Accepting Credit Cards: A Guide For a Startup

Accepting Credit Cards: A Guide For a Startup

It’s not uncommon for numerous startups to begin as cash-only ventures. However, as a SME owner, you may miss a number of opportunities to make a sale without the offering your prospective clients an option of making the payments via credit cards. In this technological era,  few people prefer to carry cash and rely on payment alternatives.

And did you know that according to the surveys and statistics, customers who pay by credit or debit cards will often spend more per purchase and make more of them? If you start accepting credit cards you will also be able to capture more spontaneous purchases made online by consumers that prefer who follow the mantra – ‘buy now and pay later’. 

How to Accept Credit Cards

Firstly, you require  a merchant account. It is an account created solely for the purpose of accepting credit and debit card payments, and it is not a normal bank account. It is setup entirely separate from your normal savings or current account. A merchant account also serves as a link between a retailer, a merchant bank and a payment processor, for the settlement of credit card and/or debit card transactions. In simple words, it is an arrangement to let you accept credit cards hassle free!

Once you have established a  merchant account is, you would require the proper hardwares and softwares to process credit cards. All hardware and software used to accept credit cards must be PCI compliant — meeting all payment card industry security standards. You credit card merchant will ensure that your credit card payment systems are secure and compliant.  Your options depend majorly on the industry vertical you operate.

Point-of-Sale Terminal

This is the one of the widely utilized methods for accepting credit cards in a retail, or face to face environment where the credit card is physically present. There is a wide array of point of sale terminals and you credit card merchant will present you the best solution or solution to cater to your needs.


This is the most common method for accepting card not present or CNP transactions, especially for online businesses. It allows you to process transactions right from your computer by transforming your PC or laptop into a ‘virtual terminal’.You can also process swiped retail credit card transactions using your computer’s web browser, an Internet connection and a USB credit card swipe reader which is a secure website.


Mobile credit card processing exploits the power of a smartphone or tablet and turns it into a handheld terminal that functions just like the countertop version. Once you have a merchant account for mobile processing, download the required software and you’re all set to start accepting all major credit and signature debit cards. Isn’t that great? 


Credit card processing software makes the transactions of all types smooth and easy to track. It can be a face to face transaction, web or a wireless transaction, processing softwares make accepting credit cards absolutely simple. 

Online Payment Solutions for Your Business – Alternative Merchant Processing


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