How to Accept Credit Card Payments

Revel Blog | Revel Systems | August 12, 2021 |

payments Featured

Today, most shoppers don’t carry physical cash on their person. In an increasingly cashless world, credit cards have become a preferred way to pay for millions of Americans. 

The rise of contactless payments due to digital innovation and the COVID-19 pandemic has made paying with credit cards even easier. As a result, businesses that fail to accept credit cards are depriving themselves of valuable customers.

In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about how to accept credit card payments and why this is the next big step for your business.

Why Should You Accept Credit Cards?

There are many reasons to accept credit card payments at your business, the most important of all being that customers now expect to be able to pay using their credit cards.

Cash-only businesses are becoming increasingly rare, and brands that continue to operate using this model are becoming more marginalized and less frequented by paying customers.

So, why should business owners figure out how to accept credit card payments?

Customers Statistically Spend More

Studies have shown again and again that customers who pay with a credit card spend up to 18% more than when paying in cash.

Think about it:  a credit limit far exceeds the cash in a customer’s wallet. If a customer has to visit an ATM to fund their next purchase, it’s unlikely they’ll return because it’s an additional barrier to completing a purchase.

Furthermore, retail experts believe the ease of making a credit card payment increases the likelihood of impulse purchases.

Currently, 52% of millennials reported that they’re likely to make an impulse purchase. Research has also shown the average American shopper will make three unplanned purchases in 40% of the stores they visit.

Building the infrastructure necessary to facilitate impulse purchases can be an extremely profitable venture.

Build Trust in Your Target Market

Another reason to begin accepting credit card payments is a sense of trust. On the psychological side of things, customers who see the logos of major credit card companies know they’re shopping with a legitimate, reputable business when they shop with you.

Cash-only businesses tend to be stereotyped as both sketchy and shady, discouraging patrons from even entering your store.

Thankfully, it’s easier than ever to reassure customers their data is safe when they shop with you. Look for point of sale hardware that comes equipped with the highest levels of encryption and data protection.

Cheap and Affordable Payment Processing

Taking credit card payments isn’t as expensive as it might seem.

Credit card transactions may only cost a few cents, but the added business will more than cover those small fees.

While some platforms do claim to offer free credit card payments, this is false. Free credit card processing does not exist, but business owners can find a deal that suits their business needs by shopping around.

Analyze Spending Trends

Data has always been important in the world of business, especially today. With business owners having more data than ever before at their fingertips, credit card payment information can help analyze consumer spending behaviors.

Businesses can use data from credit card spending in several ways, including:

  • Customization of customer accounts
  • Creating marketing and promotional campaigns
  • Understanding which spending tactics are most prominent

By using this key information, brands can better understand the actions they need to take to increase their chances of a customer making a purchase.

Over time, these insights can dramatically increase profitability.

International Expansion

eCommerce has boomed throughout the pandemic. It represents one of the few areas where business has increased rather than declined. COVID-19 has altered consumer behavior, perhaps forever, with customers being more inclined to shop online as opposed to in-store.

Businesses that fail to be flexible when it comes to online payments will find themselves being left behind.

A comprehensive POS system ensures that shoppers worldwide can safely and securely perform a credit card transaction with your business.

In short, modern businesses must be willing to receive credit card payments if they want to reach their potential and increase revenue.

How to Accept Credit Card Payments 

Now that you know why taking credit card payments is so important, you need to know how to take credit card payments.

All modern businesses need a card reader with EMV chip reading technology. Older magnetic-stripe card readers are no longer sufficient due to the liability shift initiated on October 1, 2015.

Under the liability shift, if your business doesn’t accept chip cards, certain fraudulent transactions will no longer be covered by banks. Instead, the business itself becomes liable.

These changes were initiated to encourage businesses to upgrade from legacy card payment processing to more modern technology.

So, “How do I accept credit card payments?” with Revel Systems?

Merchant Account

There are many ways to accept credit card payments. However, keep in mind that you will almost certainly require a merchant account if taking payments by credit card.

A merchant account is where transacted funds are stored before they are transferred to a business bank account. This enables the secure transfer of money from a shopper’s card to the business’s bank account.

So why do you need a merchant account at all? Here are the three main reasons: 

  • Efficient processing
  • Compliance requirements
  • Securely settling payment transactions

While it can be frustrating for merchants to have to wait for money to be transferred to their business bank accounts, merchant accounts play a fundamental role in accepting electronic payments.

At Revel Systems, our specialized POS systems are designed to work in conjunction with businesses that have unique merchant account IDs and those that come from popular aggregators, such as  PayPal.

Payment Service Providers

Payment service providers are an integral aspect of accepting credit card payments. On a basic conceptual level, payment service providers are platforms that allow businesses to take electronic payments such as credit cards, direct debits, and bank transfers.

Revel Systems makes it easy for businesses to fully integrate their payment service provider into our cloud-native platform.

Revel Integrated enables streamlined integrations that allow businesses to maximize sales and provide unrivaled support when implementing credit card payments into their business setups for the first time.

Accepting Credit Card Payments In-Person

Businesses that wish to accept in-store credit card payments can take advantage of Revel’s POS software. All POS packages contain both a piece of hardware, which looks like a credit card reader, and software to process payments.

When customers are ready to pay with a credit card, they’ll either swipe or insert their card into the reader. The transaction may require the customer to enter their unique PIN, or they may be eligible to use contactless payment.

Contactless payments are carried out by simply tapping the card’s EMV chip against the front of the reader. However, contactless payments may not be used for particularly large transactions.

The cashier must press the “Charge” button either before the customer inserts their card or after they have inserted it.

Transactions are designed to be completed in an average of 6-7 seconds. If the transaction is approved, the money will be moved from the customer’s account to your merchant account.

Merchant accounts typically release their funds into the business’s bank account in a matter of days.

Do I Need Internet Access to Accept In-Person Credit Card Payments?

Traditionally, all card readers required internet access to take payments via credit cards.

Most credit cards can be used even if there is no internet, but older cards may still require online processing.

However, while modern POS systems often come with an offline mode, the POS system cannot communicate with banks without an internet connection. Therefore, all offline payments are processed after regaining the connection.

In the event an offline card payment is subsequently declined, the business will find itself paying out-of-pocket. This is why companies must proceed with offline credit card payments carefully.

Accepting Credit Card Payments on Mobile

Customers expect businesses to possess the technology to enable them to pay within a matter of seconds.

While modernizing to accept credit card payments, consider enabling customers to pay from their mobile devices. These payments utilize Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to complete transactions.

This is the essence of contactless payments in a nutshell. By using an NFC-powered POS system, customers may hold their device over the mobile card reader, and the payment will be authorized in a matter of seconds.

Unlike contactless payments via card, a customer will have a higher limit when paying via their mobile device simply because they’re required to go through additional verification processes to pair their cards with their mobile devices.

Accepting Credit Card Payments Online

Previously, figuring out how to accept credit card payments online was difficult. It came with a significant amount of complexity and high fees, so many businesses simply avoided it.

Today, it’s simpler than ever to begin accepting credit card payments. With state-of-the-art POS systems from Revel and other providers, fees are competitive. The retail landscape has also made the ability to accept credit cards online a “must-have” for international expansion.

With Revel Systems, the leading iPad POS, you can accelerate your payment flexibility and integrate multiple payment solutions in one place.

Taking payments online becomes a breeze, with customers entering their payment information and the resulting funds quickly transferred into your merchant account.

All customer payment information is encrypted and hidden from the merchant, so you can reassure customers that your business is safe and secure.


If you’re just beginning to explore how to accept credit cards, Revel Systems has you covered. Our premium iPad POS platform is one-of-a-kind cloud-native technology that addresses common customer pain points.

Conforming to customer demands is a key part of doing business in the modern era. Fail to expand the number of payment methods offered through your brand, and you risk being left behind.

Contact Revel Systems to learn more about implementing a payment infrastructure that accepts credit card payments seamlessly.