How to enhance your payment processing options
February 27, 2014

Being able to accept a wide variety of payments means more potential business opportunities and less customers walking away frustrated because of the lack of a method for credit card processing.

Attracting and maintaining customers involves a wholly developed business strategy, from providing quality services, products to effective customer service offerings. Offering varied payment processing services is an important part of the customer service component. Consider offering the ability to make purchases over the Internet as well as accepting payments through a business' mobile devices if operations bring workers outside the confines of a storefront.

Industry publication the Journal of Accountancy offered some payment processing advice for small business from an accountant's perspective, including providing multiple avenues for customers to make purchases.

Stay versatile
An important point to remember is that businesses need to find financially stable but conceptually innovative providers for payment services. A company that has a good client service and support system and can provide examples of successes with other clients is a good place to start. Such a provider should be able to tailor services to the needs of the interested business and its clients.

Small businesses don't want to deal with any more long-term contracts than are absolutely necessary. The possibility of business changes and expansion means that a static payment solution doesn't make sense.

While a small company may not need to use electronic check processing or other specific services when signing a year-long contract, growth in the organization may require adding some components and changing others. Additionally, a long up-front commitment is tough to make in general when little benefit has been realized. A flexible, month-to-month setup can help businesses change as needed.

Educating customers on the benefits of various payment methods can also help. By letting patrons know about all the different options available, it may encourage purchasing based on convenience.

Choose a secure provider

The Washington Post recommended that small businesses discuss preventing card misuse with staff to ensure best practices are being followed. Simple practices like matching a card signature to one on the receipt and requesting the CVC code during phone-based transactions can help improve compliance.

Small businesses should also discuss best practices with their payment solution providers to learn about security offerings, company-specific protocols and enhance compliance with anti-fraud efforts.

Nexus: G-WEBCD2