What Are Merchant Services?

What Are Merchant Services?

When you run a business that serves customers, especially if you’re selling products, you’re playing one of the oldest roles in the history of business; you’re a merchant. That might seem like an out of date term in the 21st century, but merchants still play a crucial role in most people’s day to day lives, whether it is someone buying milk from the store on the corner, or someone ordering hand-made goods online from an artisan on the other side of the country. You have something that someone else needs, and they’re willing to give you money for it.

But beyond just the relationships that you as a merchant have your customers, there are other connections you should think about maintaining as well. If you’re not creating your own product, you’re likely to have relationships with suppliers. Even when you do make your own product, you’re likely to use components or ingredients that are provided by others, so supplier relations are an important part of your business connections.

The Business Of Transactions

Another important relationship you need to have, especially in the 21st century, is a good connection with merchant services. But if you’re the merchant, and you already work with suppliers, where do merchant services fit into this picture?

Simply put, merchant services are the businesses that specialize in making sure that your business has the capacity to actually transact with customers. Even if you are dealing strictly with cash, you are unlikely to conduct a business transaction by taking the money from a customer, reaching into your wallet, and pulling out some equivalent change, while pocketing the cash. At the very least, you’re likely to use a cash register and offer a receipt of the exchange so that both you and the customer have an official record of the transaction, especially for accounting purposes.

But what if the customer doesn’t want to pay with cash? What if he or she wishes to use a debit card, or a credit card, or even wants to pay by smartphone, and/or use cryptocurrency? Merchant Services make it possible for businesses to deal with any kind of transaction contingency that might be encountered.

Convenience Makes A Difference

When it comes to being successful in business, having convenient methods of business transaction isn’t just a perk, it can often mean the difference between making a sale, and watching customers pass you buy. If you only deal in cash, for example, you’re going to lose out on a significant number of customers that feel unsafe carrying cash, and prefer to use credit cards or debit cards instead.

But when you choose to with the right merchant services, you’re in a position to deal with handling a sale in any way that a customer might prefer. As long as you can accommodate a wide variety of different payment systems, customers won’t have any reason to keep walking past once they know that you have what they need. You can even start incorporating special measures, like cash discount programs to help yourself and your customers!

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