How to Accept Credit Card Payments for Small Business

In a world where people are leaving their wallets at home and making in-person payments with their mobile phones, is it reasonable to expect your customers to pay with cash? (Or, even less likely, cheques?)

The bottom line is, if you don’t accept credit card payments, you’re missing out on potential sales. And if customers have to hunt down the nearest cashpoint to complete a transaction, the hassle involved means they likely won’t rush back to visit your business.

But if you’re worried that accepting credit card payments for services will take a big chunk out of your sales or otherwise be a headache, don’t worry. Here are some reasons why you should take credit card payments at your small business:

  • Your sales will be higher. Customers spend 12 to 18 percent more on products and services when they pay with a credit card instead of cash, according to a recent study. It’s not hard to see why: you might have only a limited amount of cash in your wallet, which your credit limit far exceeds.

  • Your customers may trust your business more. When customers see the logos of the major credit cards you accept, they may see your business as more trustworthy and legitimate.

  • It won’t cost you much. Credit card transactions won’t eat up your profits. In fact, payments taken with Square’s contactless and chip reader cost a flat rate of 1.75% of the transaction per swipe, tap, or insert.

Accept EMV chip cards everywhere.

Order the Square contactless and chip reader.

Now that you know all the reasons why you should accept credit card payments and you’re ready to get started, let’s go over how to accept credit card payments for small businesses. First, you’ll need a reader that accepts EMV chip card types of payments.

Here’s why: According to recent statistics, cash accounted for only £1 in every £5 spent in UK shops, while credit and charge cards accounted for £82bn, or 22 percent, of retail sales last year—outstripping cash, at £78bn, for the first time in 2019.

Plus, EMV-enabled credit cards are infinitely less vulnerable to counterfeit fraud, meaning that your customers will feel more secure if your business accepts these types of credit card payments. So, protect yourself and your customers with an EMV reader like Square’s contactless card reader, which accepts EMV and is just £19. It’s one of the most affordable and easiest ways to take credit card payments.

The Square Stand, Square Terminal and Square Register all accept EMV payments. Our newest Square Stand fits iPad (2019), iPad Air (2019), and iPad Pro 10.5”, and is now even more affordable at £109 + VAT.

Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to start accepting credit card payments:

  1. Order your Square credit card machine and tell us where to send it.
  2. Create your free Square account
  3. Download the free Square app and link your bank account for fast transfers.
  4. Connect the payment hardware with your smartphone or tablet and you’ll be set to take credit card payments.

How to accept credit card payments

EMV chip cards are dipped into the reader chip-side down. Here is how to process EMV credit cards on the Square contactless and chip reader:

  1. When your customer is ready to check out, tap “Charge” on the screen to trigger the payment. (You can tap charge before or after the chip is inserted.)

  2. Insert the card chip-side first and with the chip facing the wide port at the top of the reader.

  3. Keep the card in the reader for the whole transaction. EMV transactions can take 6-7 seconds to complete.

If you’re taking the step to accept credit card payments, why not fully modernise and start accepting mobile payments? Mobile payments, or transactions customers make with their phone or other mobile devices, use something called near field communication (NFC) technology.

This means that customers hold their device over an NFC reader, a mobile card reader, to pay (which is also why it’s referred to as contactless payment). The most popular forms of this technology are Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. Mobile payments are faster than EMV transactions and just as secure.

With Square, you’ll have access to one of the best credit card payment processing services in the industry. You can relax knowing that almost everything on the backend is taken care of by us. Be sure to read our in-depth guide on how to accept payments using your Square hardware.