The Wall Street Journal today has a story about some small businesses only accepting credit cards for payments. It seems that a growing number of New York shops and cafes will no longer accept cash. According to Square, 12% of its businesses have gone “cashless” in New York City. The more surprising side of the story was that 50% of small businesses do not accept credit cards.

Working with small businesses, whether to accept credit cards is an issue that can be addressed at any time. Many can start up without needing to accept credit cards, but quickly find that their customers would prefer the option. These days, there are many different payment processing companies to help you accept card payments. With so many companies out there, you can often shop around to find the best deal for you and your company.

Advantages to Accepting Credit Cards

For the businesses I work with, especially retail businesses, accepting credit cards is a no-brainer. It allows for a convenient way for your clients to pay you. Especially these days where you can often use your phone to pay if you forgot your wallet. While you will have to pay a processing fee to the credit card companies, it is often better to get the sale than have the customer leave to go find their wallet and possibly not return.

The article points out that going cashless allows some businesses to offer lower prices on their products. It also protects the business from employees stealing cash. And for anyone who’s worked in retail knows, that end of shift counting of all the cash in the register can take up some time at the end of a long shift.

For those businesses only accepting cards, a big benefit can be allowing the business to track a customer’s purchase history. It can also add a more seamless transition between buying in a store and returning the items online (or vice versa).

How Do I Get Started?

The best way to get started is to check with your bank. Most banks offer credit card processing or have partnered with a preferred credit card processor. In fact, you can often just download an app on your phone or tablet to get started. Once you are up and running, that phone you carry with you can also process payments wherever you are.

If you are in a licensed industry, you may need to check the rules about accepting credit card payments. In the legal profession, we have rules directly addressing our trust accounts. There are a variety of specialized payment processing companies to help lawyers out. So if you’re industry has rules about your bank accounts, make sure any credit card processor you work with understands those rules.

Next Steps

If you are thinking of starting a business or already started your business and are considering accepting credit card payments, give me a call and we can sit down to discuss the process and if you’ll need any other legal documents for your company – (877) AMAYERS.

Andrew Ayers
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I work with business and estate planning clients to craft legal solutions to protect their legacies.