Accepting credit cards is second nature for most businesses and we've become so used to taking the cards, that we sometimes forget that they are most certainly NOT the same as cash. Here are a few reminders:
- Credit cards cost more to take than cash- so if you can get your customers to pay with cash GO FOR IT! (strange advice from a credit card processor but the right advice for any business)
- Stay within your approved limits- accepting credit cards for more than you were approved for can cause problems with your cash flow. Processing substantially more than your annual approved volume can also cause problems. While we cannot speak to how other processing companies handle volume variances, we can give you advice based on how we take care of our merchants. If you have a transaction that is larger than your approved limit, call our office prior to processing the transaction so we can let you know what additional information the risk department will ask for. By letting the risk department know what is coming BEFORE being processed, we can make sure your funds arrive on time!
- Accept cards properly-swipe the card whenever possible and get a signed receipt. A signed receipt can protect you in case of a chargeback. If you process cards over the phone or the internet, clearly define your products or service as well as your refund and return policies. Document any shipments and have a signed agreement whenever possible. Taking extra precautions when accepting credit cards can prevent disputes and protect you in case of a chargeback.
- Handle disputes promptly- if a customer has a challenge with your product or service, they can dispute the charge placed on their credit card. This dispute process is called a 'chargeback'. Keeping your records in order will allow you to respond quickly. You will be asked to supply a signed copy of a receipt and any documentation to support the sale. The card issuing bank will determine if the cardholder's dispute is valid and issue their findings. If they find in your favor- you get to keep the money- if not, they debit the money from your account.
Accepting credit cards does have its benefits! (we want you to really focus on this part ) Accepting plastic typically increases the amount your customers will spend and the frequency that they will purchase items from you. Accepting credit cards also eliminates having to wait too long for payment so there are some upsides as well!
Make sure that you keep the differences between cash and credit cards in mind so that you are prepared to handle any situation and remember that if your business changes and you need to modify the approved amounts- just give your TMC team a call! 1-888-249-9919