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5 Ways Small Businesses Can Accept Payments


As a small business, it’s vital to have an efficient way to receive payments for the goods or services you’re selling online or in person. Depending on the methods you can access, you can decide to accept one or multiple payment options. The five common ways to accept payments are cash, wire transfer, credit/debit cards, and online payment methods.

Accept Cash Payments

Cash payment has been a primary mode of payment until recently, when digital payment options steadily increased in popularity. Most cash payments are managed from a point-of-sale (POS) system. Consumers make their cash payments through bills and coins.  

The only current limitation of cash payments is when customers shop online. Only about 36% of customers today consistently have cash on them, which is very low, so it’s important to have an alternative way to accept payments.

Wire Transfer

A wire transfer is an electronic money transfer between two bank accounts. It’s a payment made by a financial institution, like a bank or money transmitter, from a sender to a receiver’s bank account.  A wire transfer can be domestic (within the country) or international, which is ideal when large sums of money are involved and money should be received immediately. The money reception is immediate because there’s no third party involved. The wire transfer money goes through a system like SWIFT or CHIPS (Clearing House Interbank Payments System).

Credit Cards and Debit Cards

Almost everyone in the developed world today owns a credit or debit card, while this is increasingly phenomenal in the developing world. Businesses have also adopted them as a key mode of accepting payments. 75% of today’s customers prefer using debit or credit cards when shopping or making payments online or in person.

When accepting credit/debit cards, consider the card’s payment processing fees and transaction fees from the card company, and choose the cheapest option. For example, Visa charges less than American Express. You also need to be alert to potential credit card fraud, which has been rampant recently, especially among small businesses. Accepting card payments requires that you have card reader tools like POS software, virtual terminal, and card reader.

Automated Clearing House (ACH) Processing

Many small businesses accept ACH transfers for payment. ACH is like wire transfers, sending money electronically, but the money is processed automatically through a clearinghouse network or a payment processor. ACH payments are ideal for business-to-business or business-to-consumer scenarios that require shorter payment periods of one to three days, such as:

  • Paychecks
  • Bill payments
  • Tax refunds

These are ideal for small businesses because they are relatively quick, easy to set up, and more secure than other payment options.

Online Payment Options

In today’s digital economy, small businesses have several options for online payment methods to receive payments. This is very important for eCommerce stores. Most online payment services also accept credit and debit card payments at a fee. The five most popular online payment tools are:

  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • Square
  • ApplePay
  • Google Pay

Allow your business to accept these payment options and reap the benefits of diversified payments.


There are many other payment options like subscription, recurring billing, contactless payment, and more that you can explore. The more payment options your business has, the more customers you receive. As a small business, you must adapt to your customers’ needs or risk losses.


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