Credit Card Processing: Unlock Your Business' Profit Potential

Today's economy has presented everyone, from business owners to the consumers they serve, with additional challenges. Businesses, especially small or growing businesses, have been especially hard pressed to remain competitive and to keep afloat amid tougher financial times. But even in a challenged economy, there are ways to make your business more competitive and more profitable. One of the simplest and least expensive options is to begin to accept credit cards at your business.

Credit cards have become more popular than ever among consumers looking to make purchases and pay for them in a way that is compatible with their monthly budget. By offering flexible payment arrangements, credit cards can help any consumer afford even expensive items, allowing them to pay for their purchases a little at a time each month. In months where money is tight, consumers can choose to pay the minimum due. When the budget offers a little more breathing room, the card balance can be paid down more quickly. As the balance is paid down, consumers have that money available again for additional purchases.

Today s consumers are bombarded with commercials and advertisements, telling them how important it is to maintain a healthy credit score, and savvy consumers know regular and wise use of credit cards is a great way to build that score and establish and maintain a healthy credit history. Since credit scores can have far-reaching influence, affecting everything from the ability to finance a home or car to determining your insurance rates and even influencing whether or not you get a specific job, consumers are more aware than ever before of the need for maintaining a strong credit history and score.

It's easy to see how accepting credit cards can build a business' customer base, with more and more consumers embracing the advantages offered by the cards. But businesses benefit in other ways, too. Studies show:

Consumers who use credit cards tend to shop more often, and spend more money per shopping trip, than customers who use cash.

Consumers who use credit cards are far more likely to make impulse purchases, and those impulse purchases are of a much higher value than those made by cash users.

Businesses that accept credit cards tend to be viewed more favorably, and are seen as being more trustworthy and more stable than those that do a cash-only trade.

And here s the big one: if you do – or hope to do – business online, in a recent survey, more than 90 percent of online shoppers said they use only credit cards when making their purchases.

Additionally, merchant accounts offer a centralized location for credit card transaction information, and provide reporting to make your bookkeeping easier and more streamlined. They also facilitate cash flow by depositing funds directly into your bank account at the end of each day. And, unlike checks that can bounce or cash that can be stolen or lost, the funds are deducted form the credit card account immediately and transferred to your business account securely.

Opening a merchant account is the first step toward accepting credit cards. Today, those accounts are easier to open and less costly than ever before. Take some time today to explore your merchant account options and unlock your own business' profit potential.