5 Ways Merchant Services Can Help Your Business

As a business owner, you never want to turn away a potential customer. Whether the consumer wants to pay with cash, credit, or use a mobile app, you want to make checking out as easy and streamlined as possible.

A Gallup survey indicates that upwards of 60 percent of consumers never or rarely use cash to make purchases, and another 26 percent use cash half or less than 50 percent of the time. Just five years ago, those numbers were drastically different, with only five percent only using dollar bills and 27 percent some of the time. Spending habits, driven by e-commerce and the availability of credit cards and purchasing apps, require retailers and other businesses to evolve. Without secure merchant services, customers may be inclined to make purchases elsewhere.


What are Merchant Services?

Although merchant services encompass a wide range of electronic transactions, they improve payment processing efficiency and security. The most common merchant services involve taking payment apps, credit cards, and debit card payments in a secure fashion. The funds are then routed through a complex network, ultimately reaching a company’s bank account.

From the business’s perspective, customers simply pay for goods and services through a point-of-sale system, and the deal is effectively completed. Fast, efficient, and even more secure than carrying thousands of dollars in cash to make an in-person bank deposit, merchant services support the cultural shift to credit cards and mobile app transactions.


Ways Merchant Services Can Help Your Business

Taking credit cards and electronic payments is no longer optional unless, of course, you want to limit your customer base. That’s largely because cashless payments are preferred, and younger demographics are exceedingly comfortable not using cash. If your business doesn’t have a reliable merchant services provider, below are the benefits you are missing out on.


1: Merchant Services Let You Serve More Customers

Accepting debit and credit cards accelerates the transaction process, allowing businesses to serve customers faster. Shorter wait times generally improve a customer's satisfaction and the likelihood of repeat business. Anyone recently visiting a big box retailer or supermarket chain understands that forward-thinking companies have effectively eliminated lines using self-checkout stations immersed in merchant services technology. With fewer consumers carrying cash, you certainly don't want to turn away potential business.


2: Merchant Services Allows You To Manage Your Finances More Efficiently

Electronic payments reduce the time-consuming efforts of counting cash, picking up change from the bank, and entering cash flow into Excel documents. Merchant services not only streamline that labor-intensive work, they all but eliminate it. Cashless payments are recorded, and the receipts can be automatically downloaded directly into accounting software.




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3: You Can Expand Your Footprint Online With Merchant Services

Surprisingly, many mom-and-pop operations are generating profits online. Consider, for example, a local antique dealer or flower shop whose brick-and-mortar space does not necessarily see the foot traffic needed to thrive. Many of these traditional operations have an online presence to expand their business. By accepting online payments, small businesses are expanding their footprint.

4: Merchant Services Protect Your Business

One of the primary reasons business owners are hesitant to embrace electronic payment processing involves cybersecurity. We see the splashy headlines about multi-million-dollar ransomware attacks and how getting hacked can devastate an operation. Those are sound reasons to transfer the responsibility for protecting digital transactions to a merchant services provider.

Certified merchant services providers are required to follow cybersecurity regulations. That prompts these organizations to remain up to speed regarding the latest hacking schemes and deploy determined cybersecurity. Working with a reliable merchant services provider improves your security.

5: Merchant Services Help You Get Paid Faster

Today's merchant services providers have integrated next-generation technologies into their business model to offer expedited payment processing. The era of waiting several days to a week before seeing transactions appear in business banking accounts is an outdated experience.


The reason for quicker turnaround stems from merchant services providers. These organizations are intermediaries between the point of sales device, backend processes, and your bank account. The operation pulls together wide-reaching sources, including checking accounts, savings accounts, various credit card companies, and online funding sources. All of the transactions are gathered together in a secure and orderly fashion. Then they are deposited in a business bank account.

One would expect a delay, given the number of daily purchases and entities involved. However, the advanced technologies used by leading merchant services providers make this payment method faster.


How to Start Using Merchant Services

If you are considering expanding your payment processing to maximize profits, Middlesex Federal offers reliable merchant services to support business efficiency and growth. For more information on how merchant services can help your business, please contact us or stop by one of our convenient branch locations today.

If you like how merchant services can help expand your business, learn more ways to grow by reviewing "The Ultimate Business Banking Toolkit: Your Guide to Starting, Expanding and Managing a Business in Massachusetts."

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