small business owner standing behind counterIf you’re a small business owner, you know how much work it takes to provide services or goods and market them, let alone earning a customer’s trust to process sales and turn a profit. After all, selling is like oxygen and without sales, your business has no life. How do you accept sales? By offering the widest array of payment options to your customers including credit card processing! This is your ultimate guide to understand how credit card processing works, why you need it, and where you can best find solutions to meet all your credit card processing needs.

What is credit card processing?

Credit card processing is defined as the set of technologies and processes that enable businesses and consumers to make and process credit card payments. Technology has positively affected every facet of life in today’s world, but none has reaped the benefit of technology and automation more than businesses just like yours. While cash was once king (especially for smaller businesses) credit card processing is becoming the new definitive form of payment and it won’t be going away any time soon. That’s because credit card processing itself continues to evolve as technology allows. Credit cards once required PIN numbers, signatures and passwords, but nowadays, all they need is a simple chip-reader system for ultimate security and convenience for shoppers.

How does credit card processing work?

Most commonly, terminals dial out with a phone line or with an internet connection, but if you happen to use a landline, make it a dedicated line in order to ensure uninterrupted service, otherwise, incoming calls or call waiting might throw a wrench into your payment processing plans. There are many merchants who prefer internet-connected terminals that use IP for faster transactions that don’t tie up a landline. Other options for accepting payments can include a PIN Pad device that processes debit cards as well as credit cards with a “store and forward” option wherein you can enter credit card information to process at a later time. Some point of sale devices offer the option to store payment information as an offline transaction; processing a payment at a later time when connected to the internet. 

What small businesses need.

In order to succeed in the competitive world of retail, small businesses need the best tools. So, what is the best credit card processing for small businesses out there? For security and efficiency, EMV-compliant POS systems are the way to go. Why EMV exactly? Surely, you’ve heard of chip credit cards. In fact, odds are, you have one in your wallet. EMV chip cards exist to combat the evolving threat of credit card fraud. They’re safer then the old magnetic stripe swipe cards and they’ll not just protect your business, but your customers as well. Successful small business owners know that if your customers trust you to shop at your establishment, then you’re sure to have repeat business from loyal consumers.

Credit card processing companies for small businesses can not only provide security with EMV-compliant POS systems, but also convenience and efficiency for shoppers both online and in-person.

woman paying online with credit cardElectronic payments are a must for any small businesses taking advantage of the online shopping craze. With an electronic payment option, customers can safely enter in credit card information to purchase goods on your website much like Amazon provides with a virtual shopping cart—no chip insertion, swipe, or signatures necessary. The best credit card processing companies for small businesses should also work with you to customize solutions for your walk-in customers.

Enter mobile credit card processing—it’s in the name and it’s the wireless alternative to the bulky countertop systems that have been taking up space on merchants’ counters for years. Now, if you have a customer you need to help, you can walk right up to them with a handheld credit card processing device that is chip card-compliant, light, and ideal for the flexibility of processing payments on the go. Gone are the days of being tethered behind a checkout counter. If you’re looking for the ultimate customer service and credit card processing experience, then a mobile credit card processing device or even a cloud-based tablet POS is what your small business needs.

Fees are important!

Now that you know how to process credit cards at your small business, it’s time to consider finding the best credit card processing service for small businesses out there. High fees can eat away at margins and make it more difficult for a small business to be profitable. Variable fees can be hard to manage and add complexity. For this reason, if you’re looking for the best credit card processing system for small business, you should pay close attention to the fees and rates the credit card processor charges. If you want low and predictable fees, you can get started by saving with North American Bancard with rates as low as 0.29% without taking a hit to your bottom line.

Hardware for credit card processing.

Now that you know in a general sense what sort of payment solutions you need for your small business to thrive, let’s talk credit card processing hardware specifics. What is the best credit card machine for small businesses? The best way to pick the right machine for you is researching how your customer shops. Are they more traditional where a countertop unit makes sense? Or do you opt for the mobile unit? Whatever the case, NAB can provide the hardware you need, whether a traditional countertop device, a mobile solution, or something in between. Take the Verifone Vx520—a rugged and reliable countertype device that’s built for everyday use. It handles encryption, decryption, and processes quickly. It can also support loyalty and gift card acceptance and offers a full range of connectivity options. The optional battery even allows you to take the Vx520 anywhere you go.

NAB also offers a number of smart hardware options (as well as mobile Bluetooth card readers) through our sister company Payanywhere. These solutions are ideal for  merchants who want to accept payments in and around their retail locations and line-busting to streamline the checkout process. These solutions are perfect for virtually any retail business, plus, others like delivery services, stadium vendors, and pay-at-the-table restaurants, to name just a few.

North American Bancard can also provide your small business with online merchant services that will allow your small business to increase your ecommerce sales.  That includes handling your online merchant services to protect customer data and vicariously, your business’ integrity with excellent security and reliability.

You’ll also get access to extensive customization. Whatever online retail environment you want to create for your business, North American Bancard makes it easy. Our ecommerce merchant services perfectly fit the design of your brand, with options including hosted checkout, cash discount, free access to a virtual terminal, and more. It doesn't matter if your business accepts in-store payments, over-the-phone payments, online payments, or all of the above, we’ve got you covered.

Finding the right partner.

Now that you know how credit card processing for small business works, as well as what kind of hardware and software you need, it’s time to find the right partner. Established in 1992, NAB has been a leader in technology-driven payment processing for merchants of all types and sizes for more than 25 years.  We make it easy for hundreds of thousands of satisfied merchants to process more than $45 billion in transactions each year. Now, it’s your turn. Saving money on your credit card processing with the most efficient and secure hardware available (not to mention award-winning Customer Care) is only one short form away.

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