Let me ask you a question – on an average day, how much cash are you carrying on you? If you’re like most people, the answer is ‘not much’. We’ve been heading toward a cashless society for years. I don’t think we will ever be there completely, but we’ve never been closer. Think of all the places where we can use your credit cards – vending machines, parking meters, car washes, laundry mats, and yes- people do pay for commercial cleaning with a credit card. There once was a time when it would be considered crazy to use a credit card for these types of businesses, not anymore.

So should your small business accept credit cards? Most likely the answer is yes. But where do you start? Chances are you’ve been bombarded by advertisements for credit card processing for your small business. It seems like everyone is in on the game, who can you trust? Let me offer some ideas to help you find the right credit card processing company for your small business.

  • Try to avoid long term contracts, always go month to month.
  • Do not buy or lease equipment unless it’s a complex POS system. A regular terminal cost around $200.00 and you should get one for free.
  • Make sure you check references of the credit card processor you’re considering.
  • If you’re working with a sales agent find out how long they have been with the company, check their references as well.
  • Ask about PCI compliance – am industry wide measure to protect cardholder data.
  • Ask about tech support, who do you call if there is a problem?

Make sure you have a clear understanding of all the rates, they should be easy to understand. Unfortunately, the credit card processing industry is known for having hidden fees. Find out how long it takes to get your money, this is important. In most cases, you should receive your money the next day, two days at the most. Will you be funded dollar for dollar or do the fees come out daily? Being funded dollar for dollar makes it easier to reconcile your books, you have to remember to have enough in your bank account at the start of the next month when the fees come out.

Accepting credit cards for your small business should not be difficult, unfortunately, I have heard many horror stories about dishonest companies or sales reps. if you’re careful and do your research you can easily find the right company to process your credit cards.