ss_blog_claim=bd50edc517cf0b7549fe6b5f63b6b5f8 The SLS Business Finance Blog: Credit Card Acceptance For The Business Professional-Virtual Processing

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Credit Card Acceptance For The Business Professional-Virtual Processing

Credit card acceptance for the small business practice and non-retail industries is more important these days than ever. It has become apparent that the small business professional, like any other, struggles to keep up with the latest technology including upgrades to operating systems and new versions of accounting software. The process of payment acceptance from the client is no different. A standard credit card terminal may be a fit for the dry cleaner down the street or the local coffee shop, but not so much where a business provides consultative services or products that are delivered at a future date. These transactions often take place over long distances or online where the business may not be able to see their customer. Thus, virtual processing comes into play.

Virtual Payment Processing utilizes the Payment Gateway. The easiest explanation for this system is to imagine a credit card terminal that exists for your business in theory only. Meaning there is no hardware that sits on a countertop in the office, rather it is a secure website one logs into to complete the credit card transaction. This system provides all sorts of advantages that the typical terminal cannot provide. The most powerful one is the ability to set up a client on an automatic recurring billing cycle. An attorney (as an example) that works on a retainer can simply instruct the system to charge the client’s credit card at a future date in time determined by both parties. This can be set up for 1-2 future transactions or it can be set up to charge the credit card on regularly scheduled intervals. This alleviates the need for several administrative expenses such as man hours spent on collections, postage, and time not spent focusing on the business at hand just to name a few.

The scenario above is invaluable for most professional/non-retail businesses, but the most apparent advantage in the short term is the cost of doing business this way. There is minimal cost to set up credit card acceptance through a payment gateway because there is no equipment. There is no cost for re-supply of terminal paper, no hardware or software to buy, or need of worry for obsolescence of technology. The entire system is handled through the Payment Gateway provider and the business never absorbs any of the cost involved with upgrades or maintenance.

Todd Rome

Director, Bankcard Services

Southern Lending Solutions, LLC

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