How To Process Credit Cards
Setting up how to process credit cards is an essential part of business start up in many industries. Though the credit card process may seem opaque and confusing from the outside, most of the hard stuff is taken care of by your friend, the merchant services provider.
- Compile a list of merchant services providers. Most business owners are deluged with phone, mail and email offers from these companies, so you should have no trouble getting some contact information.
- Ask each about transaction fees and any monthly fees for their services. Select the three cheapest providers.
- Get three references from each of your finalists. Call those references. While talking with them, ask if they know anybody else who does business with that credit card processing provider. Try to go at least three deep with these "secondary references."
- Schedule a sit-down meeting for final negotiations with any of the companies that survive a reference check. Get them to bid against each other until you arrive at a final agreement and provider.
- Arrange for credit card processing equipment. Depending on your kind of business, this might mean an independent machine, a peripheral for the cash register, or an online-only option. Your merchant service provider can lease you this gear, but it's often much more expensive than arranging it on your own.
- Process credit card transactions according to the method specified in the manual for your particular mode of processing equipment.
"Small Business For Dummies," Eric Tyson, 1998.