There is not a business out there today, that will be successful and grow, without being able to accept at least three different types of payments from a customer. The most common throughout business history are Check, Cash and Credit Card.
However, that is only true in the past 100 years….in the past ten years, and going forward if your business does not accept Visa, Master card and Interac, you will not survive as a merchant. They are now the three most common payment types your customer’s will have.
In order to accept these types of payments from a customer, a merchant will need a debit machine complete with a Merchant Account (the account required to accept Visa, Master card and other major cards).
So we will look at the first part of accepting the payments, the physical terminal itself. Companies will offer you the ability to Buy a machine, Rent, or Lease to Own, either and any way one will require the physical machine in order to swipe and dip cards. There is also a fast growing number of solutions that are web and phone based. The providers and processors want to be sure the merchant can accept funds in what ever way is best for them.
There are two types of companies in this industry. ISO’s which are Independent Sales Organizations. These are companies who provide the physical machine and debit services and everything that goes along with that like your customer support and tech support, ect. These ISO’s cannot offer Visa and MC or other major cards directly. The amount of lending and loss associated with providing merchant accounts is just too great, and any smaller company would have their lights out in a week! So these ISO’s use member banks to support the Credit Card portion of their services. In turn, the Member Banks also offer the machines and support just like an Iso does. The advantages and disadvantages of choosing one or the other is a whole different topic! But essentially, once you’ve chosen a provider, they will help to provide the merchant account and get you on your way to accepting all types of transactions. They will provide support and help when needed and monitor your daily processing.
The method of acceptance varies as well. All ISO and Member Bank Providers have a wide array of solutions available to suit individual business practices which change and grow everyday. Ecommerce and Wireless solutions seem to be the fastest growing and most in demand solutions today, as we are living in an ever more increasing global economy, where the hours in which we do business and locations are no longer static. It is a fast moving and exciting time for this industry.
The introduction of bio and nano technology can take payment processing in a whole other direction, it is a very ground braking industry with lots of room for growth, and the market for different styles and methods of processing that are easily adopted by users cause they are new and are considered trendy.
As long as there are merchants, there will be customers and right now, you must be able to accept credit and debit card payments from your customers. Failure to do so is the recipe for disaster.