As a new business your customers are the priority. Without the customer you are nothing but a company with a great product or service and no one to sell them too. One of the ways in which you can ensure a new level of custom remains fluid is to apply for credit card merchant status.

The use of credit and debit cards to pay for goods has been steadily growing over the last decade and it is a question that many start-up business owners consider. There is a misconception that brand new businesses cannot apply for status to accept payment by card as they have not been trading for a specified period of time.

Not all businesses will be accepted of course as there are processes to work through, but as a new business looking to grow a strong customer base claiming credit card merchant status is definitely something worth looking into as early as possible.

Reasons to Apply to Become a Credit Card Merchant

Don’t Give Your Customers a Chance to Go Elsewhere

If your product is good and you’ve managed to get your potential customers to the point of purchase, then you’re almost home and dried. Why risk giving your customers the opportunity to even think about going to one of your competitors to purchase a similar product or service?

With the number of people purchasing using a credit card, the sooner you can gain credit card merchant status the better for your hopes of enticing customers and then keeping them. Many people would these days go elsewhere if you don’t offer them the immediate convenience of accepting card payments.

Avoid Last Minute Hiccups

You can picture the scene?

A customer picks up all of the goods they wish to purchase; you ring them through the till and let them know how much is owed to complete the transaction.

Next thing you know the customer realises they don’t quite have enough money to completely pay. What can you do?

If you have successfully applied for credit card merchant status, the likelihood is that the customer will put away the change and complete the payment on their credit or debit card. Problem solved.

Without it?

You may just lose out on time, money and custom.

Increase Legitimacy in Eyes of Customers

One of the biggest factors in building a trusted customer base is for your customers to trust you. Potential customers will also look for trust indicators before deciding whether to choose you as the company they are willing to part their cash with.

Credit card merchant status is a big trust indicator as it shows that you are trusted by financial institutions and that yours is a safe place in which to use a credit or debit card.

How to Claim Credit Card Merchant Status

There are a few different packages you can look to apply for as a credit card merchant. These include an acceptance of Visa, MasterCard, Switch, Solo, JCB and Connect (all in one package); American Express; other specialist cards.

The first thing you should do is arrange a meeting with whichever bank you hold your business account with. They will be able to sit down with you and make a risk assessment of your type of business and industry, offering guidance and advice for the best route you should go down.

The majority of the high street banks offer similar terms of application. It can take a few weeks but isn’t restricted purely to businesses that have already been trading a number of years.

Being unable to accept card payments could be a drawback to enticing new customers and scaring away current ones. As a start-up business you should definitely look into applying for credit card merchant status at the earliest possibility.

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