How to accept credit card payments for your Australian small business

How to accept credit card payments for your Australian small business

Before you can start taking orders from customers, you’ll need to set up a payment option that’s simple and allows them to pay without any hassles.

It’s likely you’re considering opting for credit card payments as a convenient and secure way for your customers to pay for your goods and/or services.. So, how do you start the process of accepting credit card payments?

How to accept credit card payments for businesses

Accepting credit card payments for your small business, while beneficial, could initially be a challenging task. The process differs depending on the type of business and payment model.

Here are two potential ways to get your small business set up to accept credit card payments:

A merchant account with a bank

Getting a merchant account with a bank is generally the most challenging route you can take. But, once the account is set-up, it’s the most efficient solution as well.

A merchant account with a bank allows you to create your own payment gateway instead of relying on services like PayPal. With this payment gateway, you’ll be able to accept credit card payments from your customers in a safe and secure manner. By opting to create your own payment gateway through a merchant account, you’ll get access to physical card-reading devices found in brick-and-mortar stores, as well as the payment processing portals used for online sales.

Moreover, by securing a merchant account with a bank, you will most likely have fewer merchant fees per transaction, depending on the industry you’re in.

The process of getting a merchant account can be difficult, especially for smaller businesses, as banks are usually concerned about the risks of credit card fraud and customer complaints.

To increase your chances of getting a merchant account, you could consider contacting a smaller bank or a bank you have an existing history with.

Moreover, a bank would be more willing to give you a merchant account if you have a physical store, as the goods are delivered as soon as the payment is made, which reduces the chances of fraud. If you have an online store that sends the products days or weeks after the payment is made, the bank will likely refuse your application to open a merchant account. In such cases, you could consider using online options that enable you to accept credit cards.

Online merchant gateways like PayPal or Stripe

If you own a credit or debit card, you’ve probably used an online merchant gateway to make a payment at least once. This is one of the most popular ways for small businesses to accept credit card payments online. Also known as a credit card payment gateway, an online merchant gateway is similar to a credit card machine that is online. Your customers can submit their credit card details on a secure webpage to make payments for your services or products.

Setting up an online merchant gateway for your business is relatively easy as you just need to provide a company like PayPal all your business details and identification. Your PayPal account will then be directly linked to your bank account.

Online payment gateways are extremely user-friendly as you can create buttons like ‘buy now’ on shopping carts. You can even allow the customer to choose from various plans or buy-now-pay-later options. You can then add these buttons and customisations on your website for your customers to access.

What fees will apply when you accept credit card payments?

There are three types of fees you will typically be charged to accept credit card payments for your business. The amount usually varies depending on the payment platform. To know the exact amount, you could consider requesting a quote before signing up for a merchant account or payment gateway service.

1. Set-up fees

Some payment solutions may require you to pay a one-time set-up fee or a service fee to create the payment gateway or account. The amount usually varies depending on the size of your business, type of payment solutions you choose and other factors.

2. Account fees

You’ll generally have to pay an account fee on a monthly or yearly basis. This fee is based on several factors like the size of the business, the estimated number of transactions and the features of the package you choose. As account fees are usually a fixed price and are charged at regular intervals, it’s relatively easy to budget for it. However, you need to ensure that you choose the right type of plan and fee structure for your business.

3. Payment processing fees

Usually, you will be charged a payment processing fee, either a percentage of each transaction or a fixed dollar amount. For example, PayPal charges between 1.1 per cent to 2.6 per cent plus a fixed fee of $0.30 per transaction in Australia and up to 3.6 per cent for every transaction in a foreign currency. The fees could also vary depending on the package and features you choose.

While it’s essential to choose the right credit card for your business that provides a host of features, it’s also crucial to select the best way to accept credit card payments for your small business. So, it’s worth comparing various payment options that can help you find a suitable solution for your business and your customers.

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Learn more about credit cards

How to pay a credit card

There are a few ways to pay a credit card bill. These include:

  • BPAY - allows you to safely make credit card payments online.
  • Direct debits - set up an automatic payment from your bank account to pay your credit card bill each month. You can choose how much you want to pay of your credit card bill when you set up the auto payments.
  • In a branch.
  • Via your credit card provider's app.

How to increase my Commonwealth credit card limit?

Commonwealth Bank credit cards are extremely popular in Australia for everyday purchases and big ticket items alikers. A number of the card’s functions can be customised, depending on your needs and desires. If you wish to increase your Commonwealth credit card limit using the CommBank, you can usually do so on the app or via NetBank.

In the CommBank app, tap on the ‘Cards’ icon and choose your credit card. Then, click on ‘Credit Limit’ and select the ‘Increasing your limit’ option. If you don’t have the CommBank app, you can also increase your Commonwealth Bank credit card limit through NetBank. Simply log on and go to Settings, then click on ‘Product Requests’ and then choose ‘Credit Card Limit Changes’. 

Once the bank has received your application, they will review your account and payment history. Based on this assessment, your application will either be approved or denied. If approved, your new limit will be applied to your card instantly. 

While increasing your credit card limit may be an easy process, it’s important to remember that you should only request limits that you can manage. A high limit increases the risk of having a larger debt, even with cards that provide low-interest rate options. So, it’s important to think carefully and seek advice from people you trust before increasing your Commonwealth Bank credit card limit.

Can I transfer money from my American Express credit card to my bank account?

If you’re an American Express credit card customer, you may not be able to transfer money from your credit card to your bank account. However, you may be eligible for cash advances, which involves withdrawing money through an ATM. 

To qualify for a cash advance, you’ll likely have to enrol for American Express Membership Rewards. Consider checking your online credit card account to see if you can withdraw a cash advance and, if so, the fees and charges you’ll incur for this transaction. 

You should remember that cash advances are different from balance transfers, which were available with some American Express credit cards earlier. Balance transfers allow customers to consolidate debt from high-interest credit cards to a credit card offering a lower interest rate. If you only recently applied for an American Express credit card, balance transfers may not be available irrespective of the card you own. 

How to increase your Qantas Premier credit card limit

When your income or spending habits change, you might wish to increase your credit card limit. The Qantas Premier credit card allows you to do this over the phone. You can contact Qantas Premier Card Support by calling on 1300 992 700. Unlike some other credit providers, Qantas doesn’t give you the option to increase your limit online.

Qantas will only accept your application if you have a good history of repayment and have not increased your credit or bought another credit product from Qantas in the past six months.

Before approving your Qantas Premier credit card limit increase, Qantas will perform a credit assessment on your current financial circumstances and ask why you would like to increase your credit limit.

To ensure that there are no bumps in your application process, you must provide accurate and recent information about your financial situation. You should also account for any future changes you’re anticipating which could hinder your ability to repay the loan.

Once the assessment is complete, Qantas will either approve or deny your application. If they approve it, you will need to sign a credit limit increase agreement - and you can request a written copy of the credit assessment. However, if your application is rejected, Qantas can opt not to provide a copy of the assessment.

How can I increase my credit card limit on my American Express card?

If you want to increase the credit limit on your American Express (AMEX) credit card, you will need to apply through the AMEX Online Services, or by calling the number on the back of your card. You may need to share personal information that the bank can use to assess whether the requested limit is suitable for you and your current financial status. Once your application is approved, your new limit will be ready for use within an hour.

Do I get HSBC credit card insurance on purchases I make?

As an HSBC credit card (HSBC Platinum, HSBC Platinum Qantas and HSBC Premier World) cardholder, you may be entitled to complimentary international and domestic travel insurance. This HSBC credit card insurance covers you for hospital stays and medical expenses, flight cancellations or delays, as well as lost luggage or personal items.

To be eligible for the insurance, you should have paid for at least 90 per cent of your overseas return travel ticket with your HSBC credit card. The cover is automatically activated without a need to contact HSBC. However, it’s always best to let your card issuer know when you travel overseas. If you have pre-existing medical conditions, you’ll need to contact Allianz directly to organise cover for these as they aren’t covered by the insurance. You can call Allianz on 1800 648 093.

The complimentary international travel insurance that comes with your HSBC Platinum credit card is valid for up to four months from the date of your departure from Australia. Your HSBC credit card insurance cover also covers your spouse and dependent children if 90 per cent of their travel ticket is purchased using your HSBC card.


What does Westpac credit card insurance cover?

If you own a Westpac credit card, one of the perks may be  free travel insurance. If you’re eligible, you may be covered if you get sick while travelling, have lost your luggage, have to cancel a trip or have an accident while you’re on the move.

Besides these standard inclusions, the Westpac credit card insurance policy may also cover you for hospital essentials, emergency dental treatment and alternative transport if your original plans go awry. It may also cover loss of income when you get back home after being sick  overseas and your pets’ boarding costs too.

If you have any queries, the Westpac credit card insurance contact number is 1800 091 710. You can submit a claim online.


Should I get a credit card?

Once you've compared credit card interest rates and deals and found the right card for you, the actual process of getting a credit card is quite straightforward. You can apply for a credit card online, over the phone or in person at a bank branch. 

How do you use credit cards?

A credit card can be an easy way to make purchases online, in person or over the phone. When used properly, a credit card can even help you manage your cash flow. But before applying for a credit card, it’s good to know how they work. A credit card is essentially a personal line of credit which lets you buy things and pay for them later. As a card holder, you’ll be given a credit limit and (potentially) charged interest on the money the bank lends you. At the end of each billing period, the bank will send you a statement which shows your outstanding balance and the minimum amount you need to pay back. If you don’t pay back the full balance amount, the bank will begin charging you interest.

How to make a credit card online

If you’re wondering about how to make a credit card online application, here are some steps to follow:

  • Test the market. Many credit card options are available online. Compare providers by fees, interest and perks to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
  • Complete the application. Once you’ve selected a card, head to the provider’s website and complete the online credit card application form. Forms vary by providers.
  • Provide details. Most cards require you to meet age, residency, income and credit status condition, and you need to provide details like a bank account statement to prove this.
  • Review details. Ensure the information you’ve entered is correct.

How do you apply for a credit card?

You can apply for a credit card online, over the phone or in person at the bank. Once you’ve compared the current credit card offers, the application process is quick and easy. Before you get your application started, you’ll need to gather your personal information like proof of ID, payslips and bank statements, proof of employment and details of your income, assets and liabilities. To be eligible for a credit card, you’ll need to be an Australian citizen over 18 and earn a minimum of $15,000 each year. Once you’ve applied for a credit card, you should get a response fairly instantly. If your credit card application has been approved, you should receive a welcome pack with your new credit card within 10-15 days.

How do you use a credit card?

Credit cards are a quick and convenient way to pay for items in store, online or over the phone. You can use a credit card as a cashless way to pay for goods or services, both locally and overseas. You can also use a credit card to make a cash advance, which gives you the flexibility to withdraw cash from your credit card account. Because a credit card uses the bank’s funds instead of your own, you will be charged interest on the money you spend – unless you pay off the entire debt within the interest-free period. If you pay the minimum monthly repayment, you will be charged interest. There are many different credit card options on the market, all offering different interest rates and reward options.

How do I apply for a credit card online?

What can I do about my Commonwealth Bank expired credit card?

You’ll typically receive your replacement Commonwealth Bank credit card before your current one expires. 

Once you receive the replacement card, you may need to update the new card with all the direct debits that you had set up on your expired Commonwealth Bank credit card. These could include insurance payments, electricity or gas bills, and monthly entertainment subscriptions.

To see a list of all your regular payments in NetBank, follow these steps:

  1. Log on to NetBank
  2. Click on ‘settings’
  3. Go to ‘product requests’, and select ‘credit card regular payments’. 

If you don’t use NetBank, you can see the list of your regular payments on your most recent credit card statement. Keep in mind, this list may not be complete and you should also check your past statements or your transaction history. 

If you haven’t received your replacement card before your current card expires, call 13 22 21 and the bank will send a new card to you. 

It is important that you safely discard your expired credit card. This often means cutting it up with scissors and throwing it out.