As a small business owner, it can be overwhelming to understand all of the things that you need to know about financial transactions. It is important to have a merchant account and a company who can make sure that you are receiving the electronic payments when your customers make a purchase. But, how do you know which company you should trust with this sensitive information?
A thoughtful analysis on Pymnts. com talks about some of the unexpected “fallout” from the recent high-profile credit card breaches. One might expect that such an event would accelerate the calls for adapting more secure “EMV” card standards here, or even spark discussions on whether customers should have ever-shifting “account numbers,” etc., as a way of minimizing security risks. And those discussions have happened.
A merchant account will enable you to accept checks and credit cards, ensuring you have a safe, effective way to process payments. Most businesses know they need to accept credit cards these days but many customers still use checks so it’s still important to be able to accept checks online (as well as offline). Not offering your customer’s preferred payment method could mean a lost sale.
In the spirit of the holidays, we’ve stayed away from some of our “hard news” offerings in this space, to report on more thematically consistent topics, like the history of Christmas gift-giving, or this week — a history of New Year’s itself.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that checks are completely outdated and you don’t need to worry about providing that as a payment options these days. Not having the ability to accept checks could cost you money and the goal of any business is to make money, not lose it.
ACH, or “Automated Clearing House,” has been in the financial news of late, particularly in a couple of MarketWatch articles about ongoing changes to the system of payments, particularly in this era of instantaneous digits.
What is ACH? ACH payments are electronic check payments that many businesses can use to expand their customer base. The Automated Clearing House, which is what ACH stands for, works similarly to a wire transfer but without actually being a wired payment. If you are looking for a secure way to process check payments from your customers, ACH is the way to go. These payments are resolved in just a couple of business days, which means that you will get your money faster than you might with traditional check payments. There are many benefits for business who accept ACH payments.
If you are looking to start a new business or to move an existing business online, there are many steps that you will need to take. One thing you will definitely need to do before taking many other steps is to create a business plan. You need to have a fact and research driven estimate of what you plan to make, but you also need to have an idea of the market for your products or services, as well as an idea of what level of competition you can expect in your demographic. All of this will be required to get funding for your business, as well as to keep you on the right track.