A successful business will usually accept debit cards as a part of their overall profile of payment solutions. If you don’t process debit cards, you may not be taking full advantage of all the potential that your merchant account can deliver.
There are essentially two ways you can accept debit cards, online and offline.
Offline debit card transactions
An offline debit card transaction is still the way most merchants accept debit cards. This is essentially the same as processing credit cards. You swipe your customer’s debit card through a credit card terminal and have them sign the receipt.
If you choose to accept debit cards offline, be sure that the debit card has a VISA or MasterCard logo. Otherwise, the debit card won’t be approved and you won’t be able to process the debit card offline.
Online debit card transactions
The most advantageous way to process debit cards is to do it online. You will still be able to accept debit cards at the point of sale, but you will need to install a PIN pad on your credit card terminal.
An online debit card transaction works much like a credit card transaction, except that after your customer swipes his or her debit card, they will enter a PIN instead of signing the receipt.
At this point the encrypted debit card information is sent to the customer’s bank for authorization, and you’ll receive the funds just as you would for a credit card transaction.
Your business has many advantages when you accept debit cards.
For example, you pay a flat fee for each debit card transaction that you process, instead the flat fee plus percentage rate that you are charged when you accept credit cards. Over time, this can potentially save you a lot of money.
Another advantage when you process debit cards is that you can’t be charged higher “downgrade” fees.
In a credit card transaction, you are usually charged the “discount rate.” However, some transactions are considered to be a higher risk or expense to the bank, and you are charged a higher rate as a result.
But when you accept debit cards, you always pay the same flat rate, with no danger of the rate increasing.
You can also cut down on checkout time when you accept debit cards. It takes an average of 30 seconds to hand over the pen, wait for the customer to sign the receipt, and then take the pen back.
If you process 20 credit card transactions a day, you’re losing 100 minutes a day just passing a pen back and forth! That’s almost two hours.
When you accept debit cards, the customer simply enters his or her PIN in a few seconds. Lines will move faster, which leads to greater customer satisfaction.
Finally, there’s the convenience factor. Hopefully we don’t have to tell you that consumers are very picky and want to do things their way. If you accept debit cards and one of your competitors does not, many customers will come to you for that reason alone.
By accepting debit cards, you take full advantage of your merchant account, and you add another stream of revenue to your business.
For more information on accepting debit cards contact Ensight Merchant Services at (866) 377-2292.