It has been said that: money is to the economy as oil is to an engine.
And as business owners we know that if you do not have money flowing through your business you won’t have a business for long. You’ll have a very expensive hobby.
And for thrift stores, generating profit will feed your mission to help your community.
But how and what type of payments are you going to accept?
There are many ways to accept payment, but there are just a few common ones.
Common Payment Methods
- Credit cards and debit cards
- Mobile payments
- Gift cards and store credit
Cash and check have been around for years and many thrift store owners know how they will accept these forms of payment.
Gift cards and store credit is largely a function of your point-of-sale system. We may address those forms of payment at a later date, but this article will go into more detail about how to get the most of your payment processing.
What Is A Payment Processor?
A payment processor works behind the scenes to finalize transactions after a business accepts card payments by transfering funds from the customer account to the merchant account. Here’s what happens:
1. The buyer sends their card information
This may be done with a swipe, insert, or tap of the card. The customer may provide the information with their card information through a card reader in-store, on a website, or by mobile hardware.
2. Payment infrastructure handles the request
Then the customer’s card information is sent to the payment processor and the processor initiates the transaction by sending the information to the bank network (for debit) or card network (credit) for authorization.
3. Payment Authorization
The bank or card network then returns authorization to the payment processor or that the payment has been declined. When the payment is authorized, the merchant completes the transaction with the customer. When the payment is declined, the merchant informs the customer, and the customer may try an alternate payment method.
4. The Money Moves
After the transaction is authorized and complete, the payment processor informs the bank or credit card company to send the funds to the merchant’s bank.
Other Types of Payment Processed
EMV (Europay, Mastercard, and Visa) or chip cards is a payment method based on a standard for smart payment cards and payment terminals.
Apple Pay is a mobile payment service by Apple Inc. It allows users to make payments in person, in iOS apps, and on the web from Apple hardware. It can replace a credit or debit card chip and PIN transaction at a contactless-capable point-of-sale terminal. It can work with any merchant that accepts contactless payments.
Google Pay is a mobile payment service from Google to power in-app, online, and in-person contactless purchases on mobile devices.
How to Choose A Payment Processor?
One of the key elements of choosing a payment processor is, how much is it going to cost. You’ll want to consider the following:
- Start up and/or annual fees?
- Monthly subscriptions?
- Per transaction fees?
- Own or lease card processing equipment?
- Gateway fees?
- Chargeback fees?
- Address or ZIP code verification?
- Contract termination fees?
- Payments from abroad?
It pays to accept digital payments. With more customers abandoning cash, enabling card payments will allow buyers who don’t carry cash to make payments. It also seems that consumers are spending more when using cards. In a recent example the Girl Scouts started to accept digital payments. Troops using the digital payments system increased sales by 27%.
Benefits of Integrated Payment Systems
An integrated payments processor ease the transfer of data during and following the transaction. They streamline the payment process to seamlessly work together. When an integrated system automates payment acceptance, it allows merchants to accept credit card payments directly in their existing point-of-sale software. It saves time and eliminates human errors from data entry during the sales transaction.
Integration Saves Money
When thrift stores choose an integrated payment system, they save money. Fewer time is spent reviewing incoming payment information. Integrated systems can automate the accounting and report functions. It may even allow organizations to eliminate costly man-hours in the accounts receivable department.
Fewer Errors And Mistakes
Having an integrated payments processor automates the process of data entry. Human error is one of the most common points of transaction mistakes. Integrated payment systems means that there is no middle man entering information, which reduces the number of errors possible.
Cards on File
A card-on-file transaction is a kind of payment where a customer has given the card payment details to a merchant so the merchant can store them securely for future payments. This allows the merchant to complete transactions and the cardholder does not need to supply card details for every single transaction.
Data security is one of the most important concerns for business owners. The more disparate systems a business uses, the more opportunities there are for a data breach. You improve your security when using an integrated payments processor.
Modern point-of-sale integrated systems encrypt consumer data from start to finish. The data is passed through a secure Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant system. Any business accepting credit cards as payment has to abide by PCI compliance.
With ThriftCart Payments, thrift and resale stores can eliminate multiple systems and easily accept payments online and in-store. The plug-and-play terminal system makes setup quick and easy. In addition, when the payment system is integrated with the ThriftCart point-of-sale system you also have access to the complete customer support team. We’ll work to make sure you’re satisfied with your service.