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A guide to accepting card payments

Whether writing a business plan, or managing an established retail outlet, there are many factors to consider when deciding whether your business should accept card payments. This is not a decision to take lightly as you’ll need to look at how accepting cards will work in your particular business, taking into consideration whether your customers are likely to use cards, and thinking about the business’s future plans.

This section covers the basics about cards, why they could be good for your business, and provides information on a merchant account, which is provided by an acquirer or other financial institution, to enable retailers to accept cards.

This site contains information about:

  • How cards can help a merchant’s business.
  • Issues to consider about accepting cards.
  • Types of product and services available to merchants.
  • Protecting a merchant’s business from card fraud.
  • Where a merchant can find out more information.
  • Card industry glossary of terms.

For merchants who are thinking about taking cards, here are some key points to consider:

  • Customers increasingly expect to be able to pay by cards.
  • Setting up card accepting facilities is quick and easy.
  • An acquirer can provide information about safely accepting card payments.

For merchants already accepting cards, the Terminals section may be helpful. It looks at new ways cards can be used to improve business e.g. if business with shops on the high street wants to sell their goods and services online. If you’re interested in protecting yourself against card fraud, see Financial Fraud Action UK.

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