We may be nearing that time when all transactions are processed through the use of that ever useful material called plastic. Name it, your automated teller machine uses plastic in the form of ATM cards; drivers' licenses are made of plastic; most hotels have plastic keys and the most important example without which most Americans would not survive-credit cards made of plastic. The modern way of doing business has made credit cards a must-have for every person.
More and more establishments are going for credit cards and are no longer accepting cash payments. Using credit cards both to accept payments and to pay purchases is the common and practical choice for most people because of the safety and convenience offered by credit cards. Unlike cash payments, credit card payments could not be the subject of holdups or robbery, except perhaps if the robbers are plastic collectors. Aside from being used as a substitute for money in actual shops, credit card is widely used in internet or web-based shops to hasten online transactions.
So why should an ordinary citizen opt for credit cards in paying for his ordinary purchases? And why should establishments accept credit cards from their customers? Ordinary citizens can benefit from using credit cards provided they know how to use their credit cards wisely. As cash substitutes, credit cards can be used by people to purchase goods on credit. These plastics are a valuable tool for people who may not have enough cash to purchase necessary items or highly-priced items. By using credit cards, they can buy highly-priced items on installment basis. It is also one of the most efficient ways of making sure that they can exchange their purchases for the same or other items subject to certain rules. On the other hand, even small businesses can benefit from accepting credit cards as payments.
By allowing clients to purchase items through credit cards, the shops are encouraging customers to make outright purchases. Most people do not carry cash so it is more convenient for them if the shops they go to accept credit card payments. Imagine the amount of sales that could be lost just because you do not accept credit card payments when it is the only way the client is able to pay for his purchases. The use of credit cards makes it easy for shops to cash in on impulse buyers who can easily swipe their cards without thinking of the costs involved.
It also serves as a guarantee for shop owners that the purchases will be paid, as compared to accepting personal checks from buyers. However, shops must first have a merchant status or accredited by the credit card companies before thy can accept credit card payments. This can be easily done by calling up companies like American Express and filling out some forms. For more common cards like Visa, shop owners have to set up a merchant account with a Visa affiliate bank.
While banks do not really have a capital or earnings limit before approving a merchant store, they do however look into the length of time that the business has been operational. New businesses can still apply and be approved but they have to look for banks that are less strict on this requirement. The process of getting merchant accreditation may be a little complicated but establishments that really want to get that credit card market should give it a try.
Michael Contaro has built a web site about Accepting Credit Cards will help increase your sales. To read more click on Merchant Accounts