How do I take card payments?

Published: 24/ 10/ 2019

Customer: Can I pay by card?

Cashier: Sorry, we only accept cash.

Customer: *Walks away*.

It’s every business’ worst nightmare but it happens.

Whatever industry you’re in, products you sell or customers you serve, accepting card payments is part and parcel of running a business nowadays. In fact, a study into payment preferences showed 54% of people pick their debit card, 26% would choose their credit card and just 14% said cash.

So, what does that mean for you? You could be missing out on sales if you’re not moving with the times. Here are just some of the benefits of taking card payments:

  • Never have to turn a customer away
  • Increase your security measures
  • Boost the legitimacy of your business
  • Encourage impulse purchases
  • Streamline your cashflow
  • Open the door to doing business online and over the phone
  • Make your business model more convenient for customers.

Sold? Then here’s how to do it.

A step-by-step guide to taking card payments with takepayments

Step 1: Understand your needs

Card payments are flexible things - you can do them in person, online or over the phone, so make sure you know which you’ll be needing not only right now, but in the future too. 

For example, if you’ve currently got a physical shop but you’ve plans to expand online in the next six months, it’d make sense to take steps to solve both (you’ll only have to go through the process again down the line if you don’t).

We can help you understand your needs. Our expert Payment Consultants can come to your store to get a really thorough understanding of how you want to take payments, and recommend the right solution, or solutions, for you.

Remember: Card payments don’t just include the standard Chip and PIN with a debit or credit card, it encompasses contactless transactions from phones and wallets too.

There are three ways you can take card payments and the one you choose will depend on how you plan on making the transaction:

  1. With a card machine - in person
  2. With a virtual terminal - over the phone or via email
  3. Through a payment gateway - online

One thing you’ll need with all three though is a merchant account. This is basically just a type of business bank account that lets you accept credit and debit card payments.

Step 2: Apply and set-up a merchant account

We’ll do everything for you as part of your application, including getting you set up with a merchant account. 

If you want to apply through us, we’ll do a few checks with you, before sending your application to one of our acquirers, which includes Barclaycard.

Think of your merchant account as the piggy in the middle. The money starts with the customer, then sits in the merchant account while security checks are being done, and finishes by landing in your business bank account.

Step 3: set-up your equipment and start taking payments

Once you’re accepted by an acquirer, you’re ready to go. We will send your equipment to you within a few days, along with step by step instructions to get you up and running. We also have an expert Account Management team to help guide you through taking payments. 

The type of gadget you get will depend on your answer to step one (your needs), but to give you an idea, here are the types we offer:

And here are our non-physical card payment solutions:

Step 4: Receive your money

Providing all the checks are cleared and a payment is approved, you’ll receive the funds in your business’ bank account within 3 to 5 working days.

Not sure where to start?

Well don’t worry, our payment experts are here to help put you at ease. They’ll come out to your business, understand how you work and then recommend a solution to suit your needs. Sound good? Get in touch on 0808 274 2017 to book your appointment today.

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