A friend of mine went to a therapy session recently, and the therapist didn’t accept credit cards. Wait, what? Most people don’t carry checkbooks anymore. Most people never carried much cash. But everyone carries plastic.
There’s a basic rule of business, which says:
Make it easy for people to give you money.
So if credit/debit cards are what people have, credit/debit cards are what you take.
“OK, But How Do I Accept Credit/Debit Cards?”
I’ve never messed around with the traditional method — merchant card services through your bank. Too complicated, and expensive for the small number of transactions most of us would have per month.
Square Card Reader
What I did was to get a Square card reader for my hypnosis practice.
I got the reader for free from Squareup.com. This is a little doohickey that plugs into the headphone jack of your smartphone, and lets you charge client’s cards — Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. Square takes 2.75% off the top and delivers the rest to the bank account of your choice in a day or two.
Don’t have a smartphone? Get one! Repeat after me: “It’s a necessary business expense!”
There’s no setup fee and no monthly fee. I’ve been using this product with no problems since 2012, and my wife Karen uses it at our booth at the farmer’s market when selling free-range eggs and chicken.
A friend has tried the PayPal reader, which is very similar, but the process was buggy and she switched to Square. Maybe it’ll work better for you.
And there are no doubt other options as well, but I don’t know much about them. Leave a comment if you have a low-cost favorite!