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The pros and cons of allowing people to pay with credit cards when you have a small business

One of the decisions that a small business owner has to make is whether or not to accept credit cards.Just like any business decision, you have to weigh the pros and cons.Sometimes the decision is an easy one and other times it is more stressful.

Here are some of the pros and cons for accepting credit cards.This will help you to weight your options.


- When a credit card is swiped, it is immediately accepted or denied.This means that you are guaranteed to get your money upon acceptance.There is no room for counterfeit money or bounced checks.
- With there being no cash involved, the theft is reduced.No one can come in at gun point and take your credit card transactions.It also lowers the chances of employees stealing money.
- Credit cards are the most common form of payment, so you will be open to more customers.Accepting credit cards attracts customers because many people these days don't carry cash on a regular basis, and checks are almost becoming a thing of the past.
- Transactions go a lot quicker.This helps you to get customers in and out, which is great because customers hate delays.You will also be able to help more people in the day which can boost sales.
- Credit cards have the customer's names on them, this is a great way to personalize service.Calling a customer by name can make them feel good about shopping with you because you care enough to get to know them.
- Most impulse buys are done with a credit card.People will see something that they want and even if they can't afford it, they can charge it to their card.Credit cards will help you to make those sales that otherwise would be saved for a future date and probably forgotten about.


- Returns can sometimes be a problem with credit card transactions.With small businesses, if there are too many returns, they might loose their credit card privileges.
- With cash you have the money immediately, but with a credit card you have to wait for payment from the company.Sometimes that takes long enough to cause problems with your budgets and accounting.
- With almost all of the merchant credit card processors there is a fee for every transaction that is done.It is sometimes a percentage of the purchase and other times it is a flat fee for each.There are also companies that charge both, a flat fee plus a percentage of the transaction.
- There is equipment to purchase.Many companies don't give you the credit card equipment, you either have to buy or rent it.Sometimes this can cost more than you are bringing with cards.
- Checking ID is recommended with credit cards, to make sure that the person is using their card.If you are not doing this then you might be held liable for fraudulent transactions.
- Sometimes the credit card machines can be confusing.This might require extra training for your employees and training can cost you money.Finding a simple machine might mean going with a company that has higher fees.

Once you have decided one way or the other, it is time to move on to another decision, after starting a business is full of them.If you do decide to accept credit cards then the next decision will be what company to go with.Do you homework and shop around.You want to make sure that you are getting the best deal out there.

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