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Should I Accept Credit Cards?

Published 27/08/2020

In a world where more and more businesses are going cashless, it seems now more than ever the right time to consider accepting credit card payment and giving your customers an efficient payment alternative. Although there are costs involved in accepting credit card transactions, in terms of service fees, it will help to keep your customers coming back. However, there are risks involved too, such as fraud and data breaches which are definitely worth knowing in order to protect yourself against them. So if you’re wondering if you should accept credits cards read on…  

What Are The Benefits Of Accepting Credit Cards?

Accepting credit cards can benefit your business enormously. The benefits range from boosting your sales, lightening your workload, and adding legitimacy to your business.  Listed below are just a  few of the reasons why a accepting credit cards is vital for any business.

  • Enable shoppers to make purchases instantly 

In this fast-moving world, consumers like to be able to make payments instantly and without fuss, like having to go to a cash machine to take out cash. If you accept credit card payments you’re more likely to see your customers return and spend more with you therefore increase sales! 

  • Allows you to examine customer spending

The information provided by a credit card processor can help you to look at your customers spending habits and traits. Which can not only help you identify what products are most popular and when, but also help with your marketing.
  

  • Automatically does the bookkeeping for you 

Once you start accepting credit cards the most of your admin work is essentially done automatically for you instead of having to count and keep checking your cash flow throughout the day. The reduction in cash handling also reduces the risk of in-business theft.  

  • Legitimize Your Business

When customers see you accept credit card payments, the credibility of those banking organisations makes you look good! Displaying logos of the credit cards you accept where your customers can see them: on your website or your shop window will instil rapport and trust with your customers.

What Are The Risks To Accepting Credit Cards?

Overlooking simple security risks involved in accepting credit cards could affect your business massively and lead to lost revenue, fines and a damaged reputation. Below are the risks and disadvantages involved in accepting credit cards:

  1. Risk of fraud 

Unfortunately, credit card fraud happens daily. In 2018, £1.2 billion was stolen through fraud and scams in the UK whilst in the United States, the losses in 2018 were $6.4 billion.

It’s important to note there is always the potential for fraud, especially if you sell online. Fraud can be extremely costly to your business, from fines and fees due to chargebacks and also lost products.

Thankfully there are many tools and services to help protect against it.  Online businesses should look for assistance from their card processor / PSP provider who can advise on how best to protect your company and your customer.

  1. Risk of data breaches

In 2019, the average cost of a data breach was USD 3.92 million worldwide according to a report, conducted by the Ponemon Institute. In light of that businesses must adhere to the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards when it comes to processing credit card transactions. These guidelines are in place to make sure all companies protect their customer’s credit data. 

There are various other methods such as Tokenization and Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) to help avoid a data breach and reduce the risk of accepting credit cards. Tokenization is a security measure that adds an extra level of safety to sensitive credit card data by replacing it with randomly generated numbers and symbols. 

SCA is part of the European Union’s (EU) revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which was created to improve the security of payments and prevent fraud. All payment service providers within the EU will have to implement the changes by September 2021, which centre around multi-factor authentication to increase the security of payments. Essentially, it means customers will need to provide an additional form of identification, as well as their credit card details. This is something you should discuss with your PSP when thinking about introducing credit card transactions. 

  1. Processing fees

There are fees involved when accepting credit cards, and so you need to consider this in your calculations. Most card companies charge a percentage of every transaction, which do inevitably add up. 

  1. Chargebacks

Essentially chargebacks are disputes by a customer over transactions when they aren’t satisfied with a product or service. It can be difficult and costly to override chargebacks, even when the customer isn’t right. 

Conclusion

There are always risks involved with accepting credit card payments, however the benefits surely outweigh them altogether, such as increased customer loyalty and even greater sales. Customer demands are constantly evolving, which means the way payments are made are shifting as well. Credit cards are an ideal way for consumers to pay for goods. You should ensure you stay relevant and competitive whilst being aware of the risks of accepting cards before jeopardizing your online business.