To compete in today’s marketplace almost every merchant needs to accept more than cash as a form of payment. If you don’t accept plastic or other forms of electronic payments you put yourself at risk of falling far behind the competition, simply because you are not making the ability to purchase your goods or services as easy as the next competitor. So how do you decide which payment processing methods are best for your business? Here is a little insight into two major forms and what they can do for your business:
ACH Payment Processing
With today’s tech-savvy and digitally connected world, businesses and consumers alike no longer need paper checks to pay for goods or services. You can now transfer funds electronically with the click of a button. These electronic fund transfers (EFT’s) have streamlined the process for merchants and banks, lower costs of doing business and freed up some of our most precious resource, time. The Automated Clearing House (ACH) network, also known as ACH processing, is a payment processing method that gives merchants the ability to send money to other businesses, accept payments from consumers, send refunds, or pay employees by inputting bank account and routing number information through a secure gateway.
What merchants benefit most from ACH payment processing?
Merchants that have any type of recurring billing option really benefit from ACH processing. Many of these businesses are utility providers, membership and subscription based businesses, or rental businesses. They require an automated process in order to operate efficiently. An argument could be made that this isn’t needed because a merchant can just accept debit cards, but debit card transactions are typically more expensive than ACH transactions. Another great use for ACH is to send out refunds or pay employees. Instead of cutting checks you can transfer funds with a few clicks of a button. It’s a quick, easy, and safe way to transmit funds from one bank account to another.
While having an ACH payment processing solution is a great way to handle payments, quite possibly the most vital payment processing service is a merchant account. Having a merchant account allows you to accept debit card and credit card payments and in today’s market it’s nearly impossible to compete without it.
According to the latest Census Bureau estimates, of the approximately 232 million adult consumers living within the United States, it’s estimated that around 167 million of them possess at least one credit card. That’s a majority of the U.S. population and it’s probably in your best interest to make sure you can cater to their payment needs. It would be a shame if your inability to accept their preferred payment method is your downfall. In almost all scenarios, businesses can expect an increase in sales when they have the option for customers to pay with a card. In fact, a recent study found that 83% of businesses that accept credit cards report having made more sales by credit card than any other payment type.
Who benefits most from a merchant account?
The simple answer is just about everyone. With today’s technology most consumers look to the simplicity of using a card to pay for everything. Most people don’t want to carry cash anymore for reasons of security and convenience and if you want to buy something online, cash certainly isn’t going to work. Accepting credit cards is an absolute must for businesses as studies show consumers are much more willing to pay for online products and even services with a credit card. This is particularly the case if you sell expensive high-end products or services; you need to accept card payments. The majority of Americans live beyond their means so credit and paying over time is what allows them to get the things they want but simply can’t afford upfront.
One of the main goals you should have as a business owner is to create value. In order to reach that goal you need consumers to buy into whatever it is you are selling, even if it is charity. If you don’t have the right tools to accept payments, it will undoubtedly affect your ability to grow, prosper, and reach your goal. It’s a small, yet important aspect of business management that can make the difference between success and shutting the doors to the competition.