Why Small Businesses Should Accept Debit Cards

As an owner of a seasonal shaved ice small business, I have struggled with whether or not to accept debit cards. Debit cards are the newest form of payment. With debit card fees being a hot topic these days, more and more small businesses are weighing their options of what methods of payment to accept from customers. This decision can greatly affect your revenue. There are many important advantages of accepting debit cards as a form of payment.

Cheaper Than Other Forms of Payment
If you haven't gotten into accepting credit cards yet, then debit cards are a good way to get your feet wet when it comes to accepting plastic payment. With credit cards, banks and credit card companies get around 2 percent for every dollar your customer spends. With debit cards, retailers don't have to pay these percentage-based, pricey interchange fees. Instead, debit cards run around 10 to 25 cents per transaction. This is also much cheaper than processing and rectifying bounced checks.
Increase Sales
It is a proven fact that consumers are more likely to spend more if paying with plastic, whether it is with debit or credit cards. Accepting debit or credit cards dramatically increases your revenue and immediate sales. If your business doesn't accept these cards, I can guarantee that you will lose your business to a business that will. The first year we opened, we were turning an average of four customers a day away because we did not start out accepting this form of payment. The second year of business, we entered the new age of doing business by accepting debit cards, and our business increased by about 30 percent from the previous year.

One of the most important reasons to succumb to debit cards is that they offer more convenience to your customers. You are going to lose a sale if your customer is not carrying the correct amount of cash or if your customer isn't carrying other forms of acceptable payment. Debit cards are a guaranteed transaction in which the money is immediately deducted from the customer's account and deposited directly into yours, giving you immediate access to the funds. Debit cards simply offer the customer another way to pay, and the easier you make it for your customers to make purchases, the more sales will increase.
One aspect a lot of retailers overlook is the decrease in the amount of cash on the premises with the acceptance of debit cards. Businesses aren't as vulnerable to theft with more customers paying with debit cards than cash. Plain and simple, the ability to accept debit and/or credit cards adds to the credibility and competitiveness of your business in today's market.

More from Caryl Cress Ramsey:

First Person: Choosing a Business Location to Maximize My Revenues
First Person: Using Free Marketing to Grow My Small Business
First Person: Inexpensive Marketing for My Small Business

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