The alcohol sales industry is booming and continues to experience growth for both brick-and-mortar stores and online e-commerce retailers. With the market growing, thanks to microbrews, artisan wines, and other specialty spirits, it has allowed many new startups to form and more businesses to enter this industry and compete with larger companies.
However, there are several obstacles you must first overcome, long before shopping around for credit card processing equipment and setting up a liquor merchant account. The first step is to review the rules, regulations, and requirements established by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) for businesses that want to sell alcohol offline and online.
You need to verify your business will be able to adhere to these regulations. Then, the next step is to apply for a liquor license and register with the Alcohol and Tobacco TTB, as well as the appropriate local and state government agencies. Some businesses will only need licensing and approval to sell beer and wine. For others that want to be able to sell hard liquor, there may be additional licensing procedures.
Once your business has its licensing to sell beer, wine, and/or liquor, the next step is to set up a liquor merchant account and secure the right type of credit and debit card processing equipment. For most retailers with a physical location, a basic tablet-style processing setup can be sufficient. This type of processor can also work as your cash register system, inventory management system, and ordering system.
For restaurants and night clubs, this type of system can also work well, but, if you have an existing POS system, then you will want to look at other equipment and solutions that will be compatible with your existing setup. In addition, aside from choosing the right equipment, you will want to determine what types of cards you want to process—debit only, debit and credit, and which credit cards.
If you are launching an online business, the procedures are will be similar: Secure licensing through your state and local government agencies and the Alcohol and Tobacco TTB. Then, determine what type of online credit card processing setup you will need. Processing online transactions can be somewhat riskier because your customers will have to manually enter in their card details.
It is recommended you create a secure website for processing these transactions and require specific identifiers to help reduce fraudulent transactions, like asking for the three-digit code on the back of the card. You will also need to ensure the person making the purchase is of legal age in their state to buy alcohol.
The processing of payments is similar, whether you use credit card equipment or accept payments online electronically. For assistance in determining what type of card equipment and liquor merchant account would be best for your alcohol and liquor sales business, call Leap Payments at 800-993-6300 to speak with a representative today!
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