As many as 48 million merchants across the globe accept at least one credit card. Knowing how to accept credit card payments could be the key to increasing your profits, especially as a small business owner. By accepting credit card payments, you offer your customers multiple payment methods. The more flexibility you give your customers at checkout, the more likely you are to convert the sale.In this article, we cover everything you need to know about how to accept credit card payments, including what you need to get started and the different methods available.

Getting Started — The Basics

how to accept credit card payments: Smiling man looking at his laptop while holding his credit card

To get started processing credit card payments, you will first need to follow these four basics steps:

  1. Determine how you want to accept payments
  2. Find a payment processing company
  3. Open a merchant services account
  4. Install the required hardware and software

Below is a brief breakdown of each step.

1. Determine How You Want to Accept Payments

There are different options available when it comes to credit card processing. You must consider the type of credit card transactions you are going to be processing. The most obvious option is whether you operate a brick-and-mortar store. If you have a physical location, you will need a card reader that can process chip cards. The card reader should be compatible with swipe cards, chip cards, and contactless payments. You want to make sure that you can accept all major credit cards and popular payment options. The best payment processors accept:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Discover
  • American Express
  • Apple Pay
  • Android/Google Pay
  • Contactless payments (NFC-enabled)

Perhaps, however, you're a startup that does not have physical locations yet. In these cases, you don't need to worry about a physical credit card terminal. Instead, you need to process payments virtually. You can process online payments:

Fortunately, all of these options are available through payment processors. It's up to you to consider how you are going to run your business and the most likely way you are going to accept payments.

2. Find a Payment Processing Company

A payment processing company is a service provider that handles credit and debit card transactions between two parties, typically a merchant and a customer. The payment processing company relays card information from a customer to a business bank account. Not all payment processors are the same. The pricing can vary between companies. Some may offer you access to point-of-sale (POS) systems and virtual terminals, perhaps for an additional fee. Others operate at a flat rate and provide you access to all of their credit card processor tools. Be sure to research beforehand to find a payment processing company that best suits your business.

3. Open a Merchant Services Account

A merchant account is a type of bank account that is required to accept credit card transactions. No matter if you are accepting in-person or mobile payments, you will need a merchant account to process the transaction. Depending on which payment processing company you choose, you may be able to skip this step. For instance, when you use a merchant service provider like Nadapayments, the merchant account is built right in.

4. Install the Required Hardware and Software

Now that you have your processors and merchant accounts in place, it's time to install the hardware and software required to accept payments. If you are accepting payments in-store, you'll need a physical card reader. If you’re accepting mobile payments, you'll need either a physical mobile credit card reader or an app that you can use to enter credit card information. You will also need a virtual terminal if you are collecting payments via an emailed invoice, over the phone, or online.Now is also the time to set up your point-of-sale system. The best processing companies offer POS systems to record transactions, track processing fees, monitor inventory, and produce the records necessary to file taxes at the end of the year. A POS system links all terminals together seamlessly. Setting up your POS system is easy when using Nadapayments, as the software is preinstalled and ready to go after you plug in your credit card terminal.

How to Save on Costs

When learning how to take credit card payments, you must understand how processing fees work. These fees are the biggest cost for businesses when accepting credit cards. Processing fees are a type of transaction fee that credit card companies charge when you use their card. The average fee is around 3.5%. Let's say that you process $50,000 in credit card purchases each month. You owe credit card companies 3% of this, equal to $1,750. After paying processing fees, the money you earned from the sale is now $48,250. If your company pays these fees, you directly impact your bottom line. Fortunately, there are ways to cut the cost of processing fees. Retailers can do so by implementing a surcharge program. With a surcharge program, the fees are passed onto the customer. Businesses are required to display signage indicating that this process is in place. The signage must indicate that customers are not charged processing fees if they choose to make a cash or debit card payment. Implementing a surcharge program is the best way to save on costs when your business accepts credit card payments.

How to Accept Credit Card Payments — The Single Best Method

If you are looking for a business provider that offers everything you need to get started accepting credit card payments while also saving you money, look no further than Nadapayments. Nadapayments provides merchants with a Wi-Fi-enabled EMV Chip reader for in-person transactions, along with virtual terminals and smartphone apps for online and mobile payments as well. You receive a unified payment experience that allows you to easily track all of their transactions, no matter where they take place. The included POS system seamlessly links between in-store and mobile transactions, even if those transactions take place offline. Nadapayments accepts all major credit cards, as well as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and contactless payments. Retailers pay a flat monthly fee of only $35 per month. There are no hidden costs or setup fees. Perhaps the best part, however, is that you’ll save on processing fees thanks to Nadapayments' surcharge program. Plus, you’ll receive the signage you need for the surcharge program for free.

Start Accepting Credit Card Payments Today

Smiling cashier watching a customer make a payment

Knowing how to accept credit card payments can do wonders for your business. The more payment options you offer customers, the more likely you are to complete a sale. Accepting credit cards both in-store and online directly impacts your bottom line. Remember, there are a few things you need to have in place before you can begin accepting credit card payments:

  • A payment processing company
  • A merchant services account
  • The hardware and software needed to take credit card payments, including physical card readers, virtual terminals, and a POS system

Fortunately, these things are easy to come by when you use Nadapayments.Nadapayments is a service provider that offers you everything you need to accept credit card payments, including hardware and software. You can accept all major credit cards, contactless payments, and digital wallets, like Google Pay and Apple Pay. The package costs a flat rate of $35 per month. And you save on processing fees thanks to the included surcharge program. Nadapayments checks all the boxes for merchants. Be sure to get started today.