One of the most common methods of online payment is via a credit card. Gone is the era when a credit card was a luxury enjoyed only by the affluent but nowadays, it is pretty easy to get a credit card. Besides, paying via credit cards comes with several perks that make the whole deal more lucrative. Transactions worth Rs 6.3 billion were executed using credit cards during FY 2021 in India. With such growing popularity of credit cards, accepting them can provide a considerable competitive edge.
Why are credit card payments popular?
A credit card facilitates the customer to pay for goods and services using credit borrowed from the issuing bank. The consumer then repays this within a stipulated time frame. The consumer can also choose to repay it in small instalments, with negligible to small interests. This makes credit cards a suitable option to purchase expensive products or services because the consumer doesn’t need to pay back the whole amount at once. This prompts high-value purchases despite the customer not having the entire amount of money in their bank accounts.
Another reason why credit cards are preferred is that it helps build a credit score. Every individual has a unique credit score which determines the financial risk associated with that person. A higher credit score demonstrates the person’s stellar repayment record, and banks would easily give loans to such individuals. An easy way to build a credit score is using a credit card and repaying on time.
The last prominent reason for using credit cards is the rewards and cashback associated with them. Customers can get points or rewards for purchasing using credit cards, and they can be redeemed later. These can be used for attractive offers on flights, eateries, leisure activities, and even repaying the credit card bill.
How to start accepting credit card payments?
- Decide the Mode of Accepting Payments
To get started with credit card payments, businesses need to opt for a payment gateway service or a payment link service. In India, companies like Zaakpay provide both the services, and merchants can opt for either. For businesses that have a website, a gateway service is a more viable option. Payment links are better suited for small businesses or freelancers without a website.
- Choose the right payment gateway
After finalizing the service type to use, the merchant should research all the payment gateway providers and choose the best one. Payment options, credit card processing cost, security features, ease of integration, terms & conditions, and other relevant factors must be checked before finalizing the provider and signing up.
- Integrating the gateway
This is applicable only in the case of a payment gateway. Merchants can collect credit card payments only after it has been integrated into the website. This is a technical process, and the service provider would furnish the exact steps to integrate. Services like Zaakpay provide pre-built plugins which simplify the process to a considerable extent. For payment links, this is not applicable as the merchant can directly generate links to accept payments from the gateway.
- Start Accepting Credit Card Payments
Once the payment gateway is set up and a trial is successfully conducted, the merchant can publicize that the business is ready to accept credit card payments.
What are the benefits of accepting credit card payments?
- Instant Payments
Credit card payments are instantaneous and are processed quickly. With pay-on-delivery mode, the payment would remain pending until the product is delivered. By giving the option of online payment, the business can generate better revenues. Customers might also indulge in impulse purchases with a credit card because the payment ceiling is usually higher than UPI or debit cards.
- Enhanced Customer Satisfaction
Customers gain several benefits by paying with a credit card. They can build their credit score and earn rewards and points. This leads to a sense of gratification for the customers, and merchants can leverage this satisfaction to boost their sales.
- Sell Expensive Products
Products of higher value have more profits for the merchant than products of lower value. However, the downside of high-value products is that customers don’t usually purchase them using conventional payment modes. This is because they might not be able to afford to pay the whole amount at once. As a result, businesses that don’t accept credit cards may not be able to sell high-value products. In such a scenario, a credit card comes to their rescue. With only a small credit card processing fee, the merchant can make good margins in high-value sales.
- Faster Payment Processing
Credit card payments are processed almost immediately. The merchant can get their hands on the money rather quickly, which improves the business’s cash flow.
- Competitive Edge
Accepting or not accepting credit cards can make a huge difference in sales. In these digital times, businesses that accept credit cards can gain a competitive advantage over those that don’t. From attracting a wider customer base to marketing EMI options, accepting credit card payments can be an extra feather in the merchant’s cap.
While accepting an online payment using credit cards, merchants have to be aware of the menace of chargeback. It is a unique situation in which funds are returned to the paying customer. The customer can initiate a chargeback with the issuing bank with a proper reason, and if approved, the money is returned to the issuing bank account.
This can be a problem for the business as it brings down credibility and might also impose a fine. The payment gateway provider may blacklist the merchant account in case of multiple chargebacks. This can be easily avoided by laying down a crisp and lucid refund policy along with a transparent process. Active customer support also reduces chargebacks. Services like Zaakpay also provide transaction statements that can be used to refuse a chargeback.
For businesses aiming to boost their sales, accepting credit cards is a major step in today’s times. Credit cards are like a two-way street – they offer unique benefits to both the customer and the merchant. Of course, there is a marginal credit card processing fee attached to each transaction. However, this fee is much lower than the value of the profit that can be made. Small businesses can start collecting credit card payments without any hassle using services like Zaakpay.