If you’ve ever been involved with processing card payments, you’ll know how irritating terminals can be. They’re not always easy to install, and depending on what you go for, they can be particularly expensive! Then, there are the times when the terminals break down in the middle of a sale. Talk about annoying! So, there are plenty of reasons why you might need to take card payments without the help of a terminal. Here are some ways to do just that.
Of course, one way to do it is to go directly through your bank. This isn’t the easiest method, though, and requires a lot of work. Firstly, you need to set up a merchant account as usual. Then, you’ll ideally need to get ahold of credit card forms that can be filled in. Once you’ve taken the relevant details, you go directly to your bank and wait for them to process the transactions. This will cost you money, and it isn’t a good way to do things in most cases.
Many terminals include the ability to swipe cards, but in your case, you can always seek additional hardware. In some cases, you’ll actually find that swipe systems come free with specific payment services. Otherwise, you’re looking at a potentially hefty initial cost. You can normally attach these via USB and connect them directly to a PC.
The power of the internet and smartphones has totally changed the way we can take card payments. Nowadays, you can get a credit card reader app that will allow you to receive payments without even needing a merchant account. All you have to do is scan a picture of the card, and the app will do the rest for you. Most of these apps do cost money, but they certainly won’t put you out of pocket.
Of course, online payments are easily implemented. Most businesses use online payments in some form or other. They have become especially prominent due to the rise of services such as PayPal in recent years. There are all sorts of ways to do this, though — far more than we can mention in this article. Research the different methods and find one you like the look of.
Some companies provide the ability for you to ‘rent’ a virtual terminal. These terminals allow you to input card data manually. They are especially useful for taking phone payments, but they can also be used for other purposes. You’ll need a reliable internet connection if you’re going to use them, though. Also, they can be a little long-winded if you’re taking a lot of payments on a daily basis.
Ideally, you’ll want to incorporate as many of these payment options as possible for your customers. Giving a wide range of choices will mean that they are much more likely to purchase your goods and services. Also, it means that if any of those payment services break down, you’ll have alternatives to call upon.
Have you found another way to take card payments effectively? Let us know!