Accepting credit cards in your business is one of the ways to increase your sales volume because about 70% of U.S. consumers have at least one credit card. However, many small businesses tend to avoid accepting credit card payments because processing for credit card payments is sometimes too stressful. In addition, it is somewhat hard to sift through hundreds of payment processing companies to select a service that is convenient, not pricey, and easy to integrate with your existing accounting system.
However, the fact that it is somewhat stressful to navigate the world of credit card processing doesn’t necessarily mean that you should shut the door of opportunity that credit cards provide in helping you increase your sales volumes. Here are three tips that small business owners can leverage for credit card payments.
1. Ensure valid authorization before closing transaction
Small business owners tend to avoid credit card transactions because of the hassles of chargeback and fraud. Interestingly, it is somewhat easier to take proactive steps to prevent chargeback and fraud. However, most small business owners don’t how to handle transactions with invalid or incomplete authorization.
Your cashiers need to exercise patience to see that payments are approved when someone is using a card in-store with the POS or in a remote transaction over the phone or online. If there’s an error with the payment, you can retry the card or ask the customer to use another card or payment method. If you allow the customer to rush you into marking the transaction as complete before the payment was approved; it might be somewhat hard to recover the money from the sale in the event of a dispute.
2. Make payment descriptions clear and free of ambiguity
Consumers make hundreds of credit card transactions every month and it is not easy keep track of all the things you bought with a credit card unless you keep a shopping journal. Hence, when consumers receive their credit card bills at the end of the months, they may dispute some unrecognizable items and report them as fraud. Such honest mistakes could in turn trigger a chargeback, which could in turn cause you to lose money.
To avoid unintentional disputes and chargebacks, you should ensure that the payment descriptors for your goods/services are clear enough. You can access the dashboard of your POS software to create custom descriptions that are fee of ambiguity. When the payment descriptor is clear and not ambiguous, consumers will find it easier to remember that they authorized the transactions and they won’t have valid reasons to dispute the charge.
3. Don’t assume that customers know your refund policy
Businesses occasionally have reasons to refund customers after a transaction has been completed. However, you can’t go ahead to issue a refund to every customer that asks – you’ll find yourself out of business twice as fast – that’s why businesses have refund policies to serve as a guide for when refunds will be honored.
However, you need to be sure that your customers know your refund policy – you can display the return policy around your store and near your POS machines so that customers can know how you handle refunds before they make their purchase. When customers know and understand your refund policy; their sense of fairness will stop them from going into needless disputes with you for refunds, and you won’t have to worry about them initiating a chargeback.