10 Mistakes Businesses Make When Accepting Credit Cards 

Fortunately, it’s very easy to set up a business with a credit card merchant account and start processing credit card transactions. What is often not so easy is to avoid making common mistakes when accepting credit cards, like the 10 described here.

Storing Customer Credit Card Data

If a customer’s personal data or credit card information is misused or stolen, the business storing it may be held accountable. That can result in devastating fines and expensive lawsuits. That’s why no business should store such sensitive information on their own premises and computer servers, but should keep it off-site, secured in the cloud. 

Lack of PCI Compliance

Avoiding the risk of hacking and cyber theft is much easier as long as the business follows best practices. Credit card transaction standards are stipulated in the guidelines for PCI compliance, available for free from the PCI Security Standards Council. Failure to adhere to basic PCI guidelines can increase liability, so these should be taken seriously. 

 Paying Too Much to Process Transactions

Another major mistake is paying too much to process credit card transactions. Many businesses, for example, pay zero credit card fees by using automated credit card surcharging that legally and transparently passes those merchant fees along to the customer. That saves them significant amounts of revenue that would otherwise be lost. 

 Limiting Customer Mobility

When accepting credit cards, provide options for customers to pay from any mobile device. Otherwise in this highly digital age a business may severely limit their market by excluding customers who want to pay while on the go. In the COVID-19 era, paying remotely is increasingly popular, so businesses should adapt by using a credit card processing system that facilitates seamless mobile payments. 

Ignoring COVID-19 Protocols  

As a component of healthy COVID-19 safeguards, regularly clean and sanitize credit card terminals according to CDC guidelines. Otherwise keypads and other parts of the terminals may be  contaminated with the virus, and then transmit to others who touch the equipmen

Paying too Much for Terminals 

Leasing credit card terminals can be a good way to avoid upfront costs. But in the long run it is usually more cost effective for businesses to buy and own their own equipment. Perform a cost/benefit analysis before deciding which route to take.  

Using an Outdated Terminal 

Today’s advanced credit card terminals and processing platforms can do more than just process transactions. The right kind of terminal can not only process credit cards but also track sales metrics, monitor inventory, or even launch a lucrative gift card program.  

 Not Having a Fully Integrated System

Credit card acceptance should include both offline and online options, and fully integrated e-commerce features like a “pay now” button, an integrated shopping cart, and e-invoices and receipts.

Forgetting to Vet Vendors

Before engaging a credit card processing vendor, check their track record, references, and study the fine print and fee structure in the contract. Ensure that they will be a long-term business partner with 24-hour customer service, not just a company that sells a credit card system and then vanishes. 

Trying to Go it Alone 

Avoiding all these mistakes may sound complicated, difficult, or expensive. But businesses don’t have to invest in IT talent or infrastructure to enjoy a sophisticated and scalable credit card payment system. A reliable credit card processing vendor will manage it as part of their standard service at no additional cost.