Your merchant services account is absolutely essential to your business. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to process credit cards in your store, accept online payments, or offer gift cards to your loyal customers. But merchant services can help you do much more with your business finances than just swipe cards. If you have a great merchant services provider, they’ll offer you options that help you get your money faster, keep more of what you make, and better understand how you’re making that money in the first place. Here are some of the many amazing ways that your merchant services account can improve the way you do business.

Eliminate Paperwork

If you’re using a merchant services account, you can capture checks and process deposits straight from your computer without having to go to the bank. You can even use your smartphone or tablet if you wish. When you process deposits electronically, you’ll have much quicker access to your money–often instantaneous access–and you’ll never have to leave your home or place of business.

Make Your Payroll Easier

A great merchant services provider will let you pay your employees by direct deposit. Gone are the days of picking up checks on certain days of the month (or making out all those checks, or printing them, in the first place). You should also be able to keep tabs on your employees’ 401k contributions, track their hours, pay them overtime, and ensure that all health care premiums are being paid on time. Instead of hiring an accountant, bookkeeper, or other financial services personnel, your merchant services account can do it for you. You’ll save time and money for both you and your employees.

Keep Your Money Safe

In a day where fraud is of increasing concern to small business owners, your merchant services account can provide both high-tech encryption and fraud protection to keep your hard-earned cash safe from the unscrupulous. You can reduce the number of individuals who even have a chance to look at your information in the first place. If you do have any issues with fraud, you can contact the 24/7 support available to you whenever you need it to get help immediately before the problem becomes worse. If you’re simply keeping cash and checks in a lockbox or cash register, you won’t have access to near the same amount of protection.

Grow Your Business

Running a cash-only business is a good way to scare away customers. Many people no longer carry cash, especially those of a younger generation, and they may simply go elsewhere if they can’t pay with a card. Those with smartphones may even wish to use their mobile wallet to pay. The more payment options you’re able to offer, the more of the market you’ll have the potential to capture. Merchant services accounts also give you the ability to have an online presence so that your customers can shop from you anytime–even when you’re sleeping. Customers tend to be more sensitive about how much they spend with cash in comparison to how much they spend with a credit card, so you’ll really see your sales climb if you allow them to pull out their plastic.

 

William Lipovsky owns the personal finance website First Quarter Finance. His most embarrassing moment was telling a Microsoft executive, "I'll just Google it."

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