Accepted Payment Options

Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 2:30:20 PM EST by Richard Norris

paymentoptions

“Cash Is King” is the undeniable truth of business. Without it, you’re business won’t function.

With that in mind, let’s have a look at some of the most accepted payment options available to you as a business owner.

Credit Card

The fantastic plastic ….this form of payment has become prolific in the last 25 years.

Easy credit made available by banks has made the humble “bankcard” a must have in today’s consumer society. So as a business, if you don’t accept credit cards you are immediately behind the eight ball.  The thing to watch out for, as a merchant, is those pesky merchant fees that you pay to the bank on every transaction. I know from personal experience that the banks are very eager to negotiate this rate, so instead of just saying “oh well its only 2.75% “shop around, see what other banks will offer, then go back to your bank and put the hard word on them. If they value your business, they will come to the party depending on how much volume you put through (1.2% to 1.8% should be very achievable for Visa and MasterCard, Amex and Diners will be higher).

7, 14, 30 Day Accounts

Ok, so now you’re the bank. This form of payment option should only be used in Business to Business (B2B) situations; even then you need to use caution. If you are going to offer “terms” to some of your business clients, check them out thoroughly. Ask them to fill in a credit application form which would include trade references from other people that give them credit. Then, actually ring those people yourself and ask the question, do they pay on time.

Most important of all, stick to your  terms , if it’s 30 days and they have not paid , call them and politely ask them when you can expect payment. The rule here that I have learned over 25 years of being in business is simple, “the squeaky wheel gets the oil”.  You provided the goods or services and have given them 30 days to pay; it’s only fair that they pay up.

Tip.  If you ring on day 31 or 32 for a few months, they will very quickly understand that you mean what you say and very soon you will find that your payment arrives at 30 days without you having to ring.

Online payment gateways 

“Oh how the world has changed”, as I write these words I sound. The world is changing, fast, and yes I do sound like my Father.

A few short years ago hardly anyone was actually transacting business online.  So what is an online payment gateway?

Well, essentially it’s someone who wants to buy something from your website with their credit card and they plonk in their credit card details and the gateway (usually a bank or something like PayPal) goes off and processes the transaction. That gateway then puts the money into your nominated bank account at the end of that working day (usually).

So essentially it’s a credit card transaction that is processed before the purchaser can buy from your website.

Tip. Look closely at the fees that the financial institution wants to charge you both in terms of the actual % they take and any additional fee they may try to charge.

And lastly and by no means least there is cash.

And as I said at the start, it’s King.

Actual bank notes and coins can be a bit inconvenient at times. But depending on the type of business that you in, it may be absolutely necessary to accept cash. If so, look closely at your security measures when handling cash, especially large amounts.

Remember the old adage “a sale is not a sale till the money’s in the bank”

These steps are what I have learnt over my 25 years in business. If you have any further suggestions or methods please leave a comment below or contact me, I would love to hear from you.

Richard NorrisAbout the Author : Richard Norris.

Richard  is the CEO of SiteZero , an Australian based Digital Marketing Services organization.
Richard loves technology and is the Ecommerce evangelist at SiteZero.
You can connect with Richard on Google + , Linkedin  or at the SiteZero Facebook Page

Richard Started his first Business in 1985 and entered the online world in 1998.
He’s a bit like “The old man and the sea” of digital Marketing
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