Everything You Need to Know About Merchant Services for Your Small Business

September 13, 2021

In today’s increasingly digital society, cash is no longer king. We have gotten used to the wonderful convenience of paying by card nearly everywhere where we go- whether it’s farmers and craft markets, food truck events, your local corner store, you name it! But for a small business owner trying to navigate the many electronic payment options available, there is a lot of information to take in. 

Considering that most merchant services either charge a monthly fee, and often a small percentage or fee of the transaction, choosing the right payment processor is an incredibly important choice, especially for small business owners that might already be operating on tight margins. If this topic has you stumped, read on for the low-down on Merchant Services for small businesses.

a woman using her macbook while holds her card

Who Needs Merchant Services, Anyways?

Considering that over 53% of consumers in the US prefer to pay with debit and credit cards instead of cash, the answer is, if you’re a small business owner, you do! If you’re running a business that is selling something- be it goods or services- whether it’s online or in person- you will most likely need a way of taking electronic payments at some point or another. 

That’s where merchant service companies like Square, Paypal, or Stripe come into play.  Some banks also offer merchant accounts which differ from traditional accounts in being exclusively set up for accepting card and electronic payments. Merchant services aren’t just limited to card payments- they can also offer invoicing and invoice payment services directly online.

Why get a Merchant Services Account? 

Merchant service companies work by either charging business owners a monthly fee, or by taking a small fee with every transaction, in exchange for providing a secure way of processing electronic payments. For this reason it’s important to do your research to establish which merchant service provider will provide you with the most competitive rates for the types and numbers of transactions you are processing every month. 

Never Underestimate the Value of Good Sales Data

a man using his macbook

Another huge benefit to using a merchant services provider is the automatic data logging that happens during your transactions. Most Point-of-sale systems act as a huge data bank for sales data. You can use merchant service systems to run reports on your transactions and find out which goods are best sellers, which are the worst, which times and days experience the most traffic, and find out who the most high value customers are. This valuable information will help you become aware of more opportunities to optimize and grow your business.  

Sync Your Books Automatically

The days of writing sales transactions in a paper ledger are long gone. It’s all about technology, baby! One amazing benefit of a good merchant services provider is the ability to sync and/or import the data into your favorite bookkeeping program, like Quickbooks, to get an easy and effortless overview of your small business’s finances. 

These flawlessly integrated systems make it very easy for you or your small business bookkeeper to keep your books balanced. 

If you need more convincing, check out our article on the importance of keeping your small business compliant by keeping your financials in tip top shape. 

Last but not least, the single most important reason to make sure to partner with a merchant services provider is to avoid losing a customer or potential sale because you don’t accept card payments. We may not have flying cars in 2021, but at minimum, we can have the ability to accept modern forms of payment, be it debit or credit card, apple or google pay, or maybe in the near future- crypto currency.

someone holding their credit/debit card

If this has been enough to convince you to jump on the merchant services train, we can help at KGC Consulting. Our merchant services consultant, Karla, will be able to advise you about the best merchant service options available for your unique business and will connect you with one of our amazing partner banks. 

If you’d like to get set up with a merchant services account that works for you, schedule a call with KGC Consulting today!

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