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How Do I Start Accepting Credit Cards?

how to start accepting credit cards

It’s not uncommon for many businesses to begin as cash-only ventures. However, as a small business owner, you may experience many missed opportunities to make a sale without the benefits of accepting credit and debit cards. These days fewer people carry cash and rely on having payment alternatives.

And did you know that customers who pay by credit or debit cards will often spend more per purchase and make more of them? By accepting credit cards you will also capture more impulse purchases made by consumers that prefer to buy now and pay later.

If you just don’t know much about the process or how to get started, read on to learn more!

How to Accept Credit Cards

First, you’re going to need to get a merchant account. This is an account established solely for the purpose of accepting credit and debit card payments, and it is set up entirely separate from your bank account. A merchant account also serves as an arrangement between a retailer, a merchant bank and a payment processor, for the settlement of credit card and/or debit card transactions.

Once your merchant account is established, you need the proper hardware and software to process credit cards. All hardware and software used to accept credit cards must be PCI compliant — meeting all payment card industry security standards. Our partners work with all our merchants to help

ensure that their credit card payment systems are secure and compliant.  Your options depend largely on the type(s) of business you operate.

Point-of-Sale Terminal

This is the most common method for accepting credit cards in a retail, or face-to-face, environment where the credit card is present. There is a wide array of point-of-sale terminals for your needs.


This is the most common method for accepting card-not-present (CNP) transactions, especially for online or “dot com” companies. It empowers you to process transactions right from your desktop by transforming your PC or laptop into a “virtual terminal. ” You can also process swiped retail credit card transactions using your computer’s web browser, an Internet connection and a USB credit card swipe reader to log into a secure website.


Mobile credit card processing harnesses the power of a smartphone or tablet and turns it into a handheld terminal that functions just like the countertop version. Once you have a merchant account for mobile processing, you simply download one of many free apps to your device and you’re ready to start accepting all major credit and signature debit cards.


Credit card processing software makes all types of transactions effortless and easy to track. Whether a face-to-face, web or wireless transaction, processing software makes accepting credit cards simple.

Now that you’re informed, why not start today — risk- free?!

Category: Credit

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