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How to Choose a Payment Processor: Small Businesses Edition

When choosing a payment processor for a small business, some major considerations include the types of payments you want to accept, the processing fees you’ll have to pay, available fraud protection, customer support and ease of use. Read on for a simple guide to payment processing for retail pet businesses.

What is payment processing?

Payment processing is the ability to accept payments for goods or services. Small retail pet businesses that wish to offer their clients the ability to pay with a credit card, debit card and/or digital wallet like Apple Pay or Google Pay need to invest in payment processing software that processes payments via a terminal or point of sale system in person, or online e-commerce integrated with the business’s website.

Why is payment processing important for small businesses?

Ensuring your customers’ payment experience is smooth is mutually beneficial. You are sure to be paid in a timely manner and your customers feel comfortable when submitting payment. The ability to securely accept payment in multiple ways offers your customers convenience, which in turn can increase loyalty. Using credit card processing companies like Stripe, PayPal and Square protects financial data and minimizes fraud.

What are the different types of payment processing methods?

There are many different payment options for small businesses. Whether you’re collecting payments in person in your store, from your mobile operation or online, it’s best to offer several payment options for your customers. Small business payment options include:

  • Cash payments: Although fewer people pay in cash these days than in years past, a good number of customers prefer it, and most businesses accept cash. Cash is the fastest way to collect payment and comes with no fees, but handling a lot of cash in your store brings its own challenges, such as theft and the need to make bank deposits. For these reasons, some companies choose to go cashless, accepting only credit cards, debit cards, and mobile and contactless payments like Apple Pay or Google Pay.
  • Check payments: Today, checks are used even less often than cash, but some people still rely on checks to pay bills. Checks are the slowest way to collect money as you must deposit them and wait for them to clear. Additionally, fraud and bounced checks can be problematic.
  • Credit cards and debit cards: By far, credit cards and debit cards are the most popular way for customers to pay for goods and services. To collect payment this way, you must have a merchant account for a payment processing system, such as a credit card terminal or point-of-sale (POS) system. When accepting credit cards and debit cards, you pay transaction fees, but the convenience for your customers usually makes it worthwhile as a small business payment method.
  • Electronic payments: Mobile and contactless payments let your customers pay you through Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay using their mobile device, such as a phone or watch, that is enabled with near field communication technology (or NFC). Many payment processing systems also allow you to process payments online via your website.

Choosing a payment processing software

All small businesses need payment processing software. Although payment processing software can be purchased on its own, small pet businesses can take advantage of integrated payment processing capabilities found with petcare software. This way, all aspects of your business will operate through one software, streamlining your billing, payment processing, record keeping, accounting, customer communication and more.

PetExec petcare software offers secure and efficient payment processing integration with Stripe, a leading payment services provider. After PetExec customers set up Stripe payment processing, they connect a payment device (a WisePOS E device  e-card reader provided by Stripe) and connect it to their PetExec account.

Easy to set up and install through the PetExec dashboard, Stripe accepts most forms of payment (all major credit cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay). The device supports tap to pay for contactless payment options for pet products. Stripe can also be used for e-commerce/online marketplace.

Stripe offers fast and secure payment processing that’s 100% compliant with the security measures outlined by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DISS). Other features include the ability to set up recurring billing, dispute management and fraud protection, the option to offer gift cards, and customer summary reporting.

As with any payment processing software, fees apply for PetExec customers who opt to use integrated payment processing via Stripe.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a payment processing system cost?

The cost of a payment processing system will vary based on the company you choose and what kind of fee structure they use. Some payment processing companies use flat-rate pricing (also called blended pricing). Under this pricing model, you pay a percentage of the transaction total, plus a flat fee for each transaction. Another common pricing model, called tiered pricing, is similar, but after paying a standard percentage of the transaction total, you pay a different processing fee based on the type of card used. The fee is usually lower for debit cards and higher for corporate credit cards and cards with rewards programs. On average, processing fees are generally 1.5% to 3.5% of each transaction.

How do I set up a payment system for my business?

One of the simplest ways for small pet businesses to set up a payment system is to take advantage of integrated payment processing capabilities found with petcare software that runs other aspects of your business. For example, PetExec petcare software offers secure and efficient payment processing integration with Stripe. Simply set up Stripe payment processing, connect the payment device (a WisePOS E device e-card reader) and connect it to your PetExec account. Using a payment system that’s fully integrated with your petcare software ensures that all aspects of your business will operate as one. This streamlines your billing, payment processing, record keeping, accounting, customer communication and more.

What is the best payment processing for a small business?

All businesses are different, so there is no one-size-fits-all payment processing system that works best for every small business. However, some of the top payment processing companies include Stripe, Square, Stax, PayPal and Clover. For a small pet business, it’s convenient and cost-effective to take advantage of integrated payment processing capabilities found within the petcare software that runs other aspects of your business. For instance, PetExec petcare software offers secure and efficient payment processing integration with Stripe.

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