If you are a merchant that accepts credit or debit, you have a lot of information to keep in your head about accepting payments, staying current on the latest technologies and program rules — not to mention watching out for fraud and loss issues.
That’s where the website from Community Merchants USA (CMUSA) comes in. We’ve been bringing you a series on accepting electronic payments and what you need to know, sponsored by CMUSA, so we thought we’d tell you a little about the CMUSA resource.
Community Merchants USA, an educational nonprofit project of the electronic payments industry, has developed a:
. . .complete online resource for navigating the world of payment card acceptance in order to add the most value to your business.
The free site provides educational resources and tools to:
. . .help small business owners understand how electronic payments can help you start, manage and grow a business.
The site is aimed at any type of small businesses that accept credit cards and/or debit cards.
These days that can include merchants, consultants, engineers, lawyers, technology companies, marketing agencies and other B2B companies and professionals — because clients and customers increasingly want to pay via credit or debit. That means you need to know about the best possible options and solutions for accepting cards.
Let me highlight some features:
Tools and Tips About Accepting Credit and Debit Cards
No matter what your question is about accepting payments, you should find your answer on CMUSA.
The Savings and Tools page is a great place to start if you’re new to accepting debit and credit card payments. But even if you’ve been accepting cards for years, you will likely find information that will deepen your understanding and help you get more value out of accepting cards. The infographics, videos and articles offer information about interchange and checkout fees, the latest payment technology, avoiding fraud, choosing a card processor and more.
Many business owners will find the card processor comparison tool powered by FeeSeeker helpful. You simply input a few basic facts about your business, and you receive a list of card processors, their transaction fees and estimates for monthly costs. The tool makes it easy to shop around to find the right fit for your business.
You’ll also find opportunities for more in-depth knowledge as well as networking on the CMUSA events page. The page lists live events across the country as well as free webinars about accepting card payments.
Keep Up With Trends
The world of card acceptance is always evolving, and you need to stay on top of things so you don’t miss out on opportunities to grow. The CMUSA news page offers the latest electronic payment news from reliable resources such as Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and even our very own Small Business Trends. You can also learn from the personal experiences and successes of other small business owners on the CMUSA blog.
If you’re looking for a little more personal attention, you can Ask an Expert. This feature is exactly what it sounds like: CMUSA brings together a panel of electronic payments and small business experts, and you have the chance to ask them about accepting card payments or business in general. The expert will respond within 48 hours and CMUSA will post your question and answer on their website.
“Share Your Story” and Build Your Online Presence
If you’re already in the “world of payment card acceptance,” you can write about your experiences through the Share Your Story forum. The payoff for you is this: If your entry is chosen, it will be displayed on CMUSA’s blog to give you extra visibility.
Plus, your story could help other small business owners like you. Everybody wins.
Participate on their Twitter and Facebook Channels
CMUSA also maintains an active Twitter and a new Facebook page. If you are on Twitter and Facebook (I recommend your business have a presence on both), I suggest following CMUSA. They will update both channels with new developments.
That way, you can stay up to date with new information.
The Bottom Line
CMUSA provides up-to-date information about the many facets of credit and debit card payments. It contains valuable tips for those just getting into card acceptance territory, as well as news and updated information for seasoned business owners who want to get the most value out of card acceptance.
Because CMUSA is regularly updated and actively tended, this site is a helpful resource for staying on top of the latest developments in card acceptance.