Remember when credit cards were kind of a novelty? A lot of readers actually won’t remember that, even though it was just a couple of decades ago. So let’s bring it forward a bit. Let’s consider the early 2000s. Credit cards were absolutely in vogue, and were being used for a stunning amount of payments. It wasn’t quite as big as cash, but it was getting there.
If your business wanted to accept credit cards, you had a much tougher time then than you would today. The fees associated with getting the right technology and merchant accounts were very high. A lot of people wondered why some businesses weren’t jumping up onboard the credit card bandwagon. The high fees would explain why.
But these days, it’s much easier. Accepting credit card payments is absolutely essential, whether your business is online or a classic brick and mortar store. So how exactly did we get to this point? Why did it get so easy?
The growth of credit cards
People love cash. But they also don’t like being robbed of it. Perhaps that’s something that explains why more people than ever simply don’t carry cash. We’ve never seen some hipster, old-school ‘resurgence’ of cash, the way we have with other classic things. In America along, the number of people carrying credit cards is approaching 200 million.
So if payment processing companies continued to charge exorbitant fees? Well, they’d be losing out on way too much business. And when businesses don’t have credit card machines at their disposal, they definitely suffer. Today’s climate is more cashless than ever.
PayPal steps into the ring
One of the biggest contributors to the way we do commerce these days is PayPal. Online shopping is still nowhere near as big as offline shopping. But it has still informed that way we do a lot of our shopping, and is a trillion-dollar industry. PayPal helped us get there, making it easier than ever for us to forget about cash. This was helped tremendously by the fact that it was brought to us by that other commercial game changer – eBay.
Of course, despite its history as a game changer, PayPal has’t exactly endeared itself to the masses. Its businesses practices have often been shady, to put it lightly. It’s known to have profited from high fees and arbitrary withholding of customers’ cash. This has resulted in more payment gateways being available to people than ever.
With all of these changes, the law has had to step up quite a bit. And you must remember this when integrating credit card payments into your business. A lot of the updates to the law are there to protect the data of customers. Some of them are mutually beneficial. Some of them will end up costing you. At the end of the day, both consumer and merchant are better protected.
Businesses are running out of excuses when it comes to credit card integration. It may not be the easiest process in the world. But you stand to gain way too much to ignore credit cards altogether!