Running a successful business, especially an online business, necessitates the ability to accept credit cards. Finding the best solution, on the other hand, can be difficult. This article examines the various types of credit card processing solutions and provides a useful list of resources to help you find a credit card processing provider.
Method 1 Getting Set Up
1. Create a gateway account. This is your entry point into the world of digital commerce. There are many to choose from, but look for the following characteristics:
Compliant with PCI DSS. This ensures that the gateway complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption ensures that transactions are secure. This is something that any reputable gateway service will have.
Full eCommerce integration, including shopping carts, email receipts, and recurring payment support. This will allow you to sell your goods both online and in your store, if you choose to go that route.
Report creation. This enables you to monitor sales and trends.
Customer service is available immediately. You want to be able to solve problems quickly, whether by phone or online chat.
Among the most well-known gateway service providers are:
Flagship Merchant Services
Intuit Merchant Services
2. Create a merchant account. Some gateway service providers offer merchant services; however, you can shop around to find the best fit for you. Here are some characteristics to look for:
Time for digital application and setup When it comes time to start a business, you want to get started as soon as possible, with as little paperwork and hassle as possible. Most applications are processed within one to two days.
Monthly fees as well as transaction fees. Every transaction generates revenue for merchant services. The percentage differences may be minor, but if you expect to conduct a large number of transactions, those minor differences can quickly add up.
Credit card reader. This is required for POS transactions. (This is now possible in some cases with smartphones.)
Terminal virtual. This is required for online purchases.
Carts for shopping. Some credit card processing companies require you to have their shopping cart on your website in order to sell products on an e-commerce site.
Gateway for payments. Do they have their own gateway service or a partnership? Authorize.net is linked to all of the top merchant account providers.
Protection against fraud. Address verification, SSL, and the CVV—that three-digit number on the back of credit cards—should all be included.
Some popular gateway service providers include:
Flagship Merchant Services
Method 2 Understanding Credit Card Processing
1. Recognize the system. Credit card processing entails the safe transfer of funds from a cardholder’s bank account to a merchant account in exchange for goods and services rendered.
2. The transactions are routed through a payment gateway to ensure efficiency. A payment gateway is a service that checks and authorises all payments made to merchant accounts. This includes both traditional brick-and-mortar businesses and online sales transactions. The steps are as follows:
The customer is responsible for payment. A credit card is used to purchase goods or services. This is the first step in the process.
The authorization is verified. The payment gateway service routes the transaction data to the merchant bank’s processor, who then routes it to the cardholder’s bank.
The transaction has been validated. The cardholder’s bank will either approve or decline the transaction, and this information will be passed on to the credit card processor, who will then pass it on to the cardholder and the merchant.
The goods have been delivered. Given an accepted card, the merchant delivers the goods to the cardholder.
The transaction is finished. The customer’s bank transfers the necessary funds to the credit card processing network, which then transfers the funds to the merchant’s bank, and the transaction is completed.
Method 3 Making Your Choice
1. Cost and dependability must be balanced. When looking for credit card processing, you’ll quickly notice that rates and fees can vary greatly between companies. Before deciding on a provider, it is always a good idea to obtain a half-dozen quotes. That being said, it is always best to ensure that the credit card processor you intend to choose can support your business needs while looking for competitive rates.
Before agreeing to use a credit card processor on a permanent basis, test out their customer and technical support lines.
Call them several times throughout the week at various times of the day.
Check to see how long you have to wait on hold before someone answers your call, or if you are routed to an answering machine. It doesn’t matter if your services are the cheapest in town if your solution fails, you have a queue of customers waiting to pay, and you can’t reach technical support.
2. Read the small print. Be cautious before entering into an agreement with a credit card processor, especially since most agreements are for at least three years and include steep early termination fees. Inquire about references and testimonials.
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