How to Accept Credit Card Payments

The way in which customers pay for their products and services is changing. In the past, cash was king but with each passing year, card payments are becoming more and more popular. This makes sense, as card payments are easier, faster and don’t require a trip to the nearest cash machine. Not to mention the advent of contactless technology, which has made the payment process even more convenient. With this in mind, it’s important that businesses look to the future, which includes an infrastructure which accepts credit card payments.

There are many reasons why it’s important for companies to accept credit card payments. Not only are you encouraging a wider customer base to do business with you, you’re also attracting a specific type of customer. Credit card users are more likely to make impulse purchases and spend more than they usually would. Therefore, businesses who don’t accommodate this form of payment could be missing out on lucrative sales. It’s also worth noting that electronic payments, including credit cards will be the norm in the near future and it’s best to adopt this technology now and future-proof your company.

The benefits of accepting credit card payments are clear to see but what changes do you have to make to accommodate them? This can be a slightly daunting task, particularly for smaller businesses but the process isn’t as complicated as you may think.

The way in which you approach incorporating this payment method will differ according to your business. For example, if you mainly do your business online, then your payment system will differ in comparison to payments in shops or on-site.


If you want to add credit card payment functionality to your website, then you need to open a merchant account with a merchant service provider. These basically provide businesses with everything they require to accept credit card payments. However, there are many to choose from, therefore it’s best to do some research before making the final decision. Factors such as fees and fraud protection should be considered.

It’s often easiest to open a merchant account with a specialised company who offers this service but it’s also possible to do this with a local bank.

Once you have set up a merchant account, you will have to sign up for an online payment gateway which allows you to process payments. Popular online payment gateways include Stripe and PayPal.


If you have a physical shop or place of business, then you will also need to set up a merchant account in order to accept credit card payments. However, in this instance you will need to purchase a point-of-sale system (POS). These systems include the use of both hardware and software, ensuring your payments are processed and money is sent to your business account. For example, hardware will include some sort of card-reader.


Many businesses don’t have a permanent premises in which they are based. Those who work on-site such as builders, event-planners and street vendors require a mobile solution. Fortunately, you can use your smartphone to accept both debit and credit card payments, on the go. You can purchase a mobile card reader, which you plug in to your smartphone and then sync with the relevant app.

It’s not really a question of whether a business should start accepting credit payments but a question of when they will need to. We are quickly moving towards a cashless society and more people are relying on credit- therefore credit cards offer an ideal solution. Adding this function to your business may seem complicated but the process is relatively straightforward.