How Do You Set up a Credit Card Machine for a Small Business?


Quick Answer

To set up a credit card machine for a small business, open a merchant account where the money can be deposited. Once you have opened the merchant account, select and establish a method of accepting card payments. Make sure you understand the fees involved.

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Full Answer

  1. Open a merchant account

    Open a merchant account with a bank, a third-party provider or an independent sales organization. The best option for you depends on the size of your business and how much volume of credit card sales you expect to process. Make certain that the processing limits offered by your merchant provider are sufficient to handle your sales volume. Obtain approval for your merchant account by completing an application and a satisfactory credit check.

  2. Establish a way to accept cards

    Purchase or lease the equipment that is needed to swipe cards at your place of business. If your business has its own website, add a shopping cart with an Internet gateway for accepting credit cards. You might elect to use a virtual terminal, which is a third-party website where you enter customer information to obtain payment authorization.

  3. Understand the fees

    Shop around carefully to compare the various fees that merchant-service providers charge. These fees may include a discount percentage applied to each transaction, a monthly maintenance fee and equipment charges.

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