How To Accept Credit Cards: Guide For Small Businesses Owners

Running a business can be tough. Finding yourself almost out of time and money is an all too often occurrence, for example, and the number of decisions you will have to make might seem overwhelming sometimes. One of the easiest decisions you can make, however, is the decision to begin accepting online and in person credit card payments. This will open up your business and really help attract customers that are looking for a convenient and quick way to pay. To do this, you will need to find a good merchant account processor to help, and some of them even offer a free online merchant account! Let’s take a look at how you can begin accepting credit card payments. 

How To Accept Credit Cards

Free online merchant account
When you need to accept credit card payments, one of the first things you will need to do is to find a good merchant account processing service. This service, depending upon your chosen provider, will help get you the technology you need to start accepting payments as well as providing an online interface to help keep track of your transactions. Some of them even offer a free online merchant account, which is a great deal. 

Lowest credit card processing fees

One of the most important factors when it comes to picking the best merchant account service is how much you will owe in fees. Remember that your credit card transactions will each be charged a processing fee, which is how some services make the bulk of their money. Do your research and find the service with the lowest processing fees around to help ensure that you do not end up paying most of your money to help line someone else’s pocket. 

Are you in need of a great merchant account service provider to help you accept credit card payments? Why not give Merchant Account Solutions a try? They offer a wide variety of services and products, including a free online merchant account. 

Keep Your Flight and Time Options Open

Travel is much more affordable than it used to be, but a major trip or vacation can still take a huge bite out of your bank account. Here are some smart ways to save big bucks when traveling. 


Flight cost is a three-legged stool that depends on the interaction between your destination, dates, and price. If you have your heart set on a particular destination and your dates are limited by your vacation time, then you'll have very little control over your flight pricing. On the other hand, if you have a flight budget in mind but your destination and dates are completely flexible, you can take your pick from whatever is going on sale.

If you need an affordable flight and your vacation dates are fixed, try to open your mind about where you might go. If you are committed to visiting a specific location, you'll need to either create some flexibility in your travel dates or in your pocketbook.

Look at Lodging Alternatives

How adventurous are you? Depending on just how tight your budget is, saving on lodging could mean anything from staying in a three-star hotel to volunteering on a family farm. There's a risk-reward spectrum in travel, just like in business. The more risk you're willing to take, the more adventure you might find on a dime. Airbnb, hostels, couch surfing, and volunteering are all viable methods used by thousands of travelers, but they all carry some risk. 

Work Your Smartphone

The internet made the modern travel boom possible by letting people shop directly for flights, lodging, and tours without a travel agent. Mobile technology is carrying the industry forward at light speed. If you have a global network and a multi-purpose smartphone with long battery, life on the road can be affordable and easy.

With Google Translate, you can interact with locals without a guide. TripAdvisor helps you avoid tourist traps and evaluate tour offerings. Rome2Rio lets you instantly evaluate the cost of trains, buses, ferries, and taxicabs to move between locations. WhatsApp and Messenger let you stay in touch with family. 

Book Activities After You Arrive

Whether you want to sign up for a cooking class, wine tour, snorkeling trip, parasailing adventure, or mountain trek, you can probably do it more affordably after you arrive. Internet resellers collect a premium to list tours and activities on their websites, so they'll turn up in your U.S.-based internet searches, but you can book the same operators locally if you shop carefully and read reviews. There are some exceptions that require advance booking, like the Inka Trail to Machu Picchu, but in most tourist-friendly destinations, you can easily set up activities on the fly.

Eat Some Meals In

Eating out is a part of the fun of travel, of course, but taking all your meals in restaurants can get tiresome and expensive after a few days. If you've booked an apartment or a suite with a kitchen, you can save a bundle on meals. Put the local market on your sightseeing list and stock up on fruits, bread, cheeses, eggs, yogurt, and other easy-to-prepare foods. Having breakfast and coffee on your veranda every morning makes lovely memories, and a picnic is a wonderful way to relax in nature. 

Use Credit Wisely

If you use your credit cards wisely, you'll come out ahead instead of spending on interest charges later. Pay your expenses with a card that earns either miles or cash back bonuses, then pay off the balance before the bill is due or as quickly as possible. Sometimes you can charge major expenses on a card that earns cash back and then transfer that balance to another card that's offering a zero percent balance transfer promotion; this will buy you six or twelve months to pay off any balance. Be careful, though — sometimes those balance transfers carry a fee.

Many people live on tight budgets, and these tips can mean the difference between being able to take a trip or having to stay home. A frugal trip can still be filled with joy and new experiences; don't be afraid to cut costs where you can. 

4 Ways to Boost Your Income Exponentially

You can clip coupons, refinance your mortgage or even get a roommate, but when it comes to saving money there are certain limitations that need to be acknowledged. When you create a budget, the primary factor that affects how much money can be allotted for each expense depends on your income expectations. This is why people who make a lower annual salary are only able to put by so much money into their savings and retirement funds. If you want to increase how much you save, invest and allocate for retirement planning, you need to increase your income. Making an effort to advance in your career or even switch career paths can definitely make a big difference in your paycheck, as can starting a side business or even getting a part-time job. These are the four best ways for money conscious people to see a marked increase in their income.

Boost Your Income Exponentially

Go for a Promotion

Have you been going back and forth with the thought of taking on more responsibility at work? If you know of a new position at work that comes with a higher salary, now is the time to go for it. You may end up needing to work longer hours and you will probably have less time to yourself, but then you will also have fewer opportunities to spend money on things that you don’t need. All in all, if your aim is to increase your income, looking for a promotion or a job that will raise your salary is a great opportunity.

Get Back in School

For many, going back to school might seem like a thankless chore, but that is only because they are focused on short-term results. Sure, completing FNP online programs may take time and finishing a degree does cost money, but it will more than likely lead to a huge boost in your income. Not only are you more valuable to potential employers when you have a degree, you also have an increased ability to command a better salary. 

Monetize Your Talents

With the emergence of websites such as Etsy, it is now easier than ever for people to increase their income via their hobbies. Whether you like making ragdolls or happen to be really good at painting portraits, your talents are being underutilized if you aren’t making some extra money off of them. Choose something that you’re good at or at least enjoy doing, then find out how you can turn something you only do on occasion into a source of income. 

Work an Additional Part-Time Job

Although working both a full-time and a part-time job will leave you tired, look at what you will be getting in return. For people who have completed online FNP programs, the idea of working two jobs is akin to volunteer to burn the candle at both ends. On the other hand, you don’t have to resign yourself to doing it for long. Just working a part-time job in addition to your regular job a few months out of year can help you to save for a summer vacation, pay off your car or get your credit card bills under control

When new bills emerge, sometimes you have to adjust your budget. Increasing your income will make it possible for you to live a low stress life as you will not worry as much about how you are going to handle future hardship. Choose to go back to school, get an additional job, go for a promotion at work or start your very own company. No matter what route you choose, your financial advisor will approve. 

Comparison between NPS Tier 1 & Tier 2 Account

The New Pension System (NPS) is a retirement plan launched by the Indian government. It is regulated by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). The scheme is primarily aimed to offer individuals retirement corpus to achieve financial independence during their senior years.

An individual aged between 18 and 60 years is eligible to invest in this scheme. A duly filled application form must be submitted to PFRDA-appointed Point of Presence (POP). Every successful applicant receives a unique Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN).


Applicants receive the PRAN application status through an email or an SMS. Successful applicants are given a welcome kit including the PRAN card and information guide. However, they may check the status with the POP if there is a situation where the PRAN card is not received. NPS contributions may be made in Tier 1 (pension account) and Tier 2 (investment account). These accounts mature when the subscribers reach the age of 60 years. The differences between these two accounts are briefly discussed below, to assist individual investors.

Comparing Tier 1 and Tier 2 accounts


Tier 1 account is mandatory for every NPS subscriber and is the primary account. Tier 2 account is optional and may be opened by a Tier 1 accountholder. The returns as estimated using the NPS interest rate remain constant on both these accounts.


Subscribers have to make at least 1 contribution to both these accounts each year. The minimum contribution at the time of opening a Tier 1 account is INR 500 and INR 1,000 for Tier 2 account. In addition, NPS subscribers must invest at least INR 6,000 per year to their Tier 1 accounts. There is no minimum annual contribution that is mandatory to the Tier 2 account but subscribers need to maintain at least INR 2,000 as the minimum balance.


When NPS was launched, subscribers were not allowed to withdraw from the Tier 1 account until maturity. However, recently this rule has been modified and investors may now withdraw up to 20% of the accumulated corpus. This money is withdrawable only for certain expenses, such as children's education, buying a first home, or for treating critical medical conditions. The Tier 2 account has no withdrawal conditions and subscribers are allowed to withdraw as per their personal needs. Moreover, Tier 2 account holders may transfer money from this account to the Tier 1 account. However, no such transfer is allowed from Tier 1 to Tier 2 account.

Tax benefits

Subscribers enjoy tax benefits of up to INR 1.5 lacs under section 80CCD (1) of the Income Tax (IT) Act on the contribution to their Tier 1 accounts. An additional benefit of INR 50,000 is available for Tier 1 contributions u/s 80CCD (1B) of the IT Act. No such tax benefits are provided for contributions made to the Tier 2 accounts.


Tier 1 accounts mature when the subscribers reach the age of 60 years. At this time, they may withdraw a maximum of 60% of the accumulated corpus as a lump sum. Until recently, this entire withdrawal was taxed at the subscriber’s tax rates. However, 40% of the sum withdrawn at maturity is now tax-free. The balance corpus is converted to an annuity scheme offered by the PFRDA-approved service providers. Investors may use an online nps calculator, pension plan calculator to estimate the annuity they would receive on their converted corpus. On the other hand, investors are allowed to withdraw money from Tier 2 accounts any time, thereby providing complete flexibility.

The number of NPS subscribers increased significantly from the time the Finance Minister offered additional tax benefits to the investors. However, a large number of individuals still lack clarity and the above discussion aims to clear some of the differences between the two accounts offered by NPS. 

How Demonetization will Bring your Home Loan Lending Rates Down

According to estimates, banks collected cash deposit of more than Rs 4 lakh crores in the week following the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes announcement by the Indian government. While people still wait to get their scrapped 500 and 1000 rupee notes replaced by new 500 and 2000 rupee notes, many are wondering what this move will do to their deposits, loans and investments. 

Home Loan Rates

Subsequent to the demonetization move by the government, all of the Indian citizens are showing up in large numbers at various banks to deposit money in their accounts. Most of this cash is being deposited in savings bank accounts and banks usually pay you about 4 percent interest annually on these accounts. 

Getting money via savings bank accounts is low cost deposit for banks since they pay less interest on them. And with the demonetization of large currency notes, banks are now getting a lot of money. With this, banks can further lend money to people as they apply for home loans. This high liquidity in banks means that the home loan interest rates will be cut down tremendously.

Banks or lending institutions are generally expected to bring about huge deposits growth. This will knock down the borrowing cost for banks, ergo the benefits are passed on to the consumers who avail home loans from banks in the form of reduced interest rates. 

Since banks nowadays are acquiring a lot of money through savings bank accounts, there is no requirement for your fixed deposits. The simple math is that banks would rather pay 4 percent interest on savings accounts than around 7 percent interest on fixed deposits. Therefore, various banks are now dropping interest rates on fixed deposits, which means lending rates are expected to come down as well. 

Most deposits are coming from savings bank accounts and banks are paying less interest on fixed deposits to consumers, allowing them to lend at lower rates with high liquidity. So, you can expect the EMI on your home loans to drop down notably in coming 3 to 6 months. This is definitely a relief for people who are paying EMIs or planning to obtain home loans in coming months.

Leverage CIBIL Score when Applying for a Home Loan

Buying a house is one of the major achievements in your life. And with the easy availability of financing options - since you can apply for home loans online now - it’s become easier than ever before. But ever wondered why some people get more loan amount at lower interest rates than others? It’s because of the CIBIL score, which is a crucial factor in determining whether or not your loan is approved.

Applying for a Home Loan

Lenders access your CIBIL score prior to processing your application for home loan. These scores are generated as per your credit history, loans obtained and loan repayment patterns. A high CIBIL score means strong creditworthiness and the person gets better home loan amount and interest rates while someone with low score is seen as a risky borrower from lenders.

Here are some crucial steps to leverage your CIBIL score when applying for a home loan.

Check your CIBIL score prior to applying for home loan

It’s important to know your credit score beforehand so that your home loan doesn’t get rejected by the lender. By checking credit score, you can ensure that all your financial details and credit history are in order. To access your credit score, you can log in to the CIBIL website and pay a minimal amount of Rs. 470. And in case your score is not up to the mark, you can rebuild your credit record by improving it and become eligible for a home loan.

Do not apply for a home loan repeatedly

If a lender rejects your home loan application because of your lower-than-required credit score, do not just apply to a different lender. This is because another lender will also enquire about your credit score, which reflects negatively on your credit rating. Instead of reapplying right away, try to improve your credit score by repaying debts and cutting down on credit card usage.  

Don’t go overboard with unsecured loans

Make sure you don’t have too many unsecured loans. And if you do, try to close or limit them and even close your credit cards with high limits. These indicate outstanding debt on your credit history and since lenders examine your Debt to Income ratio prior to sanctioning a home loan, this will have a negative impact on your eligibility. Lenders consider high Debt to Income ratio as a possible default as the borrower may not be able to make additional EMI payments.

Should I Invest In High-Risk Industries?

As the vast majority of investors will tell you, success is down to avoiding risk. But on certain occasions, an investor will have the urge to put their money behind a high-risk business.


Why? Because the returns can be extraordinary - it’s that simple. But what is a high-risk business and what do you need to know before gambling on a positive result? 

I’m going to take you through everything you need to know to help you work out if a high-risk business is a viable investment to make.

What are high-risk businesses?

A high-risk business is a company that sells risky - or even dangerous - products. Certain products attract lots of interest from criminals and fraudsters, or can often be a risk in the sense they could cause problems for customers. 

Gambling is a distinct high-risk business, as is anything to do with the sex industry, firearms, and cigarette products. But even direct marketing or health products are classed as high-risk. It’s the same for any new business - you have no previous record or credit history, so you are seen as high risk. 

High-Risk business

As an investor, the sensible option would be to walk away from these types of business models. But if you hear about a deal that sounds irresistible, there are some checks you can make to prevent disasters.

What checks should I make?

Due diligence is a vital aspect of any investment into high-risk companies. In an ideal world, any company you invest in should have open records, up-to-date tax returns, and a seriously impressive business plan. 

You will want to see that the firm places standards high on their list of priorities, too. It means they should be upfront and honest with their claims, and comply with industry regulations. It is advisable to seek out firms that use protections for receiving payments, too, so you know they are avoiding the many fraudulent chargebacks that can occur with a high risk merchant account. 

High-Risk Industries

You will also have to do some soul searching. Take the arms industry as a perfect example. It will almost always be profitable, but can you live with the fact your investment is used for death and destruction?

Will it cause me problems?

Aside from the dangers of losing your money in a high-risk business, there is something else you need to think about: society. In the past, investing in shares with a tobacco company, say, was no great shakes - many would do it. 

These days, however, the climate is a little different. In fact, if you are a company investing in tobacco, gambling, or the arms industry, there may be consequences. The societal norm has changed a lot, and many consumers will stop buying from companies who support industries they deem as irresponsible - or even ‘sinful.' 

While it’s different for private investors, you should be aware that if others people find out about your portfolio, they may view you differently as a person.

Should I do it?

There is nothing to stop you from investing in high-risk businesses other than your moral code. If you do decide to go with it, ensure you run plenty of checks - and understand they are called ‘high-risk businesses’ for an excellent reason. Good luck!