If your customers rely on credit card transactions to make payments, these transactions need to be easy. The last thing you want is customers going through a stressful shopping experience.
At Electronic Merchant Systems (EMS), we understand the value of straightforward credit card transaction processing. EMS serves merchants all across the country with a reputation that has helped us help you for the past 30 years.
So, what are some of the best ways to process credit card payments?
Below, we’ll explore simple, fast, and secure methods for processing credit card payments.
- Leveraging Mobile Payment Technology
- Using EMV Chips Help Ensure Security
- Asking Customers to create Online Accounts
- Relying on Traditional POS Terminals
- Other Considerations for Payment Processing
- What’s Next?
Leverage Mobile Payments
As more businesses adopt flexible mobile payments, you should adjust your own payment methods to catch up to these trends.
When you accept transactions through multiple channels, your customers won’t be stuck with a single method for making payments. With more customers opting to pay using their mobile devices, omnichannel options increase the availability of payment options.
These types of payments can be categorized as card-present or card-not-present transactions.
Mobile Card Readers
These card readers connect to your current devices such as mobile phones and tablets via a Bluetooth connection. Or they may physically plug into a phone. Both connection options allow for a credit card swipe.
They’re popular with small businesses that may not have brick-and-mortar establishments.
Mobile card readers simplify payments by enabling customers who don’t carry cash to make credit card payments at their favorite businesses. Mobile card readers offer secure payment options by connecting to card issuers to authorize credit card payments individually.
NFC Contactless Payments
Today, many customers opt to make credit card payments with their mobile devices.
Through store apps or the default payment apps for iPhones or Androids, using credit cards on mobile devices to make payments is becoming one of the best POS options for small businesses.
Contactless services like Apple Pay have changed how merchants accept credit card payments. They use near-field communication (NFC) technology linked to virtual wallets.
Apple Pay is a popular solution because it provides customers with:
- Protection for their data due to its high-level encryption
- Peace of mind because each transaction must be authenticated
- Confidence in account security because customers’ banks are securely connected
When your business accepts payments via secure and flexible channels like Apple Pay, you give customers peace of mind with payment logistics. That way, they can focus on your products!
Use EMV Chips to Secure POS Transactions
Beyond ease and speed, security is another top concern when processing credit card payments.
If your business only takes physical credit card payments, you should secure transactions by using EMV chips instead of traditional magnetic strips. Customers should insert, not swipe.
“EMV” stands for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa, the three companies behind the technology. The chips secure transactions by storing a cardholder’s data on a metallic chip instead of the traditional magnetic stripe. This dramatically increases the security of the transactions.
Most businesses now prefer to use EMV to process credit cards, but there are some holdouts.
Using card readers that accept EMV chips differentiates you from other businesses because it shows that you care about securing your customers' sensitive data from potential theft.
Ask Customers to Create Online Accounts
If your business provides services to customers online, you should consider asking them to create an account on your website before they make any purchases using a credit card.
By creating an account on your secure eCommerce store, customers can keep their credit card information on the website without worrying about re-entering it for each repeat transaction.
Ultimately, this makes it easier for customers to make purchases—a win-win for all parties.
However, it’s imperative to protect these online accounts at all times. One way you can do this is by requiring customers to use multi-factor authentication (MFA) to log in or make payments. Some might find it inconvenient, but others will value the added security assurance for their cards.
MFA prevents theft and fraud, building trust with your loyal customers.
Rely on Traditional POS Terminals
The most common way to accept credit card payments is via point-of-sale (POS) terminals. They use a countertop device where customers swipe or insert their credit cards to make payments.
You’ll find POS terminals at most brick-and-mortar businesses—your local grocery store, gas stations, and convenience stores. Like the old saying goes: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Although many businesses rely on POS terminals because of their availability and ease of use, they can be expensive for small businesses just starting out. And there are also security concerns with POS devices, which are essentially purpose-built computers.
You’ll need to update the software and hardware on your terminals often to avoid risks.
Nonetheless, traditional POS terminals provide a simple and relatively speedy option that most of your customers are going to be familiar with. Just be careful and keep things up-to-date.
Considerations for Processing Credit Card Payments
Even when using one or more of the methods above to process credit card payments, you’ll need to keep certain considerations and best practices in mind to get the most out of them.
First up: compliance. You will be required to comply with regulations, like the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS), to avoid security issues and remain in the good graces of the Security Standards Council—American Express, Visa, and other card issuers.
Compliance is one component of maintaining a strong reputation. Another is nailing all the details related to credit card payments. For example, your receipts should look legitimate, with:
- A business name that stands out
- A phone number
- A clear record of purchase description
- Clearly itemized transactions
Otherwise, customers may think a transaction you processed was fraudulent.
Finally, you need to cover your customer support bases. Accidents happen, and when customers run into issues making credit card payments online, you need a support line to field questions.
Ultimately, it all comes back to ease, quickness, and security—for you and your customers.
If you’re looking for a new way to process credit card payments, you’ll need to find systems that work for your specific needs and means. The experience you provide customers when they make credit card payments influences their decisions to make future purchases.
At EMS, we understand how challenging it is to find payment processes that work best for you.
Partnering with EMS simplifies the entire process, making credit or debit card payments as quick, easy, and secure as possible. With extensive industry experience spanning over 30 years, we’ll streamline the process and maximize your ROI on payment processing services.
Have even more Payment Processing Questions?
Click on the link below to check out our ultimate guide on How to Choose The Right Payment Processor for your business.