Accepting Credit Cards With Quickbooks Payments
Theres a lot that goes into accepting credit cards, but its a worthwhile step if you want to boost your sales, improve your customer experience, and maintain healthy cash flow.
Fortunately, QuickBooks Payments makes accepting credit card payments straightforward and painlesswhether you want to accept them online, by phone, on the go, or even through recurring payments.
What Is Credit Card Processing
is the entire sequence of steps involved in accepting credit card payments from your customers.
The process seems pretty simple on the surface: you swipe the card or enter the card details and then you get your money. But theres actually quite a bit of complexity involved in credit card transactions. Heres the gist of how it works:
- The card or payment information is entered
- That information is sent to the payment processor for authorization
- The payment processor sends the information to the customers bank
- The customers bank either approves or denies the paymentIf the payment is denied, the card is declined
- If the payment is approved, its sent back to the payment processor
- The payment processor sends the approval back to you
- You complete the transaction, and the money is deposited into your merchant account
See? Theres a lot going on under the surfaceand all of this happens in a matter of seconds.
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No matter which payment processing software you choose, the most important part is making it easy for the customer to pay. And the more ways they can pay, the more likely your customers will follow through on a purchase.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in April 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Aug 17, 2021 12:15:00 PM, updated August 17 2021
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Your Customer Interface Should Make A Positive First Impression
Whatever your business is, you need a mechanism for interacting with your customers. If youre selling a product, that mechanism is your website and shopping cart. If youre a service provider, its the electronic invoice you send with a payment link. Either way, this portal helps create an important first impression of your company.
You want your customer interface to be clean, easy-to-navigate and reflect your brand with your company logo and brand colors. You also want it to be secure, so customers feel comfortable entering their payment information on your site.
Choose A Service Provider
To accept credit card payments, youll need a credit card processor. Remember, the processor essentially serves as the messenger between your credit card terminal and yours and your customers banks.
Many different payment processor options are available, and well dig into how to choose the right one for your small business in a later section.
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Other Details To Consider
Some companies require a contract, and canceling before the contract is up can be costly. Other companies offer month-by-month subscriptions that you can end at any time.
More complex payment products, especially POS systems that allow highly customized menus, might require installation, setup or training, all of which can cost extra.
Customer service varies. If there’s a problem, will you want to speak to a person immediately?
Some companies share pricing details openly while others offer custom quotes to each prospective client.
What To Look For If You Want To Accept Payments Without A Merchant Account
Like any other major buying decision, youll want to shop around before selecting a third-party payment processor for your business. All of the providers weve profiled above offer different products and services, so youll want to select a provider that best fits the needs of your particular business.
One thing these companies generally do not compete on is pricing. Almost all third-party processors offer true pay-as-you-go billing, with no long-term contracts or monthly fees for basic services. They also offer remarkably similar flat-rate processing rate plans. If you want to accept payments online without a merchant account, you can expect to pay the same 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction with any major third-party processor.
Heres a brief overview of the major features you should evaluate before selecting a third-party processor for your business:
To accept in-person payments, youll need a credit card reader or terminal to swipe, dip, or tap the customers card. Third-party processors initially only supported mobile payments that required a smartphone and a very basic card reader. Square stands out here for its variety of low-cost, feature-packed card readers, terminals, and POS systems. At the same time, other providers can offer you a universal card reader or terminal that can be reprogrammed if you later decide to switch to a different processor.
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Promote Your New Mobile Credit Card Payment Option
What good is having a new mobile payment option if nobody knows about it? Potential customers might steer clear of your business if they think it isn’t equipped to accept credit cards. You want them to know that it’s easy to pay for your products.
Make sure to mention that you’re now accepting credit cards. And if customers visit your place of business, put up a sign explaining the new payment option.
You can also use your website and social media outlets to spread the word, especially if you’re attending events or trade shows. Share that you’ll accept credit cards at the event to better appeal to customers.
What Is The Cheapest Way To Receive Credit Card Payments
The cheapest way to accept credit card payments for your company depends on the kind of business you run and how your customers pay. Payment processing companies use various pricing structures for their services. For most small businesses, a payment service provider is your simplest and cheapest option. Youll pay a small fee per transaction but wont have to worry about subscription fees or working with multiple service providers. Higher-volume businesses will probably benefit from a more complex payment processing system.
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Maintain Healthy Processing And Avoid Chargebacks
As a final step in your credit card processing journey, its a good idea to set up chargeback prevention and management tools if youre taking payments in an online or card-not-present environment. Because chargebacks can be costly to your business, its a good idea to be proactive about preventing and managing them. To do so, you will want to make sure you invest in effective transaction recordkeeping, quality customer service, and chargeback management solutions.
With effective systems in place to manage all your processing needs, you can set your business up for financial health and credit card processing success in the future.
S To Credit Card Processing
Regardless of whether you receive card payments in person or online, the transaction process typically involves these basic steps:
- The customer swipes, inserts or taps their credit card or mobile device, or enters their credit card number, to input their information into the payment processor.
- The payment processor communicates with the cards issuing bank to ensure available funds or credit limit, and detect potential fraud.
- If the bank approves the transaction, the payment processor debits the customers account and credits your merchant account with the transaction amount.
The difference among various ways to accept credit card payments is mainly in how you input card information on the front end.
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Enter The Billing Address For Your Credit Card
This is the address at which you receive your credit card statements. Note that this address may be different from the shipping address, for example, if your statements go to the post office but youd like your order shipped to your home or to someone as a gift. The billing address must be entered correctly for your credit card transaction to go through. Check your if you’re not sure of the exact billing address.
Set Minimums For Credit Card Purchases
To combat processing fees cutting into your profits on small-dollar items, you could set minimum purchase totals for which youll accept a credit card payment.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 allows merchants to set credit card minimums of up to $10. You may not be allowed to do the same for debit cards, however credit card network rules might prevent minimums, and Dodd-Frank doesnt affect debit purchases.
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How Does A Merchant Account Work
Traditionally, a business needed to open a merchant account to accept credit card payments from customers. A merchant account is a special kind of bank account that holds your money after a credit card transaction is run and while the credit card network processes the transaction. After that, the money is deposited into your business bank account.
With the traditional model, you had to work with a merchant services provider or directly with a bank to open a merchant account and negotiate ausually yearslongcontract to pay monthly fees. Then youd get the necessary hardware to process payments in store or set up the software you needed to process payments online.
This is all as complex and unnecessarily expensive as it sounds, so most new businesses skip this step and use an all-in-one payment service provider instead.
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Why You Might Not Be Able To Accept Credit Cards
There can be a few reasons why it could be very difficultor even impossibleto accept credit cards. Unless you want to use a manual credit card imprinter, you need a reliable internet connection to accept credit cards. Your brick-and-mortar store might also be located where cash is commonretailers in urban or very rural areas might serve customers who are accustomed to carrying around a good amount of cash.
Getting Approved By A Merchant Services Provider
In order to use a merchant services providers services, you first need to get yourself approved for credit card processing. With most MSPs, this is fairly straightforward. As long as you can show youre a legitimate, lawful business, you shouldnt have too much trouble opening an account.
If your business falls in the high-risk category, then the best credit card processor for you is probably an ISO. Although acquiring banks like Square and First Data are cheaper to get started with, you run the risk of having your account closed if the acquirer notices a high number of chargebacks from your customers.
High-risk businesses include:
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Using Credit Cards Safely: Tips For Small Businesses
Despite the advantages of accepting credit cards for your small business, some risks are involved in giving customers this option. The most prominent are:
- Fraud.Some credit card systems are safer than others, and there have been instances in which businesses have been affected by credit card fraud.
- Processing fees. If your margins are very small, the processing fees associated with accepting credit cards can easily add up to a major business expense. Small businesses with thin margins will need to assess whether accepting credit cards makes business sense.
- Chargebacks. A chargeback is a disputed transaction that customers initiate when they arent satisfied with a purchase. Even if youre in the right and the customer is not, its difficult and costly to dispute chargebacks.
Small businesses that want to accept credit cards but also want to avoid these risks should be wary, and should follow best practices for credit card payment systems:
Accept Credit Cards Online With These 8 Great Payment Processors
There are plenty of companies on the market that can get you set up to accept credit cards online. However, only a few of them offer the right combination of excellent products, fair pricing, and top-notch customer support that make them a good choice for small businesses.
Below, weve highlighted what we think are the best ways to accept credit cards online. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so be sure to check out our full reviews to get a complete picture of each company.
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Accept Online Payments For Your Business
Several options are available through Segpay that allow you to accept payments online.
Our online payment solutions utilize the industrys most secure payment systems. If you want to provide your customers with the convenience to shop online, you can rely on Segpay to securely accept payments during online checkout.
Our online payment methods easily integrate into your current website. With the simple integration, you can securely begin online payment processing. Both you and your customers can have peace of mind that the payments are happening securely in real-time.
Your web developer/designer should have no issue integrating Segpay in just a few clicks. If you prefer, you can even integrate our payment processor yourself! We can provide documentation and a customer support team that can answer your questions should you run into any difficulties.
When you want to accept online payments for your business, you deserve the power, security, and reliability of Segpay.
Choose A Payment Processing System
When a customer gives you their credit card to pay, theres more to it than simply swiping or inserting the card. The customers card and account details have to be reviewed and processed electronically so that the payment to you can be authorized. All of this happens digitally behind the scenes in a matter of seconds, but you need to hire a payment processor to make it all work.
If you want to accept credit card payments, you can do it one of two ways: merchant accounts or payment service providers. A merchant account is an account that you open with a bank to accept credit card payments. Payment service providers are companies that allow you to accept credit card payments without setting up a merchant account.
Of the two, a payment service provider may charge lower processing and transaction fees. So it may work well for you if you have a newer business or relatively small credit card payment volumes. But if you do a large volume of sales from credit cards, then a merchant account could be an easier way to manage your credit card payments.
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How To Accept Credit Card Payments On Your Phone
The market is crowded with a dizzying array of options for merchants looking for an easier way to accept credit cards. Learning how to accept mobile credit card payments isn’t overly challenging, but it requires an understanding of the process and the major players in the market. It’s important to take the necessary steps when seeking the right mobile card reader for your business. The steps include:
Set Up Hardware And/or Software Integrations
Depending on what payment options you choose for your business, youll have different equipment and software needs. For example, for online credit card processing, you will not need the countertop credit card terminal and POS system with physical hardware that you would with in-person transactions.
Your new processing may mean that you have to upgrade and integrate your existing hardware and/or software. If your business is a brick-and-mortar, you might have to buy checkout software or install an EMV chip-enabled card reader. Your payment service provider may supply this equipment for you to set up in your store.
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Freeing Up Credit In A Certain Timeframe
To guarantee your payment posts to your account by a certain date, its better to make the payment a few days before you need the available credit. Or, if you need a certain amount of credit available to make a purchase, contact your credit card issuer to ask that a phone payment post to your account right away.
When you need additional credit for a larger purchase, you might also consider asking for a . You may qualify if youve used your credit card responsibly, you have a good credit history, your income can support a bigger credit limit, and its been enough time since your last credit limit increase. Alternatively, your credit card issuer may allow you to temporarily exceed your credit limit for the purchase, especially if youve already made a payment thats waiting to post to your account.
Why Should Businesses Accept Credit Cards
Heres the biggest reason: Because theyre the most common type of customer payment.
Credit cards were the most prevalent payment method in the United States in 2020, with 38% of point-of-sale payments being made by credit card.
Most customers will expect that your business is able to accept credit cards, and cash-only businesses could lose out on those customers altogether. Only 41% of Americans say they regularly carry cash. And those that do typically only have $25 in their wallets at a time.
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Receiving Credit Card Payments At The Conference Venue
The above gateways can generally also be used to receive credit card payments at the conference venue if you give your participants the option to access PCs in the registration area. However, sometimes these payments will fail, as the gateway system or bank will notice that the client is not at his home and they will therefore block the payment for security reasons. The participant can then try to call his/her bank to clear the payment, but also that does not always work .
There are several alternatives for so-called “card present” payments that allow participants to pay locally with their card and result in lower payment fees: Either ask your acquirer how much they charge for a local point of sale terminal, or have a look at the following options that only require a smartphone and a plastic payment card reader. The companies listed below have the advantage of not charging monthly fees for this service. Their systems can usually also be used for debit card payments.