Nov 26 2014
One of the most difficult aspects of owning a small business is finding the best ways to take payments from customers. Here are a few small business financial success tips to help smooth the operation of your business by making your site more payment friendly.
Maximize Payment Options
The truth is that it’s nearly impossible to perfectly predict what payment options your clients are going to feel the most comfortable with using. As a result, the best approach is to add as many ways of receiving payment as you can.
Some customers will feel more comfortable with anonymous methods that make it impossible to trace the buyer. Others would rather pay with credit cards, or with standard electronic payment methods. If you can, you should also make payment processing possible over the phone as well as online.
Some may only feel comfortable giving you cash in person, so that would be a good thing to take into account if it’s an option for you. There’s also always the possibility of using mobile card readers for taking payments from people in person as well.
Integrate Payment and Tracking
You’re going to waste a lot of time if you try to track all of your payments by hand. That’s why it’s a good idea to look for an accounting system that can automatically add in all of the purchases customers make into a record that you can easily search through.
This is important not just because it keeps the finances of your business in order, but also because you can use this information to figure out what’s working for sales and what’s not.
Don’t Forget Mobile
Due to the rising number of people making purchases with their mobile phones, it’s important to make sure that you have at least one or two options that customers can use to easily make purchases through their phones and tablets.
For more information on payment processing for your business, please contact us.
Nov 25 2014
Posted by Sara Davis
As our society’s digital dependence increases, so does the average person’s credit card usage. More businesses are going paperless – leading to an increase in online payments. Also, in general, online purchases are more popular than in-store purchases. In fact, a 2013 survey by Ebates.com, involving 1,000 U.S. consumers, revealed that 84% preferred shopping online than in-store. In light of these trends, it’s even more necessary to be well-versed in safe credit card usage practices.
One easy preventive measure against fraudulent usage of your credit card, should it be physically stolen, is to opt for including a photo of yourself printed on your card. Many banks already offer this option, which makes it practically impossible for a thief to use your stolen card in physical stores. Keep in mind that this provides little protection against fraudulent online purchases.
When using your card online, check your computer for malware before inputting your card number. Often, malware, acquired via unsafe web surfing, install keyloggers which can record and transmit your credit card information as you type it.
Another method used to steal your credit card information is via phishing sites. Make sure to check the URL or address bar in your browser to make sure you aren’t on a phishing site. Phishing sites perfectly mimic the appearance and functionality of a legitimate site, like Amazon, to trick you into submitting your sensitive information.
The key to minimizing the risk of unauthorized use of your credit card is vigilance. If you approach each use of your card with caution, you’ll avoid most credit card stealing traps.Contact us to learn more about fraud prevention tips.
Nov 24 2014
Starting a business can be a stressful and often overwhelming endeavor. Fortunately, choosing a payment processing service doesn’t have to be either of those things. While price is certainly a prime consideration, there are other important factors to consider when finding the right payment processor for your small business.
Type of Business: The Right Fit
Selecting the right payment processor has a lot to do with your business type. Many processors specialize in certain business sectors or on certain transaction types. Are you a retailer selling items in person or do you conduct business online? Are you selling a product or a service? Selecting a processor that has an understanding of your industry and experience with your type of business is key to a successful partnership.
Working with a payment processor should be easy, beginning with initial discussions concerning the terms of your merchant agreement. All reports and accounting of your transactions should be presented in a clear, logical manner. Ask for an online reporting demonstration or examples of common paper reports. Can you perform complex searches? Are you able to easily find the information you are looking for? The information provided by your payment processor should support your business operation and serve your particular needs.
Problems with payment processing can wreak havoc on your business so make sure the processor’s customer service support meets the demands of your business. Their customer service function acts as an important buffer between your business and the credit card associations. Do they provide phone or email support 24/7? Are reports and transaction details available online? Ask if there are additional fees for any of these services; the answers to these questions may prevent unforeseen costs.
Any breach of data can have serious implications on your company’s credibility as well as your bottom line. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of requirements designed to ensure that all companies that process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. Be sure to select a processor that has been certified as PCI DSS compliant.
Do Your Homework
Research your perspective payment processors. Ask for customer references. If it is a company you are unfamiliar with, check with the Better Business Bureau or conduct online research. To learn more about how to find the right processor for your business, please contact us.
Nov 22 2014
Posted by Sara Davis
Fraud can have disastrous consequences on a small business. Knowing how to identify your risk factors is a key element when it comes to preventing fraud within your enterprise. Because small businesses are more prone to spending less time and money on fraud prevention due to limited assets, the risk is vastly higher than those of huge corporations.
Due to technologies such as mobile devices that can span numerous operating systems, criminals now have even more ways to infiltrate in-house networks to steal your information.
Even though it may sound daunting, small businesses can administer safeguards and procedures that can maximize fraud detection. Consider the following low-cost strategies that can lessen the possibility of fraud for your small business.
-When hiring new employees, be thorough. Call all former employers and always conduct a background check. This can help you to single out potential candidates that may have a criminal background.
-Make sure to implement a standard code of conduct and share it with all of your employees. Make sure that they are aware of any repercussions for not following appropriate protocols.
-Keep close track of all of your bank statements. Be aware of how much is coming in and going out at all times. Being detail-oriented and watching out for inconsistencies is crucial when it comes to taking control of your finances.
-Use firewalls and anti-malware software. Protect your network by using unique passwords that have random upper and lower case letters and numbers.
Sadly, no business is free of the threat of fraudulent behavior. Being diligent when it comes to identifying your risk factors can greatly diminish the chance of being a victim. If you would like more information on fraud prevention, please contact us.
Nov 21 2014
Posted by Sara Davis
We want to thank everyone who participated in our webinar. Here is the video in case you missed it or would like to view it again.