For all of the encouragement offered by the government to stay out of debt and put more money into savings, consumers continue to use their credit cards to pay for everything from luxuries to basics. Merchant credit card processing is essential to any business that wants to tap into this market. Let’s look at some of the numbers.
Who has Credit Cards?
Nearly 200 million Americans currently hold over 600 million credit cards. That is a lot of buying power. While there has been a 10% decline in the number of people who actually have a credit card, those that do carry them use them routinely, although slightly less than before the current recession. In fact, there are nearly 1 billion – that’s right, billion – VISA cards issued world wide. Can you afford to ignore that market share?
What about Debit Cards?
Surveys show that more consumers have debit cards than credit cards and are more likely to use them. In fact, the use of debit cards has nearly doubled in the last few years, and approximately 75% of the population, across the board, uses them regularly. With over 500 million cards in use in the US alone, that is a huge number of potential customers.
What Does it Cost?
Fees for merchant credit card processing are simply too disparate to give accurate figures. The amount you will be asked to pay monthly, per transaction, as the discount rate are all negotiated based upon what kind of business you do, your risk factors and so forth. You should, of course, compare offers to ensure that you get the deal that is best suited to your business and practices.
Cash and Carry no More
There will always be a portion of the population that will want to pay in cash, and in a retail environment that can be easily accommodated. If you intend to have an online business, it is no longer a viable method of payment. Merchant accounts that are specifically designed for online business allow you to take credit, debit, and gift cards, and some will take a payment directly from a bank account. It all adds up to increased sales and improved convenience for all.