Thursday, February 16, 2012

Explanation of Credit Card Processing Solutions

In order to process credit and debit cards through your merchant account, you need to decide which processing solution is right for you.
Retail Swipe Terminal – This particular solution is for retail and storefront merchants who see their customers face-to-face. This type of solution incurs the lowest merchant account processing fees since you actually are able to swipe the customers credit card through the terminal. It is believed that orders that are swiped have a lower fraud risk, hence the reason for the lower processing fees. Check out our Complete Guide to Retail Merchant Accounts & POS Swipe Terminals.
Real-Time Processing – This is the solution for businesses on the Internet. Real-Time allows you to automatically process credit card orders through your merchant account with no assistance needed on your end. Everything is automated, and the funds transferred into the merchant account, from the cardholder, is deposited into your business checking account, within a few days. All Real-Time solutions are secure and the purchase of a secure certificate is not usually required. Get more information on a real-time internet merchant account.

Virtual Terminal – If you are a merchant on the Internet and expect to receive orders via phone, fax or mail then getting a Virtual Terminal solution (along with a Real-Time processing solution) is the best route to go. The Virtual Terminal is a secure website where you login and manually type in a customers credit card information. Once the information is submitted, it is securely processed and funds are then deposited into your merchant account within a few days. A Virtual Terminal can be accessed securely from any computer connected to the Internet. Most all Real-Time processing solutions also come with a Virtual Terminal at little or no additional cost. Virtual Terminals can also double as good mobile processing solutions, click here for more information.

Wireless Merchant Solutions – There are two types of mobile solutions, solutions that allow you to swipe a credit card in a mobile environment and Touch-Tone solutions that allow you to manually enter card information into a touch-tone phone. The Touch-Tone solutions are usually good for smaller mobile merchants that want to process credit cards in a mobile environment without high startup costs. The wireless swipe terminal solutions are great for merchants that don’t mind purchasing the terminal up front (purchasing is usually better than free terminal options as often times free terminals come with hefty termination fees). Both the touch-tone and wireless swipe solutions have benefits, it really depends on your business needs in the area of credit card acceptance. Find out more about available wireless merchant accounts.

Credit Card Processor

The credit card processor gathers the information provided (either via website, phone or retail swipe terminal) and performs a series of security checks. These checks make sure there is enough funds available in the cardholder’s account, makes sure the credit card is not reported as lost/stolen, verifies the billing address the customer provided at the time of the order with the credit card number provided, checks to confirm the correct cardholder name and expiration date were given, and can even verify the correct security code (CVC or CVV) on the back of the credit card should one have been entered during the ordering process.
After the information is processed by the credit card processor, the funds are then deducted out of the cardholder’s account and placed into the merchant’s business checking account. Should the cardholder request a refund, the processor does the exact opposite by taking the funds out of the merchant’s account and placing it back into the cardholder’s account within a few business days.

Specialty Scenarios – What are your processing needs?

Credit card merchant account is something provided by a Merchant Account Provider or bank that allows you to accept credit cards in your business. A credit card merchant account can be setup for any business type. Your business type and credit rating will determine what rates and fees you will incur with your credit card merchant account. Internet and mail order/telephone order (MO/TO) merchants will find that processing fees will be higher than for a retail establishment. The reason is because it is believed the level of fraud is considered much lower in retail then it is when a card is not present to be swiped. Listed below are a number of scenarios. Each case is linked to a cost effective merchant services solution that best fits what you are looking for, or to a comparison of credit card processing companies. Which one fits you?


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