If you’re a small business owner, a regular Craigslist seller, or a big-time fundraiser, you know there’s nothing more frustrating than turning away money. Most people don’t carry cash, and taking a personal check from a stranger is a chancy proposition. Accepting credit cards would be great, but what does adding a credit card payment processor entail?
Credit card payment processors like Square, Stripe, or NewtPay are perfect for individuals and small businesses to step up their game. Services like these provide a mobile app and a card reader that connect to most mobile devices using a headphone jack. This lets you turn your cellphone or tablet into a mobile payment station so you can do business wherever you have customers.
To get started with a new payment processor, you’ll need to provide tax information – an EIN, an SSN or something similar.
If you’re concerned about privacy, it’s not a bad idea to get an employer identification number for your payment-accepting business. That keeps your personal identity secure.
These apps work very much like POS terminals at any retailer you’ve seen. The customer swipes their card and the app prepares a receipt for the customer. With these services, you can usually customize your receipts, offer other options like emailed receipts, and allow buyers to sign with their finger right on your smartphone or tablet.
It’s important to keep in mind that payment processors do take a percentage (often around 1% – 3%). Make sure to factor this cost into your calculations when deciding if using a credit card payment processor is the right move for your small business.
Adding a credit card payment processor can be a great way to expand without investing in expensive point-of-sale technology. After payments are processed, you’ll be paid by the service via direct deposit, often on a daily basis.
Many payment processors of this kind also automatically generate sales records into a .CSV file, so you can import your receipts into your existing books in Excel or QuickBooks. You’ll also be able to issue refunds when needed, re-send receipts, and set up a web storefront if you like. No need to turn plastic away again!
This article is for educational purposes only. Tulsa FCU makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, or specific suitability of any information presented. Information provided should not be relied on or interpreted as legal, tax or financial advice. Nor does the information directly relate to our products and/or services terms and conditions.