Getting your bakery ready to accept credit cards and mobile payments isn’t hard, but it is necessary to take several steps. While every business will have its own unique issues with card processing, it is possible to get a bakery set up with a set of general steps, then address any issues as they come up.
Start by researching the best merchant account processors. Most bakeries conduct the majority of their business in a single area, but some bakeries need to accept payments from customers as they make deliveries or sell in off-site areas such as fairs and food shows. Carefully consider the type of processing that your bakery requires, then look for the best merchant account processor for these needs.
Comparing services between merchant account processors can be tricky, however. In general, a credit card processing service can charge fees for several different types of services, and there are different payment formulas that determine how much a bakery will pay. Some services will charge a flat monthly rate simply for being able to access the service. In addition to this, credit card processing services typically charge a fee for every credit card payment that they process. This fee can be a percentage of the total transaction amount, a flat rate, or a combination of both.
Deciding what fee scheme is the right one for your bakery will depend on the total number of and average amount of your sales. Since many bakeries have a high volume of transactions but a low average sale amount, it makes the most sense for most bakeries to look for a merchant account processor who charges based on a percentage of the total sale amount.
Merchant account processors that charge flat fees will typically charge around fifty cents to two dollars every time a customer swipes his or her credit card. Bakeries that provide many customers with small orders, such as a dozen donuts or even a single cookie can soon discover that these flat fees will eat up any profit that could be made on these items, and in some cases end up costing the business owner money. The exception to this is specialty bakeries that specialize in a small number of large orders. A bakery that only sells a few high-dollar wedding cakes every week might do better with a flat rate scheme than a percentage-based one.
After reviewing the fees and starting services with a merchant account processor, be sure to keep accurate records of the credit card purchases made in the bakery. New credit card processing companies can be elaborate scams and/or provide their customers with inaccurate billing statements. While many bakeries may find tracking a lot of their smaller sales to be tedious, it is important to make sure that the merchant account processor that your bakery has chosen to work with is fair, accurate, and honest.
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