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4 Businesses That Require Flexible Payment Processing

Sep 17, 2008
When you're starting a business, you'll be forced to make dozens of decisions that can impact your company's long-term success. One of your primary concerns should be how you'll process payments. After all, many people don't use cash for their purchases. That means you'll need to be able to accept credit cards from your customers.

In the past, credit cards were used mostly for large ticket items (i.e. computers, beds, sofas, etc.). Today, they're commonly used for groceries, stamps and other small household goods. If your company can't process these transactions, your success will be limited. In this article, we'll describe 4 types of businesses that need to be able to process credit cards both online and offline.

Online And Retail Businesses

Some companies exist exclusively in a retail setting. That is, they don't have a presence online (and many aren't interested in developing one). If you're accepting credit cards for the purchase of retail goods (or services), you'll need to invest in a card terminal and software. On the other hand, if all of your business is conducted online, you won't need to buy a card terminal. These days, many companies have a retail and an online presence. Here are 4 businesses that should have the ability to process credit card payments in both settings (you may be surprised by a few).

#1 - Restaurants

Believe it or not, many restaurants accept credit card payments online. They often sell memorabilia and gift cards to customers. While they must be able to accept credit cards for food items in the restaurant, other transactions can be processed on their website.

#2 - Mail Order Firms

Decades ago, mail order companies conducted nearly all of their business by accepting checks. Over the years, they began taking credit card orders over the telephone. Today, most of these companies process transactions that are made through their website, on the phone, through the mail and even from a storefront.

#3 - Gyms

People can use their credit cards to join health clubs in a variety of ways (in person, on the phone, or online). And most larger gyms now sell shirts, towels and other items to their customers. Many gyms have even built cafes within their facilities to provide their customers with smoothies and snacks. In order to offer these products and services to their clientele, they must have the flexibility to accept credit card transactions in any setting.

#4 - Grocery Stores

There was a time when using cash was the only way to purchase groceries. Of course, times have changed and many (if not most) consumers use their credit or debit cards at the grocery store. In addition, many large grocery chains now allow customers to purchase goods online (either for delivery or pickup). This requires having the ability to process credit card payments in the store and on their website.

Watching Your Business Grow

No matter what type of business you operate, your customers will expect you to take their credit cards. Whether your business is a dating website, a car repair shop, or a beauty salon, your success is directly tied to being able to process payments. And you should be able to do so online and offline.

Over time, your business will grow. If you operate exclusively as a retail store, you may eventually find the need to process transactions online. Conversely, if you conduct all of your business through your website, you may one day decide to open a retail store. Having the versatility to accept your customers' credit cards in both settings can be invaluable. Plan ahead and invest in a payment processing solution that provides you with the flexibility your business needs.
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This article is brought to you by PaySimple, a leading provider of merchant account services.
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