North American Bancard

North American Bancard has grown to become the leader in the credit card processing services for two decades, offering the lowest rates with the highest security.
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The peace of mind to focus on your success.

North American Bancard has been providing safe, secure, and reliable credit card processing services for more than 180,000 merchants nationwide.
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The best free equipment program in the business.

North American Bancard has been on the forefront of technology and modern business thinking, consistently offering highly-competitive pricing, and best-in-class customer service.
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Why You Need to Accept Credit Cards

Posted on 22, May | Posted by admin

accept credit cardsIt’s a fact – we live in a nearly cashless society and, as a result, the cash-only business is fast becoming the dinosaur of the retail space. Accepting credit cards is nearly a requirement in today’s business climate.  So what are the pros of accepting credit cards at your business? We at North American Bancard have put together a short list explaining the benefits of accepting cards – both credit and debit – at your business.

Convey a sense of trust. When first launching a business, you won’t have the credibility of a well-established company, so gaining instant credibility by promoting that you’re able to accept credit cards will help your business evolve. Customers trust those companies with their personal and financial information so you’ll be able to acquire respectability and strong customer relationships when compared to companies that don’t accept credit cards.

The more payment options, the better the sales. Why limit your customers to just cash? Because the number of people carrying cash decreases every day, accepting credit cards will open the door to more opportunities, and hopefully more wallets.

Credit Cards drive e-commerce. Nearly every transaction made on the Internet is paid for by some sort of payment card — be it credit, debit or gift cards — so having a successful online presence and creating an excellent revenue stream is crucial for the growth of your business.

Plastic is better than a check. Because of the high level of diligence done by credit card processors, it’s less likely that you’ll be a victim of fraud when compared to accepting checks. Accepting one bad check can make a business susceptible to spending valuable time dealing with banks and trying to find the customer to get reimbursed.

Impulse buys pay the same as calculated purchases. Credit cards offer a convenience that will help increase the likelihood of your customers making “impulse purchases.” Customers tend not to hesitate with “convenient, nice to have” purchases when they use a credit card compared to harder-to-part-with cash.

Set-up is easy. Companies like North American Bancard pride themselves on making the application process, and subsequent set-up of the merchant account, as seamless as possible. Our goal is to create a smooth transaction process, leading to a better relationship with your customers.

To learn more about the pros and cons of accepting credit cards, visit sba.gov where they have a complete list of how the benefits can outweigh the negatives.

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5 Writing Habits You Need to Break

Posted on 20, May | Posted by admin

If you are a small business owner, don’t let well-written blogs about your business become low on your priority list. To help you make the most of your blogs, here is a list of bad writing habits you should break, according to Hubspot:

1. Don’t use more than one exclamation point at the end of a sentence. Hubspot says the more exclamation points you use at the end of a sentence, the weaker and less believable your point becomes – and we agree. If you think you need an exclamation point for a sentence in your blog, please use only one.

2. Don’t write long, wordy paragraphs. Most people simply skim the page when reading blogs or articles on the internet. To help people get the most from your posts, write in concise and short sentences. You should also try to keep it to only 2-3 sentences per paragraph.

3. Avoid using buzzwords. Buzzwords might sound cool the first time you use them, but then they you start to see them everywhere and they get annoying. Avoid using buzzwords and slag popular with younger crowds in your blogs – you could be using them in the wrong context and end up hurting your brand.

4. Don’t ramble on. Be sure to make your point in the first few sentences of your blog. This will get readers interested and keep them reading. Don’t include any unnecessary information or stories.

5. Avoid using vague language and be clear about your topic. If your blog post is vague, people won’t understand your points. Here are some tips on how not to be vague:

  • Write a clear headline.
  • Communicate only one point per paragraph.
  • Use short sentences and words.
  • If you are having trouble communicating your concept clearly, spend more time researching it.

For more blogging tips, visit blog.hubspot.com.

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Learn All About the New SEO

Posted on 14, May | Posted by admin

SEOThe world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be confusing, even for the most seasoned digital marketing professional – it’s no wonder it can throw small business owners through a loop. To help you get the most out of your SEO efforts, North American Bancard has put together a list of what you need to know.

Targeting key words and then creating an entire campaign based on those words is now longer a viable SEO strategy. Now, SEO puts a focus on quality and value – not quantity. To make SEO work for your business, you need to create content that is relevant to both your customers and your business, make it an excellent user experience.  This seems like a tall order, but you know your business better than anyone, so take the lead on SEO and make sure your message is getting out to the customers using a search engine to do research before they head out shopping.

Here’s what you need to start doing in order to have positive search results:

Social media. A few years ago, social media wasn’t really accounted for in SEO. Today, it may not be a direct factor in your search rankings, but it can build a network of people that will share, like and tweet your business’s message.

Blog. Blogs are the best way to share the business content you want with your customers. Your posts shouldn’t be about upcoming sales, but about how your business is going the extra mile to help the community. You can also focus on a new product that is unique to your business or area, especially if you are the first to have it in town. Be consistent on posting blogs – writing 1-2 new posts a week. To help meet your goals, you can hire a copywriter to craft your blogs. Remember to create posts people will want to share with family and friends. Blogs can lead to great word of mouth advertising, and will increase your rankings in search engine results.

Be choosy with your links. Don’t link to just anything. Much like your content, you need to make sure that what you link to on your website is relevant. Don’t link to forums or other sites that aren’t an authority on a topic you are looking to feature. Be sure to filter for any links you offer your customers, and only link to the best.

SEO doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, it can be a useful tool to get more customers to your store or website. Remember, SEO ever changing so you never want to stay stagnant – if you do you’ll end up falling in the search rankings and possibly losing business.

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Why Your Business Shouldn’t Be Cash Only

Posted on 12, May | Posted by admin

For some startups and small businesses, it can be hard to see the benefits of accepting credit cards – especially if the business has been cash only since opening day. However, there is a big downside to being cash only and you could really be limiting the customers you bring in.

While it is true that cash is the simplest form of payment, it’s not always the best form of payment for small businesses. Here are the cons of accepting only cash, courtesy of the U.S.  Small Business Administration (SBA):

  • If your customers don’t have the cash to purchase an item they want from your business, then they are more likely to walk away from the purchase.
  • Keeping a large sum of cash at your business can put you at an increased security risk. It can also increase the amount of time you will spend at your business managing finances because of the time it can take to count cash and change.
  • Credit cards and debit cards are very popular; in fact, most people only carry a small amount of cash or no cash at all. Because of this, being cash only can cause your business to lose both existing and potential customers. A cash only policy can make them feel inconvenienced and cause them to take their business elsewhere.
  • Being cash only can mean you will need to do additional paperwork come tax time. The SBA states the IRS requires businesses that receive more than $10,000 in cash from one buyer in a single transaction, or two or more related transactions, to file a Form 8300. This same rule applies to cash equivalents including traveler’s checks, bank drafts, cashier’s checks and money orders. The form does require that you have your customer’s name, address and social security number.

To learn more about the advantages of accepting credit cards, visit www.northamericanbancard.com.

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No PhD Needed to Understand Analytics

Posted on 8, May | Posted by admin

Analytics are a necessary part of running a business today. While understanding your business in numbers can get complicated, we are here to help you understand why analytics are necessary, and how to get the most out of their use. Keep in mind, each business will have a unique set of numbers and factors, so something that will help one business may hurt the next business. That’s why we’re helping you understand the world of analytics a little better.

The good news is you don’t need to math wiz to understand your business analytics. Originally, analytics were number cruncher territory and that scared a lot of people away. Luckily, there are a number of sites, programs and platforms that you can work with to get a better understanding of the reports.

It’s just another thing to do. Yes, analytics do take a bit of time to go through, but so does reducing prices, or closing your doors for good. Analytics help you figure out what parts of your marketing are working, and will help you stop throwing good money after bad. Once you get a plan together on how you’ll check your numbers, you’ll see the initial investment in time was well worth it.

Know what you’re looking for. First off, you need to set your goals on what you want from analytics – is it what term was searched for that got a visitor to your website? Or, what platform — social media, email or referrals — did they come from? All of these, and many others, are great to know, but the two analytical numbers you want to know are visitor-to-lead conversion rates and lead-to-customer conversion rates. These are the true measures of your messages effectiveness. By using these numbers, you’ll be able to tell what messages are hitting on all cylinders, and which ones may need a tune-up.

Don’t comparison shop. It is good, and even recommended by some, to use different platforms when analyzing your analytics, but don’t attempt to compare the numbers. Different platforms, like HubSpot or Google Analytics, use different criteria to get your numbers, so it isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison and may skew what your course of action should be. You’ll want to compare trends, and you should see the same patterns on however many platforms you use. If there is a large anomaly in those trends, you may want to revisit your numbers on platform that has such varying information, because there may be an issue with the way your reporting was handled.

Not a place for wallflowers. You’ve done all the work, so why not put your analytics into action? After careful review, you should see trends on what has been working, and what hasn’t.  Have a plan of action with your information, and don’t be afraid to change your marketing efforts mid-stream. You’re going through the process of analytics for a reason, so never let this valuable information go to waste. Instead, use it to modify your current campaign or as the basis for your next one. If you opt not to use a marketing platform, like HubSpot or Google Analytics, to keep tabs on your trends over a set period of time, you may want to use a Google Spreadsheet or Excel to keep track of how your numbers perform. HubSpot offers a marketing reporting template that makes reporting easier and faster.

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Tips to Give Your Brand a Voice

Posted on 5, May | Posted by admin

brand voiceIt can often be difficult for small businesses to sound human in their marketing and social media efforts – especially when presenting technical or complicated information. Many businesses try to sound professional, but come off sounding more robotic and cold. No matter what your business, it’s ok to have a little fun with your marketing and social media. After all, the more human your business sounds, the more likely it is to attract customers and fans.

Your customers want to make connections with your business, and the best way to get them to connect is to follow these three tips for creating a human brand voice:

1. Make your business’s tone personal, approachable and engaging.

Telling people your business is an industry leader is great for attracting customers and building your business’s credibility – but it won’t mean a thing if you don’t present your business in a fun, engaging tone. By having a little fun with your marketing and social media, you can make even the most boring and technical of businesses one that connects and engages with customers.

2. Speak the language your audience speaks.

Lose all corporate jargon, sales talk and overly fluffy language on social media. Instead, you should talk to your customers like a normal person and don’t try to hard sell them your products. You can still present complicated or educational materials, and sell your products, in a way that doesn’t alienate, or talk down to, your customer base. The more approachable you are, the better the results will be for your business.

3. Be available.

You should always be available when it comes to your business’s online persona – especially on social media. When using social media, you be available to respond to any and all comments, questions and reviews from fans. If you schedule your posts, but ignore the customer engagement you get on the posts, then you will quickly lose fans and customers. Creating a viable, engaging online community is one of the best ways to show that your business has a human side – and best of all, it’s free.

To get more tips on how to humanize your brand, check out Hubspot’s blog on the topic.

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Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly?

Posted on 30, Apr | Posted by admin

Google SEOIt might seem that everyone that comes into your store, or those who interact with your business online, has a smartphone that they use for research before, during and after they shop. You might be surprised to find that, according to comScore, 80 percent of internet users own a smartphone and use it to search the internet.

Unfortunately for business owners, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, there is a good possibility your business won’t show up in a Google search, even if it did previously. Why? There is a new Google algorithm that puts an emphasis on mobile-friendly websites.

Don’t panic. There is an easy way to know if your website is mobile-friendly. If it isn’t you can fix it so you don’t lose any business from being MIA on Google searches.

Here is what Google uses to assess what websites are considered mobile-friendly:

  • The site doesn’t use software that is not common on smartphones and other mobile devices – like Flash.
  • The text is readable without zooming in.
  • The site has a responsive design that fits the content to the screen, and allows users to interact with the site without having to scroll horizontally or zooming in to read.
  • The links are placed at a far enough distance so users can easily tap the one they are looking to use.

There is a foolproof way to tell if a business’s website will pass the test for the new algorithm. Google is now offering everyone a free assessment tool that you can use to see if a website is mobile-friendly. If you get a passing grade, you are fully optimized and will still be included in Google searches. You can click here to be directed to the free assessment tool.

If your site gets a failure message after the assessment, don’t worry! You will get a few reasons that your site isn’t considered mobile-friendly, and you can use these to start plans to fix the problem and get back onto the rankings where your business belongs.

If your site requires a little more heavy lifting than you have the time, or skill set, to fix, there are a number of website builders that offer mobile-friendly. If you are looking for free or inexpensive templates that include a responsive design, visit templatemonster.com, templated.co or html5up.net.

While this may seem like a tedious exercise – it’s all about location. If your customers are using their mobile devices more than computers for their internet searches, then your business should be mobile-friendly so that you’re both top of mind, and top of the search engine results.

If you still have questions, or want to help others make mobile-friendly sites, visit the Webmaster Help Forum that Google has set-up to help make the web better for all users.

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Learn to Build Your Business Page on Facebook

Posted on 28, Apr | Posted by admin

FacebookFun fact! Approximately 51 percent of people are more likely to purchase a product after they “like” it on Facebook. This statistic is just one, of many, reasons that you should get your small business on Facebook.

Building a Facebook business page is easy, and takes just a few clicks:

1. To start, go to facebook.com/about/pages and click on “Create a Page.” Once you do that, you can choose your type of business from the option, the category that best fits your business and your contact information. Finally, click “Get Started.”

2. Build your business’s identity on the page by choosing and uploading a unique cover photo and a profile picture (like your logo). You can change the cover photo as often as you’d like to keep the page fresh, but you should keep your profile photo the same so your page is easily recognizable.

3. Be sure to update your page regularly with a variety of posts. These posts can be linking to relevant articles or videos about your products or business; or you can do status updates informing customers of upcoming events or sales. Videos and photos tend to perform well.

4. Finally, you will want to click on insights at the top of your page to periodically check on how your posts perform and see what your page demographics are. Use the information provided to see which posts are most popular. You can also use this data to publish posts at the best times and reach the maximum number customers who like your page.

Want more information on how to use Facebook for your business? Click here.

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Why Your Business Needs to Be on Facebook

Posted on 23, Apr | Posted by admin

Facebook TipsIf your business isn’t on Facebook, you are missing out on a big opportunity to reach hundreds of thousands of potential customers and grow your business. Creating a Facebook page for your business is easy to do, you can update it with minimal time commitment and, best of all, it’s free.

As Discover notes, Facebook can help you:

  • Build your business and tell its unique story.
  • Share any big or important business news.
  • Gather feedback from customers on products or services.
  • Reach a large number of new customers.
  • Respond to current customers quickly and in a personal way – building a relationship with your fan base.
  • Build an online community made up of fans of your business.

The first step you need to take is creating the actual business page on Facebook. Once you’ve created your page, be sure to update it on a regular basis. An active page that has videos, links to relevant stories, photos and special deals or promotions helps to ensure that you are connecting your business with as many potential customers as you can on a constant basis. Facebook also has tools that can help you view page insights, track page activity and respond to personal messages from customers.

To grow your Facebook fans as quickly as you can, be sure to add a “Like us on Facebook” button to your business’s website, and post signs at your business – you can even encourage friends and family to like the page. Facebook is your place to show the world what your business is about, so take advantage of this free marketing platform and make the most of it.

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Is Your Business Ready for Mobile Payments?

Posted on 21, Apr | Posted by admin

Mobile PaymentsMobile payment options for consumers are growing at an alarming rate, spurred on by the popularity of Apple Pay. Several major companies, in addition to Apple, now offer mobile payment platforms, including Google, Facebook and PayPal. While the majority of mobile payment activity takes place online, more and more people are taking advantage of in-person mobile payments at stores across the U.S.

According to MasterCard, all types of mobile payments are projected to expand four-fold by 2019, exceeding $1 trillion in payments made through tablets and mobile phones. In-person mobile payments are expected to increase 12-fold by 2019 to $104 billion.

There are several benefits to incorporating mobile payments into your business, including:

  • Reducing cost by lowering fraud loss and/or processing fees for businesses.
  • Increasing store traffic and profits by moving people through checkout lines more efficiently.
  • You can track the actions and purchases of your customers, allowing you to target your marketing efforts and make the most of your marketing budget.
  • You can attract customers during off hours with special offers or a coupon, utilizing the tracking mobile payments offers you.

So why should you prepare your business for mobile payments? Mobile payments are the new reality for stores. To stay competitive with big box stores and other small businesses, you will want to offer your customers as many payment options as you can in order to make their shopping experience an quick and easy one.

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