Benefits of Small Business Merchant Services

The small business merchant services can be quite useful and are highly responsible for the growth, expansion, development and prosperity of the business concerns. Your business concern can gain the maximum reputation by means of these valuable merchant services and this is the reason that these services of payment processing are getting technically developed and improved day by day. Therefore, you must choose the best merchant-processing services for your concern for getting optimized payment facility so that the credit cards can be easily processed for making instant payments.

 

Benefits of merchant services to small concerns

 

• The small business merchant services are highly important in making the payment transactions smoother and convenient so that the same concerns can provide maximum payment flexibility to the customers.

• Gaining more clients from the targeted community is one of the greatest benefits that can be gained from these useful merchant services.

• The use of credit cards can be effectively increased to a great extent for conducting different transactions within small businesses.

• The ease of making bulk payments without any hurry can be gained by the use of these specialized services where there is of no requirement of making cash payment in bulk rather you just need to make payment processing via credit cards.

 

How bulk purchase payments are maintained?

 

• It is quite easier to make bulk purchases at any time and in any part of the world and you can use the same for the purchase of any product which is highly essential for your concern.

• After the processing of the small business merchant services, you can gain at least one month’s time for making the concerned o the bank as the payment for the time being has been made by your bank to which your credit card belongs.

 

Additional Services

 

Many small business merchant services provide a variety of services that are useful to any small business. Whether you need a new solution for accepting payment on the go, would like to offer your customers gift cards for the holiday season, or are looking for small business loans, there are a wide variety of services that merchant services offer in order to help their bottom line and to help their customers get the most value.

small business loans

Small Business Merchant Services Benefits

How To Increase Your Customer Base

In today’s difficult economy, businesses have to be creative to stay afloat.  They hope to edge out the competition and make a profit by offering sales promotions or utilizing the best payment processing service.  The following suggestions are easy ways any business can grow their customer base and improve their sales.

 

Accept Credit Cards

 

One of the easiest ways to grow your customer base is to accept all major forms of credit cards.  Businesses can do this with the help of the best payment processing service provider.  It is important to understand that every customer has a preferred method of payment.  Meeting this preferred method of payment allows the business to get paid on time and make more money.  Customers are more likely to pay their bill when the credit option they prefer is available.  Additionally, credit card transactions usually increase the average sale.  When a customer pays with credit, they are less worried about the money in their bank account and more concerned with their available credit.  Thus, accepting credit cards allows the business to reach more customers and increase their average sale at the same time.

 

Payment Options

 

In addition to accepting credit cards with the help of the best payment processing service, businesses also need to provide multiple payment options.  If the business only provides the option for online payment, they risk losing out on customers who do not like online payments.  Some customers may prefer mail order or phone payments.  Therefore, the smart business offers multiple payment options to meet the needs of all customers and increase their customer base.

 

Marketing Efforts

 

Another major tool to grow your customer base is marketing.  There are a variety of marketing tactics that can help any business grow.

 

•             Email marketing can be used for promotions.

•             Search engine optimization is helpful to grow your online presence.

•             Collecting customer information during the point of sale can help improve your marketing strategy.

•             Referral programs can be implemented.

 

Many of these efforts are simple.  For example, it does not take much time to collect pertinent customer data during the point of sale.  However, the information collected is useful to promote properly and improve communication between the customer and business.  When this happens, the business is more likely to have a repeat customer.

 

Gift Cards

 

Another great tool for increasing your customer base is a gift card.  Many businesses sell gift cards to their current customers.  This is a great gift option and an easy shopping solution for many customers.  When the gift card is given, the recipient has the opportunity to shop in your store.  The chance that all gift card recipients have shopped at the store beforehand is minimal.  Therefore, gift cards easily increase the customer base of a business and grow sales at the same time.  Businesses can get professionally designed and managed plastic gift cards through various merchant accounts providers.

 

Create A Website

 

Furthermore, every business needs a website in order to reach the most customers.  Websites can vary depending on the needs of your business.  For some businesses, the website will also be another tool to drive sales.  For others, the website will be strictly for information purposes only.  Regardless, a website can help a customer find you.  Therefore, make sure to provide basic company information and contact information that is helpful to any prospective customer.

 

Social Media

 

In addition to a website, it is also important to utilize social media to grow your customer base.  Social media is an easy way to communicate with your current customers and it also allows you to advertise to prospective customers.  For example, anytime someone “likes” your page or post on Facebook, your business is promoted.  This is more effective than word of mouth advertising.

 

Customer Reviews

 

Many businesses also take advantage of customer reviews to grow their customer base.  Customer reviews are beneficial for a number of reasons.  First, customers enjoy giving feedback.  In addition, businesses that offer customer reviews often have a better reputation.  Even better, these customer reviews are the perfect tool for prospective customers.  They can read about your business in an unbiased format.  Sometimes this review is all a customer needs to purchase a product or service from a business.

 

Professional Image

 

Another important aspect to growing your customer base is a professional image.  Businesses that look good often perform better.  For example, a shoe business often requires their salespeople to wear suits to work.  This professional image allows them to sale more shoes throughout the day.  When dressed more casually, sales usually decrease.  Also, professionalism is more than just wardrobe requirements.  It involves having a professional looking website, having an attractive logo, using the right language during communication with prospective customers, and more.  Those businesses that prioritize professionalism are more likely to attract future customers.

 

Coupons

 

Many businesses also attract new customers with coupons.  Coupons can be offered in a variety of ways.  For example, a retail shop can advertise an in store coupon in the front of their store to increase customer traffic.  People are more likely to walk in the store when a promotion or coupon is being offered.  The same concept can be applied online.  Businesses can use online coupons to generate business and increase sales on the Internet.  In most cases, these online coupons are also cost effective since the cost of operating online is significantly less than in a store.  To attract the most customers, businesses should consider using multiple forms of coupons several times throughout the year.

 

Networking

 

Businesses who do not have the luxury of a storefront can increase their customer base by attending networking events.  At these events, they can associate with other business professionals and advertise their services.  Trade shows, community meetings, rotary clubs, and leads groups are all great networking options for your business.

 

Sponsor An Event

 

Finally, businesses that are seeking new customers should consider sponsoring public events.   Sponsoring is a great way to increase name recognition and grow your clientele.  It is also a low-cost marketing initiative that can be expensed during tax season.  Therefore, smart businesses allocate some of their profits to sponsorship.

 

When businesses increase their customer base, they are more likely to grow their sales and improve the overall health of their business.

merchant accounts

Know How To Increase Customer Base


 

Benefits of Credit Cards for Small Businesses

If you talk about the paperless monetary transactions, then in this regard, the transactions by credit cards are going on increasing day by day. These cards are now getting used instead of liquid cash and they can be used both for making online and physical transactions. In fact, payment by credit card is much more convenient in comparison to the monetary transactions as bulk payment can be made instantly and you need not take the risk of carrying huge amount of money with yourself all the time. You also can have sufficient amount of time for the payment of the amount made by credit cards. If you want to have this ease of making payments, then you must choose the option of applying for credit card but for that you must look for the best credit card deals that are currently available in the market.

 

How to apply for small loans for businesses?

 

If you are looking for merchant processing at reasonable terms and at lower rate of interest, then nothing can be the best option rather than using the credit cards. If you are having credit card on the name of your business or in your personal name, then in that case you can surely apply for best merchant services for your concern but the loan amount must be within the credit limit of your credit card. This can be quite helpful for making credit card processing reviews of your concern especially employee salary, payment to the creditors and suppliers, and other payments relating to administration of your concern. In this case, you can get lower interest rates and apart from that you can also get flexible timer limit for making the repayment of the loan amount. In this regard, you are highly suggested to look for the most affordable credit card deals and that can be available online. You just need to make proper research online and must reach to the official sites of those banking institutions that provide credit cards of different types.

 

Make bulk business purchases

 

Apart from taking business loans for your concern, you can also make bulk payments or purchases for your business concern with the help of credit card processing companies. In this case, the cash advance concept also deserves special which is quite common for small-scale companies. If you are a manufacturing concern, then in that case you need to make frequent bulk purchases as a result of which you must take the help of your credit card for making the payment for bulk purchases. In this way, you can also maintain a good professional relationship with your vendors or suppliers and your production will also go on without any interruption. You can also have the realization of the profit from the sale of your products and accordingly can pay back the card payment on time. In this manner, you can maintain both the operational and production related payments of your company with great ease and convenience asa result of which your company will prosper.

credit card processing companies

Small Businesses Benefits against Credit Cards


 

Benefits of Student Credit Cards

While many people look at credit card as a mode to spend limitless money, and think it to be completely suicidal to give a credit card to someone who is still a student, the fact is that a credit card and specially a student credit card helps the young one to develop the skill of financial planning and builds in the responsibility of managing finances at the very early stage of life.

 

Benefits of the student credit card

 

Apart from the benefits of lower interest rates, higher grace periods, better discounts on educational items, a student credit card typically helps in maintain a complete track of the expenses that a student is spending. Also, it helps in building a credit history for the young one which will be of immense use when the student graduates and starts doing something on his own.

 

It teaches a lesson for life

 

Like the evils of a normal credit card, a student credit card also has the threat of getting misused, but then at the same time it also ensures that the guy will learn that if he spends more, it is him who has to repay the same and this lesson, once learnt will help the individual for the rest of his life.

 

It helps the student out

 

A credit card allows the student to be able to afford the simple costs of being a student. It is important to ensure you always have a pen, paper, and the right resources to simply take notes and get projects completed. Without having the basics any student will be lost and their grades will be affected as a result. It is important to ensure a student credit card is available as many merchants will have credit card processing available to them to be able to take the payment.

 

Students gain a lot of benefits from having a student credit. Whether it is to learn responsible spending, how to handle a credit card, or to have access to the right materials at the right time they are a great resource for any full-time student.

credit card processing

Student Credit Cards Benefits

8 Things To Consider When Upgrading A Restaurant POS System

Point of sale systems are commonly found in retail shops across the globe.  They provide a way for merchants and customers to come together, enabling transactions to take place and money to be exchanged.  Because one of the most loved ways for individuals to pay for something is by swiping a debit or credit card, it is important to have a point of sale system that accepts credit and debit card payments.  It can be especially convenient for customers when they are dining out.  Whether the establishment is a quick service type, or a five star full-service restaurant more and more customers are using plastic to pay for things rather than cash.  Reliable restaurant software POS can make a big difference in how quickly a transaction can take place.  If you’re considering updating your restaurant POS system, you may want to consider the following:

 

1.            What is the restaurant software POS designed for?  A POS system is only as good as the software that is loaded in it.  If it wasn’t intended for use in your specific arena, chances are you and your employees with find the software to be pretty useless.  It can be unfortunate if you purchased a new system only to discover it wasn’t what you had anticipated, particularly if you wanted to track food, labor, paper, and discounts.  These variable costs within the food industry can make or break the bank for a given period of time.  It’s important for supervisors and management to stay on top of these costs so they can ensure the restaurant turns a profit.  Good restaurant software POS can provide reports to management so they can make decisions that would help the business financially.

 

2.            How flexible is the software?  It’s nice that some companies offer POS software that is custom fitted to your business, but what if your establishment grows and there are changes in the system that would need to be implemented?  Would it be possible to update the software and program it to fit your evolving needs?  Some systems allow for software updates, but some systems can be more rigid than others, making it difficult to program the register when frequent changes occur within the business.  Sometimes employees can take the reins and follow a guidebook that describes exactly how to make changes, but having a system with flexibility is something to take into consideration when buying restaurant software pos.

 

3.            What service environment was the software intended to be used in?  The needs of a quick service restaurant differ vastly from the needs of a full-service restaurant, and fine dining venues have different needs than bars and cafes.  Each has its important place in the world, and finding restaurant software POS that is designed for a specific industry can make processing transactions and serving customers a snap.  Before buying a piece of POS equipment, find out what service environment it was intended to be used in.

 

4.            How quickly can transactions and reports be processed?  In the service industry speed is important.  Customers in any service environment don’t typically like waiting around while a staff member processes credit and debit card transactions. When dining in a sit-down restaurant, for example, it’s pretty common for the servers to take credit and debit cards over to a main terminal and process payments there.  It’s becoming more and more popular, however,  to see the portable type of POS terminals.  It enables restaurant staff to wirelessly accept credit and debit card payments right at the tableside.  By processing transactions quickly the restaurant staff can increase customer satisfaction.

 

5.            Determine what limitations might exist.  Every POS system has its limitations.  The most basic systems, for instance, do not track inventory and they do not calculate food, labor, paper, and discounts (FLPDs).  Instead they work like a larger than life calculator with a cash drawer.  If you need a system that will process customer orders, communicate them to the kitchen, and continue to carry the order until the sale has finalized it’s important to shop around and find the system that will do those things you need it to do.  A POS system that runs in a way similar to a giant calculator may work for some businesses, but they can be pretty useless in the restaurant industry.  It’s always best to discover what limitations might exist before buying.

 

6.            Find out the background of the software company.  A software engineer would have a better knowledge of what a restaurateur might be in need of if he has worked within the industry before.  There are some things that need to be learned through hands-on experience, and the proper tools to be used in the restaurant industry are such examples.  The fact that the foodservice industry has to deal with a perishable inventory that needs proper FIFO (and sometimes LIFO) rotation may not be at the forefront of thought for software engineers with no foodservice experience.  You may find that software designed by individuals who have spent time working in the industry can really make a difference.  More details may be available making it possible to generate more reports than with other software companies.

 

7.            What are the educational backgrounds of the software developers?  Some individuals may be more easily convinced of the merits of a person who possesses an Ivy League college degree.  It may make them seem a bit more equipped to handle complex service needs and software nuances.  Finding out what the educational background of the restaurant software POS are can help you feel confident that they have the training necessary to take care of your restaurant.

 

8.            What kinds of reporting options would be available?  Having choices when it comes to reporting is a good thing.  It can provide management with data so they can make real-time decisions that would increase the profitability of the restaurant.  Reports that track sales, inventory, server tips, as well as other reporting options can help supervisory staff make sound business decisions.

 

Restaurant POS Software Can be Helpful

 

If you’re looking to upgrade your restaurant POS system, there are a few things to take into consideration first.  Determine what the software that has been programmed in the POS system was intended to be used for.  Find out how flexible it might be in the event your business grows over the years.  See how quickly transactions can be completed, what the limitations of the software are, and what kind of reporting options might be available.  If you take the time to ask a few questions and obtain the answers before buying you will make a more informed decision.

POS system

Eight Things To Consider When Upgrading Restaurant POS System

A Beginner’s Guide to Financial Services

Businesses rely on merchant services as a means of accepting payments, obtaining financing, and promoting their business. There are a wide variety of different merchant services that help business in the United States. Understanding these different types of merchant services can be a key for any business looking to get ahead in their industry.

 

What are Merchant Services?

 

Merchant services are any services that are provided to merchants from payment processors and financial institutions to assist them in obtaining finances. Whether it is through processing payment, obtaining loans, or offering special programs to their customers, there are a large number of solutions that can help businesses maintain a competitive edge.

 

Credit Card Processing

 

Credit card processing services aim to allow businesses to accept a payment via a credit or debit card. While most of the traditional services allow businesses to accept Visa and MasterCard transactions, there are also a number of specialized credit cards that merchants would have to use special types of terminals and processors to be able to accept. While credit card processing in general can be complicated, a credit card processing company can help merchants understand the type of service they need and get them started.

 

The cost of using credit card processing services is depending on the type of company providing the service and often the size and quantity of the transactions. Every transaction is often associated with a fee which is removed from the amount charged to the customer. As a result, while a payment may be processed for a specific amount, a small fee is also extracted from that amount before reaching the merchant.

 

Business Loans and Advances

 

There are a number of different financial assistance programs offered by merchant service providers. Many of these services aim to assist business in receiving temporary financing in order to either solve an emergency that has come up or to obtain a financial edge during a busy season. Many businesses utilize financing solutions in order to gain an advantage against their competition by being able to provide better products and services to their customers.

 

PCI Compliance

 

PCI DSS compliance services aim to assist businesses in ensuring they are up to the latest security standards governing the processing of credit card transactions. While many businesses are not affected by PCI DSS standards, it is important for a company to understand whether or not they are affected by it and to obtain assistance in ensuring their processing solution is compliant.

 

Gift and Loyalty Card Programs

 

Merchants can offer their customers gift cards and loyalty programs through their merchant service provider. These solutions often revolve around a plastic card, similar to a credit card, which is used to track either the value of a gift card or the progress of a customer’s rewards. These services are popular amongst companies that want to build a brand reputation and encourage repeat business.

PCI DSS compliance

Beginner’s Guide about Financial Services


 

How To Enhance The Retail Point Of Sale Experience

Today’s society is extremely high paced, and feels entitled to this fast paced luxury wherever they go.  Waiting in line is considered a huge time waster, and the average individual seeks to avoid lines whenever possible.  For this reason people utilize fast passes to avoid lines at popular amusement parks, they reserve tables ahead of time to avoiding the fatal 15 minute restaurant wait, and they carpool to cruise ahead of traffic at all times.  How does a retail establishment with a busy point of sale cope with this quick paced mentality?  They implement the best retail point of sale systems to enhance the point of sale experience and minimize the waiting process.

 

Dedicated Cashier Staff

 

One of the best ways to improve the point of sale experience for customers is with a dedicated cashier staff.  Grocery stores do this well by hiring employees specifically to oversee the point of sale process.  These cashiers are trained to operate the cash registers.  Since they do not spend time stocking the shelves, inventorying product, or retrieving shopping carts, the cashiers become more specialized.  This specialization increases their efficiency and translates into quicker check out times and fewer lines.  Specialization of this nature benefits the customers and the grocery store equally.  Stores with dedicated cashiers notice fewer problems and a smoother workday when trained cashiers handle the checkout needs.  Smart retail stores have started to adopt this common grocery store practice as it pertains to cashiers.  Many retail stores now hire employees solely to facilitate the point of sale process.  The selling process is left to another group of employees that also function better because they too are specialized.

 

Multiple Cashiers

 

Retail stores should also utilize multiple cashiers throughout the day to create the best retail point of sale.  Stores with only one cashier are more likely to have longer lines and higher wait times.  Multiple cashiers provide for shorter wait times, and they also entice customers to stand in longer lines.  Unfortunately, not every store has the luxury of hiring multiple cashiers for the entire day.  However, they can still enhance their retail point of sale by doing the following.

 

•             Schedule multiple cashiers during the busiest hours of the day.

•             Utilize on call scheduling to minimize the risk involved with being short staffed at the point of sale.

•             Train all employees on point of sale functions so they can be used as back up cashiers if necessary.

 

Updated Equipment

 

All retail stores should also use the best retail point of sale equipment to facilitate transactions.  Out of date retail point of sale systems can increase the average transaction time and cause longer lines.  Thus, updated equipment should be a priority in terms of customer service and sales goals.  Systems that are slow or out of date are also risky.  They can break down easily, further complicating the point of sale process.  Updated equipment, on the other hand, is more reliable and includes the following benefits

 

•             Transaction times are quicker, eliminating long lines.

•             Information is backed up to avoid lost data.

•             Customer information is acquired during the point of sale process to help improve marketing efforts.

•             Past purchases are stored to facilitate customer returns.

 

Proper Training

 

Although updated systems provide many benefits, they are only as good as the employee who uses them.  For this reason, training is critical.  Employees should be trained to use the cash register when the store is closed or in a separate location altogether.  This allows them to familiarize themselves with the capabilities of the equipment without the added stress of a live customer.  During training, they can learn all functions of the point of sale, including accepting credit cards, gathering customer data, scanning the merchandise, completing a customer return, and more.  This proper training will help a cashier to be more effective during their initial customer interaction.  It will also minimize mistakes that could increase customer wait time.

 

Utilize New Technologies

 

Furthermore, good retail stores understand the importance of utilizing new technologies.  For example, many retail stores now have the capabilities to check out their customer anywhere in the store using a smart phone.  This technology not only provides more cashiers for a retail establishment, but also allows retail stores to be more efficient and personal with their point of sale activities.  Customers respond positively to the sense of urgency involved. New technologies can be scary to enact because they involve change; however, failing to take advantage of new technology is risky for retail stores and can result in lost business.

 

Self-Checkouts

 

Self-checkouts are one of the most popular new technologies being used at the point of sale. Busy retail stores can benefit from this new technology and provide customers with a wait-free checkout alternative.  However, it is important to understand that certain monitors need to be in place for these checkouts to be effective.  Stores with self-checkouts need to have quality security. In addition, they also need a quality point of sale system to ensure that the self-checkout process goes smoothly for the customer.

 

 

Customer Service Alternative

 

Finally, one of the biggest downfalls involving the point of sale is that it usually doubles as a customer service area.  Customers naturally bring their questions, concerns, criticisms, and needs to the point of sale area.  When cashiers have to handle these customer service related issues, the point of sale process results in longer lines and slower transaction times.  Efficient stores overcome this problem and create a customer service center that provides customers with the following services:

 

•             Gift wrap

•             Locating an out of stock product

•             Returns

•             Customer complaints

•             Answering questions

 

It is also important that customers are able to locate customer service.  If this area is not designated, customers automatically visit the point of sale area, resulting in the same problems.

 

Providing efficient point of sale systems should be a customer service priority for all retail stores.  Those stores who emphasize the importance of the point of sale will enjoy higher sales and fewer customer complaints.  These benefits greatly outweigh the costs that are associated with improving the retail point of sale.

point of sale systems

How To Expand Retail Point Of Sale Experience

A Beginner’s Guide to Financial Security

When you’re operating a business it can be tough to keep up with all of the laws and regulations that are associated with the art of operating a business. There are constantly new laws changing the way businesses operate in order to protect consumers and competition. As a result, many businesses often don’t realize they are operating outside of the law.

 

Financial security is a topic that most businesses don’t understand. With all of the latest technologies and standards it can become a full-time job just trying to understand how everything works let alone the legal requirements of such technologies. It is important to consult professionals to ensure that your business is operating within the limits of the law.

 

PCI Compliance

 

The topic of PCI compliance is always a difficult one. Most people don’t understand precisely what PCI was created for. The PCI DSS standard for payment process is put into place to protect cardholder information from unauthorized access. The end result is a stronger standard for protecting important financial information.

 

Much of the information protected under these guidelines could result in a consumer being negatively affected if the information were to fall into the wrong hands. As a result it is crucial for businesses to take the subject of financial security quite seriously. The PCI DSS standards for credit card processing involve 12 requirements that every business and processor must follow with the storing and transmission of sensitive financial information.

 

Does PCI Compliance Apply to Me?

 

While many businesses may not be affected by the PCI DSS standards directly, any business which saves the information obtained from a credit card transaction for use at a later date is held to these standards. In some cases the payment processing company handles the transactions entirely including the transmission and storage of sensitive information and thus the client is not required to implement the types of security practices outlined in the standard.

 

It all depends on the usage scenario.

 

Consulting a PCI Compliance Company

 

A PCI compliance company specializes in helping businesses ensure they are PCI compliant. It is important to consult a company in order to find out if your business is being held to the PCI standards based on the type of payment service. The PCI compliance company can help your business become PCI compliant if it is absolutely required.

PCI compliance

Beginner’s Guide to the Financial top Security