Many businesses choose not to accept credit cards because they believe it will be too expensive. Others do so, but are reluctant for the same reason. However, if you focus on the costs without factoring in the benefits, you are likely missing the mark. There are reasons for the associated costs, and the value should outweigh the expense. So, the real question becomes ...can I afford NOT to accept credit cards?
There’s a real benefit to accepting cards:
With the increase in customer’s preferring to use their debit and credit cards for purchases , and the increase in sales for card acceptance, it seems like a clear win for both the customer and the merchant to accept all payment methods.
“Tight margins and more sales are always better than losing sales overall,” says George Malesky, Sales Operations Manager and VP for Chesapeake Payment Systems. “You never want to limit payment options because you want it to be as easy as possible for your customer to do business with you.”
Even when merchants accept credit card payments, some will penalize the customer or deter the usage of card transactions by doing one of the following, hoping to save money:
Doing any of these things or choosing not to accept card payments at all is known in the merchant services world as “unwelcomed acceptance.”
Legal requirements for credit cards:
Additionally, there are risks to unwelcomed acceptance. Every merchant must publicize their acceptance of cards to all patrons. There are also strict requirements around surcharging and discounts, depending on the networks you accept: VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express.
If you’re a cash-only business, you should take into account the cost and time required for tax tracking, potential security measures while holding and transporting cash for deposits, as well as the impact of waiting to deposit your funds. Card transactions are stored and reconciled securely online and, most merchant services programs have methods of keeping your sales organized.
Not accepting cards or limiting how they are used may seem like a good way to avoid the expense. But the loss in sales, legal and security risks, and the cost of your time could account for an even greater financial impact to your business. Furthermore, there is also the potential reputational risk in the event that a customer chooses not to return to your store (because of your requirements) and then spreads the word to their referral base.
Chesapeake Payment Systems Solutions
If you have questions or would like to take your payments to the next level, contact our Business Development Team.