How to Choose the Best Customer Payment Methods for Your Small Business

Mar 26, 2020

Long before you open the doors of your business, there are countless critical financial decisions that have to be made. These decisions are so important. They will either set your business up for success, or they will quickly have a negative impact on operations. When it comes to choosing the best customer payment methods, even established businesses need to revisit and reevaluate their options from time to time. Doing so ensures your business keeps up with the latest trends and customer preferences.

What You Should Look For

Are you trying to build and maintain a loyal customer base? Do you need to add to your customer payments methods? At the same time, are you trying to keep costs low? If so, the key is to take a close look at your online payment system options. Here are a few things you should be looking for:

  • Intuitive and straightforward. Your payment system should integrate within your checkout process; this ensures it is easy for your customers to use.
  • Make sure you are partnering with a company that specializes in working with your business type and industry and is reputable.
  • Available in your country and currency. Some brands only operate within the U.S. and Canada. If you run a business elsewhere, make sure you keep this in mind.
  • Payment types. Most providers accept MasterCard and Visa credit cards, but not all will take American Express and debit cards. Be sure to check if the provider you are considering has restrictions on some forms of payment.
  • Recurring payment functionality. If you offer a service or product that involves a membership or subscription, ensure this feature is available.
  • Technical support. Does the system provider offer exceptional technical support if something goes wrong?
  • Shopping vs. service. Is the provider geared towards retail and shopping carts or payments for services?
  • Security features. Security should be one of your top concerns. Find out what the provider offers when it comes to risks, chargebacks and other security issues.

Top Customer Payment Methods

Once you know which provider you would like to work with, you will need to dive deeper into the customer payment methods you would like to offer to make sure that the provider supports them. Upfront payments are the most standard pricing option available; you set a price, and a sale is made. Subscription models are a great way to encourage loyalty right from the start. One of the reasons the nutraceutical industry is growing so rapidly – from $58 billion in 2015 to $91 billion today – is because of the subscription model. Yet another method, work orders only apply for custom work or services. Essentially, you enter into a legal agreement that the work will be completed, and then the customer needs to pay.

Next, you will need to carefully decide how you are going to facilitate those payments. Some forms of payment, like checks, can be riskier than others (unless you partner with a provider like EMB who specializes in working with high risk businesses and is devoted to providing the best security services). A few payment methods include:

  • Cash
  • Personal checks
  • Credit cards
  • Mobile payments
  • Money orders
  • Automated Clearing House (ACH)
  • Installment payments

The team at knows that merchant account services can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if you own a new business. EMB strives to simplify obtaining services, including electronic check processing, by providing up-to-date information about payment solutions and using the most cutting-edge technology.

Even though EMB cannot guarantee approvals, it does promise a quick, simple application process. EMB also has a long history of working with businesses of all sizes, merchants that have been rejected or terminated by other processors, as well as those with no credit or bad credit. The application takes just minutes to complete, and you can be approved for business funding and payment processing services in as little as 24 hours.

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending on the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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