Accepting credit card payments is a non-negotiable necessity in this day and age. If your business lacks the capability to make such transactions, you risk losing quite a bit of business: not only will a certain percentage of customers who were planning on using their cards walk out, but these former customers may also spread a bad word about the flexibility and customer service offered by your business. Conversely, by accepting credit card payments, you stand to boost both sales and customer perception of your company.

Because accepting credit cards is such an important investment for companies to make, most business owners struggle not with the question of whether to implement a system for accepting credit cards, but with how they will accomplish this in practical terms.

Broadly speaking, there are three main approaches to this issue. Depending on budget, logistics, and company objectives, some businesses implement more than one of these solutions:

1. The Traditional Route: Countertop terminals, pin pads, mobile readers and POS systems.

This is the popular pick for most in-store & restaurant establishments. Traditional payment solutions are found in Brick & Mortar businesses and are, for the most part, permanent payment solutions. Customers will be able to swipe or dip their card at the counter–or right from their table, should you opt for a mobile hardware solution. Most of these payment solutions have been around for over a decade, and most consumers are familiar with them.

The newest addition to the traditional route is the smart terminal Poynt, which is a game changer in our industry. Poynt combines the best features of a countertop terminal, a mobile device, and a POS system. Poynt is a triple threat and a beautiful addition to most retail or restaurant establishments.

2.  Mobile Solutions: For Businesses on the Go. Mobile solutions have quickly become a necessity for many businesses.

With the ability to accept payments from anywhere; food trucks, repair/service technicians, merchants who sell their goods at Farms Markets, and anyone else with a mobile office can’t get enough of these solutions. Mobile solutions can eliminate the need for invoicing, waiting for payments to be received and then entering the transactions, which can be a time-consuming process. Mobile solutions also boost the perception that you are not only current with technology but also that your business enables consumers to pay for their items with cash, check or charge, which makes for happy customers.

3.  Online Solutions: the Converge™ system. For business who wants to sell items online, an e-commerce account with a payment gateway is a must.

Here at NXGEN, we offer Elavon’s patented Converge™ payment solution which is a flexible and fully integrated solution. Converge was designed so that it can be used in any payment environment but for this article, we are going to focus on e-commerce. An e-commerce solution is the best way to expand your business with the least amount of upfront costs while reaching the broadest consumer base. Think of it this way; you may be a one location retail store now, but once you have an e-commerce site, you have just become a global company.

“Nearly a quarter of a million U.S. small businesses are exporting goods, according to research. What’s more, small businesses with fewer than 500 employees export roughly US$182 billion a year, or 29 percent of all exports. Exports mean new customers, since more than 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the U.S.”   If 95% of the world’s consumers are outside of the U.S., that means your business is missing out on a huge opportunity if you do not offer your products online.

The point is, today’s merchants no longer have just one option for accepting payments; the payment solutions have become as diverse as the businesses using them. With multiple options of taking payments and broadening your customer base, are you limiting yourself by only accepting payments in one payment environment versus multiple settings?

To learn more about how your company can accept credit card payments in an easy, affordable, and business-friendly way, visit NXGEN online today. We look forward to working with you!