Small businesses today should really think twice about only accepting cash payments. Customers expect to be able to pay by card anywhere these days, and if you do not accept credit and debit card payments, this could have a negative impact on your business.

Why Do You Need to Accept Card Payments?

There are many reasons why accepting card payments is a very good idea. Overall, you want to provide your customers with as many ways to pay as possible. Some people do not carry cash on them at all, and they expect to pay by card wherever they are. If they turn up in your store and cannot use their credit cards to make a payment, this is only going to hurt your sales – while helping your competition.

This is especially true for larger payments, because even customers who carry cash may not carry much on them at any one time.

Perhaps most of your customers are happy to pay by cash. But even if it seems this way, there is a good chance many of them would prefer to pay by card, and you may have lost business without realising it.

Essentially, the only reason to put it off is because of the cost. Accepting card payments is not free, but the cost of not accepting cards could be more expensive.

So how should you get started?

Decide on Your Card Processing Method

There are now various options available for accepting credit card payments and it is worth looking at all of these to decide which is the best option for your business.

Credit card machines are the most common. These allow customers to insert their cards, type in their PIN numbers and make a payment in seconds. They are fast and convenient, and you can either rent or buy one. Fixed or portable machines are both available.

Contactless payment systems can be used to allow customers to pay with contactless cards and even their mobile phones. You can accept these payments with a contactless payment device, and you can also accept payment options like Apple Pay, which is growing in the UK and internationally.

If you have a website, you can accept card payments over the internet. You will need to choose a payment gateway solution, and there are many options available.

Choose Your Solution

Once you decide on a card payment method, you need to find a suitable provider for your business. There are many to choose from, and it is a good idea to compare the different solutions to quickly see their features and prices. You can compare card machines for SMEs easily online, and you can use the information to make your decision.

Provide More Choice to Your Customers

Many businesses can enjoy numerous benefits by offering their customers the option of paying for goods and services by credit card. If you are still running a cash-only business, consider the options available to you and start comparing providers until you find one that looks suitable. Then you can start to offer your customers more ways to pay, making it more convenient for them to spend money at your business.

Madeleine Lees has been working in merchant services for a number of years. She likes to share her insights with an online audience and writes for several retailing and B2B websites.