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Merchant Services And What They Can Do For Your Small Business

By Alberto Moran on March 22, 2011

These days, it's hard to keep your small business at the top of its game. Look left and look right - and there's a new big box store sprouting up. From Target to Walmart, Petco and Costco, mom and pop stores all over the country are losing out to stores with lower than low prices and super fast financial processing.

Big box stores have something mom and pop stores don't have - they have the manpower to make things move smoothly at all times. They have the ability to keep things under control. You'd never hear a Target employee say, "Sorry, Miss, but we don't take credit cards." However, you hear small businesses say this line all the time. What small business owners don't realize is that it's time to either step it up and get in the game, or to get out all together.

Cash only just doesn't cut it these days. Hardly anyone carries cash on their person anymore - it's all about plastic. With smart phone technology evolving by the second, it seems that soon we won't even be carrying credit cards; we'll be carrying our phones and our phones only. As things move forward and cash becomes a thing of the past, small businesses have to pull out the big guns when it comes to payment processing if they want to stay in business. Mom and pop stores have the heart and the history that the big box stores don't, but if they want to get in the game, they've got to get with the program.

So, what can you do? For starters, you've got to get your payment processing systems up to date, and this means hiring a responsible and respectable merchant service provider. Your merchant service provider will help you with everything from credit card processing to debit card processing; from getting you the top of the line equipment you need to be compliant with payment card industry systems to great customer service. In short, they'll do it all. You've simply got to let them work their magic.

Regardless of what business you're in - whether you own a small bakery or a boutique, a bodega or a laundromat, a merchant service provider has the right payment processing services for you. With around the clock technical and customer support and free equipment, you really can't go wrong!

Credit Card Processing

As mentioned above, plastic is in. Paper is out. As the spending habits of today's consumers change, accepting credit and debit cards and other forms of non-cash payments are essential for your business. If you want to thrive, you've got to get with the future. It makes sense, of course, to keep your payment processing costs as low as possible, so that you keep as much of your hard-earned dollar as possible. These are tough times for all of us, and small businesses are feeling it especially hard.

Stay a step ahead of the competition with a variety of advanced payment solutions, from debit card and credit card processing to check processing, pre-paid card processing, electronic balance transfers and even revenue-generating gift and loyalty cards. Whether you're a business that's accepting credit cards for the first time (welcome to the future!) or a business that's looking for a better credit card processing system, your merchant service provider will be committed to helping you find a safe and secure solution that's customized for your industry. They'll also give you everything you need to get the job done, from wireless terminals to PIN pads and check readers.

Check Acceptance

While many customers are shunning cash, there are still some old-fashioned folks who like to pay with checks. Even in a wireless and digital age, some feel that a paper check is safer. Don't stress, however - even if you've gone digital, you can still accept checks! Your merchant service provider can set you up to accept checks electronically - just like you do with credit cards. There's a system that converts checks into electronic documents, making for easy record keeping and guaranteed payment. No more bad checks! Imagine that.

If you can accept checks, there's no need to turn down a paying customer. No more saying, "sorry, no personal checks allowed." Their money is good here. Add checks to your payment acceptance options and you'll get ahead of the game. Put your check acceptance alongside your debit and credit card acceptance, continue to accept cash and you'll be good to go!

Remember - you can also up the ante by accepting electronic balance transfers and making use of revenue-generating gift and loyalty cards. Gift cards are often like free money in your pocket - many people never spend their gift cards. Loyalty cards, meanwhile, might give your customers a slight discount, but it will also keep them coming back!

As you can see, merchant service providers can really help your small business prosper. Find the right plan for your business now.

Alberto Moran is a freelance writer who writes about a range of topics including merchant services.

Original article published on SooperArticles.com

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