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If you’re a small business owner, you know how important it is to accept credit cards from your customers.  Not only does it help you to increase your sales, you can simplify your ability to collect their funds while providing them with excellent customer service in the process.  But what credit cards should your small business be accepting? There are several factors that you need to consider before deciding on the types of credit cards your customers can use when purchasing from your small business.

First and foremost, it is important to realize that most consumers like to pay with credit cards instead of using their cash.  In most cases they will either prefer American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or VISA.  Consider those benefits and features that are just as attractive to the consumer as they are to you.  Depending on the geographic location of your business, the types of credit cards that you accept will typically be determined by your customer base or target audience.

For example, if your business is based in Hawaii or the West Coast, you might want to consider accepting the Japan Credit Bureau or JCB card.  This is the Asian version of the US MasterCard or VISA.  Another popular and well-recognized credit card is Diner’s Club because it is not restricted exclusively to cafés, diners, and restaurants.  In fact, numerous hotel and motel chains now accept Diner’s Club cards worldwide.  Additionally, many consumers prefer Discover because of its cash back options.

Keep in mind that there are always going to be credit card processing fees and other charges that need to be considered.  In most cases, you’ll be afforded a full range of credit cards to accept in your small business when you sign up for your merchant’s account.  This also provides you with more working capital for operating your business.  Monthly account fees and set-up fees are normal.  However, the rates will vary from one company to the next.  By accepting several different credit cards, instead of just a couple, those fees shouldn’t increase.

It is important to note that the type of credit cards your customers use may affect the fees that you pay for accepting them.  For instance, if your customers use cash-back, rewards points, or other type of premium credit cards, it might result in you being charged a higher processing fee on their purchases.  Just keep all of the above in mind and do some additional research before choosing the credit cards that you are going to accept.

Posted in credit card processing, Merchant Account on Dec 09, 2013