Businesses today need the ability to accept credit cards in order to remain competitive with other businesses in their industries. When the power is out or Internet outages take place, you need to maintain the ability to process payments in order to keep your business going. That is why many credit card payment processing service providers have begun to offer the ability to process credit card payments offline as a convenience for their customers – and yours.
What is Offline Credit Card Processing?
Essentially, offline credit card processing refers to the process of accepting credit cards without an Internet connection. Since most credit card companies require connections to the Internet for processing and approval.
Without the access to the Internet, vendors and service providers face significant losses for cards that aren’t approved. That is why many small businesses have elected not to accept credit cards in the past. The risks outweigh the potential rewards for many business owners, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.
When is Offline Credit Card Processing Beneficial?
There are a surprising number of occasions when the ability to process credit cards offline can be a huge benefit to business owners. One of the most important times is when there are power or Internet outages. These are typically temporary situations but can result in a loss of a sale if you don’t have alternative options for processing payments available to you.
When you can process payments without an Internet connection of electricity, you can still make the sale and process the payment – getting approval for the transaction later. It’s true that you accept greater risk in these situations, but the goodwill generated among your customers may make it worth the risk for temporary situation.
It is also beneficial when you have to travel for business and may be out of range for your mobile phone’s Internet connection to work. When this happens, the ability to accept offline payments, via Clover Mobile, for example, can help you make the sale when you would otherwise be unable to do so.
It is also beneficial for people who travel to do sales at flea markets and festivals. If your business is mobile, offline payment processing allows you to take your business wherever you need to go. The same holds true for people who provide services like:
- Food Trucks
- Hair Stylists
- Lawn Services
The sky really is the limit for the many businesses that can benefit from the ability to accept credit cards when offline. Essentially any business that may experience power or Internet outages or that has to take the show on the road once in a while has plenty to gain from this simple ability. Even businesses that may sometimes travel to remote locations where network connections are not always reliable or available can benefit from this type of service.
It is important to understand that you do face risks when accepting credit cards offline. But sometimes, these risks will pay off well for your business by creating good will with your customers and improving customer loyalty. Just remember that you do need to connect to the Internet, often within 72 hours and up to once every seven days, depending on the service you use, to process the payments. Otherwise, the charges will expire and you will not get paid.
Working Offline with Clover Station
While Clover Mini and other Clover devices are designed to work online for credit card processing, it is possible to set them up for use offline. However, after seven consecutive days of use offline, you must connect your Clover device to the Internet or it will no longer allow credit card processing until it has been connected to the net.
The benefit is that you can accept the payments when offline and then send the payments for processing once you’re able to reconnect to the World Wide Web. You can even establish default payment limits for accepting offline credit card payments to help limit your exposure in the event that there are problems. In this instance, if you establish a default limit of $50, any order of $50 or less will be allowed, but orders in excess of $50 will be declined.
If your business uses more than one Clover device, you will have to manually allow offline payments and set defaults for each of the devices you wish to allow to accept offline payments.
Whether you are interested in offline credit card processing as a routine part of doing your business or simply to help you continue operating during certain emergency situations, it is a useful ability to have in today’s competitive business environment.