Merchant accounts offered today bear only a slight resemblance to those of a few years ago. While older accounts were mired in confusing fees and a protracted application process, today’s accounts are simple to open, easy to maintain, and offer affordable, easy to understand fees that even small businesses can afford. With just a few hours of time and effort on your part to compare providers and find the account that best for you, your business can be accepting credit cards in a matter of days. And your customers will be enjoying a new level of convenience and flexibility that will keep them coming back to your business again and again.
Especially in recent years, as downturns in the economy have caused even the most established companies to suffer, businesses have been hard pressed to find new ways to keep their businesses operating in the black. Opening a merchant account and accepting credit cards can actually help you grow your business, even during a recession. On the other hand, delay accepting credit cards and you could be ignoring thousands of dollars in profits and more.
Credit card use has been on the increase over the past decade, meaning the time is right for businesses of any size to begin accepting them for the goods and services they offer. Especially in today’s marketplace, as more and more consumers are turning to the Internet to make purchases or research buying decisions, having a few extra “tricks”: to increase sales and boost your bottom line is critical. Opening a merchant account means your business can immediately take advantage of all of the benefits the account provides, including attracting more customers, as well as more affluent customers, and increasing repeat sales and customer loyalty.
Why have credit cards increased in popularity among consumers? There are a variety of reasons.
* Consumers find carrying credit cards to be much more convenient than carrying cash, especially large sums of cash. Using credit cards, consumers now their cash is safe and sound in their bank account, and cannot be stolen or lost. If the credit card is lost or stolen, a simple call to the card issuer can cancel the card and initiate issuance of a new card. What’s more, card holders won’t be charged for purchases made on the card once it’s reported. This added level of security makes cards popular among all types of shoppers, especially those who shop regularly and those who travel.
* Speaking of security, credit cards offer additional protection for many products, including today’s popular electronics products, by offering extended warranties and guarantees on many of the products purchased using their card. With manufacturer warranties shrinking each year, this additional protection is especially popular among today’s consumers.
* Credit cards also offer protection against fraud, allowing a process of dispute that is unheard of in the world of cash-only transactions. As a result, many consumers feel more confident using them, and will make purchases more freely, knowing their interests are protected. Similarly, studies show consumers tend to trust companies that accept credit cards more than businesses that do a cash-only business, and to feel that these companies are more established and more financially sound.
* Consumers also appreciate credit cards for their flexible payment plans, and as a result are more likely to make more expensive purchases and to shop more frequently, knowing they can choose to pay off the balance at one time or take their time paying it off bit by bit as their monthly budget allows.
* Importantly, credit card users are loyal, and tend to be repeat shoppers more so than cash buyers, who are much more likely to “shop around” for a better deal. This may have to do with the fact that consumers who use credit cards have been shown to be more affluent and to have more disposable cash than those who pay with cash.
In the “old” days, the golden rule of commerce was, the customer is always right. Today, the marketplace has become global, and not all merchants adhere to that rule. Businesses that show they care about their customers by offering additional methods pf payment take a big leap in appearing more attentive to their customers needs, a major plus for many consumers. For these reasons, and more, look into opening a merchant account today.
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Article Added on Wednesday, May 19, 2010
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