Arguably the most common method for accepting credit cards in physical, brick and mortar location where the credit card is present. A complete POS system is a checkout terminal that includes a variety of features ranging from a credit card swiper, NFC reader for mobile digital wallet payments like Apple Pay, Android Pay or Square, touch screen, barcode scanner, cash register, printer and inventory management.
However, there are POS systems designed for specific businesses. For example, TouchBistro is a POS system designed for restaurants and food truck owners, while Quetzal is the perfect solution for clothing or shoe retailers.
Even though POS systems come in all different shapes and sizes, most require businesses to set-up a merchant account. As for security, POS systems do come with PCI compliance.
Mobile POS systems are more secure since they utilize tactics like SSL and encryption for transactions, as well as password protection for apps, data backups, and remote wiping if the device is ever lost or stolen.
2. Mobile Credit Card Readers
Mobile credit card processing is able to harness the power of a smartphone or tablet by converting it into a handheld credit card terminal via a card reader or app. Mobile credit card processors function just like countertop version POS system or card terminal, expect that it allows you to process payments anywhere.
You aren’t always required to have a merchant account and functionality is provided through vendors like BluePay.
Mobile credit card processors must adhere to the PCI Data Security Standard, however, the top mobile credit card processors use websites that have both Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol and encryption keys.
Furthermore, the apps that business owner uses to accept debit and credit cards should be password-protected, at the very least.
3. Online Payment Processors
If a majority of your business takes place online, or you accept a lot of card-not-present (CNP) transactions, then this is hands-down your best option.
Online payment processors are simply an e-commerce solution, shopping cart software, or third-party marketplace, think Amazon or Etsy, that allows you to process credit card transactions from your computer or mobile device. In other words, your personal device can be transformed into “virtual terminal”
Not all e-commerce sites that are hosted by a third party require a merchant account, but stand-alone e-commerce sites that feature shopping cart software may require a merchant account.
As with mobile credit card processors, third-party providers must obey the PCI Data Security Standard and only use websites that contain SSL encryption.
4. Scanning Credit Card Numbers
Back in the day businesses used imprinters to that made quick carbon imprints of the credit card information. However, they were risky and required a lot of administrative work.
Today, we even have the ability to scan a credit card number by using the camera on your smartphone thanks to cool companies like Flint. This means no scanning and additional equipment for your business to have on-hand.
As for security, the information processed is encrypted and handled according to PCI standards. Furthermore, no card data or images are ever stored on the business owner’s device.
5. Recurring Payments
If you have a business where customers make a recurring, monthly payment, such as subscription-based business or maintenance plan, then recurring payments are absolutely the way to go since they’re effective and convenient. And, most importantly recurring payments can help decrease cash flow problems.
With recurring billing you’re able to securely manage your customer’s payment information since you’re reducing the duplication and circulation of information like credit card numbers. Another security perk is that recurring payments employee error since they don’t have to manually enter the credit card information for each monthly transaction.
Finally, streamline your business operation by working directly with a company that does it all. BluePay's all-in-one payment solution makes payments simple for you and for your business.