How to Switch Credit Card Processing Providers?

The Ins and Outs of Your Credit Card Processing Bill

When businesses open merchant accounts for credit card processing, there are many ins and outs to be learned. Aside from learning how to operate their POS system, they must also learn about the fees associated with the bill. While it may seem overwhelming, it is in fact relatively simple to understand by asking a company representative for explanations to various terms.

Start Up Fee

Also known as an annual fee, this covers the administrative costs associated with the merchant account. Generally, these range between $25-$50 and cover the costs of starting the account as well as the hardware and software used for payment processing. While many companies charge annual fees to merchants, others charge no annual fees in an effort to attract new businesses.

Discount Rate

While sounding like a business is receiving a discount on its services, this fee is actually the percentage of the transactions as charged by the bank. Since virtually all credit card processors have their own rates, shopping around for the lowest per transaction rate is crucial to most businesses.

Transaction Fee

One of the most important fees on any credit card processing bill, the transaction fee is the amount taken for each transaction. Usually these can be shown as a fixed fee of 10-25 cents per transaction on the bill, and like many other fees businesses should look around for the best rates when examining merchant accounts. For businesses that process a high volume of transactions each month, the fee usually goes down as their monthly purchasing volume increases.

Termination Fee

All contracts for merchant accounts have clauses that allow for a business to end the relationship. However, when doing so a termination fee is almost always charged. A standard within the industry, termination fees can be calculated as either a flat fee or an amount based on how many months are left on the contract. As with other aspects of these agreements, businesses should shop around for the best deal. As more businesses have started to balk at these fees, some processing companies now charge no fees for early cancellations and don’t require businesses to sign contracts.

While understanding credit card processing bills may take some time, eventually the terms associated with them will become as familiar as those on any other statement. By shopping around for the best deal, there will be few if any surprises when the next bill arrives.

Why are Debit Cards and Credit Cards Treated Differently?

Credit cards and debit cards seem similar visually but are very different cards. Knowing the differences between the two can help shed some light on why they’re treated differently. The different responsibilities involved can affect your finances in different ways, and understanding this can help prevent problems with undesired consequences.

To put it simply, credit cards have a higher risk of fraud and default whereas debit cards need a personal identification number (PIN) and withdraw using available funds.

How Credit Cards Work

Unlike with debit cards, the majority of credit cards won’t link to an existing account. Debit cards will take funds immediately from your account, but credit cards let you buy now while paying later. Each month, you get a statement informing you how much you have borrowed and still must pay.

It is possible to pay the bill in full every month to avoid incurring interest, or you can pay a minimum amount specified by the provider, spreading the full payment of the items back over time. Note that you usually will be charged interest if you have an outstanding balance that isn’t paid off in full, which means it’ll take a little longer than planned to pay back the amount that is due.

How Debit Cards Differ

There are many types of credit card, but debit cards only take money from an existing account with available funds. That means you need to already have the money in your account or overdraft protection before you can afford to make a transaction. Sometimes, generally if there are no available funds, the transaction won’t complete.

Differences Between Credit and Debit Transactions

While debit purchases deduct from available funds, transactions on credit cards vary. Credit cards run up a bill that you’ll need to pay in the future rather than immediately.

As mentioned before, you’ll pay additional interest on a balance not paid in full by the next due date, which means you’ll end up paying more than an item would normally cost over the long-term. Because of this, it’s important to be responsible when making purchases using a credit card; before deciding on a purchase, look at your finances and see whether you can repay the full amount within the due date. If not, consider whether or not you can afford to maintain a payment plan for a reasonable amount of time; always paying the minimum each month will take far too long to pay off.

The Pros And Cons Of Accepting Credit Cards

It is becoming more common for businesses to accept credit cards. That is why if a business does not accept credit cards, their competitor may have an advantage over them. However, there are advantages that come along with accepting credit cards. Here is a list of the numerous pros and cons:

Pros

More business

You may be able to get more business if your company accepts cards. It is safer to carry around a credit card instead of cash. People will probably spend more money if they use a credit card. This can potentially help your business generate more revenue. Keep in mind that you are limiting a large percentage of your potential demographic if your business is not using a credit card processing machine.

Convenience

Merchant accounts not only make things more convenient for the customers, but they also make things more convenient for the business. People like the convenience that comes along with being able to swipe their card instead of carrying around a lot of cash. There are different types of software that can be used to tie in directly with your merchant accounts. This makes things like accounting and inventory management a lot more convenient.

Cons

Expensive

It can be expensive to accept credit card payments. You will have to pay for monthly statements, merchant services, interchange fees and other credit card processing fees. These fees may be too much for a business that is on a tight budget.

Subject To Chargeback

Every credit card transaction is subject to a chargeback. If the customer is not happy with your product or service, then he or she may dispute the charge. A person can dispute the transaction for up to six months after it occurred. The business will have to prove that the purchase was legitimate. Additionally, if a business has received a lot of chargebacks, then it may no longer be able to accept cards.

Liable For Fraud

If some type of fraud occurs in your system, then your business may be held responsible. A bank may also require that the business pay for the fraudulent transactions. A business may be destroyed as the result of a fraudulent transaction.

All About Credit Card Processing

More and more transactions are made each day via credit and debit cards. Credit cards bill the amount of the purchase to your account. Debit cards, are used to withdraw the money from your checking account.

For the merchant, the important aspects of credit card sales can involve the processing method and merchant accounts.

A business may want to accept credit cards, but has to understand how the cost of merchandise charged to Credit Card XYZ eventually ends up in the bank account and how quickly the payment will arrive.

The typical merchant has two ways of handling credit card processing and debit card transactions.

The two methods include:

1. Merchants can swipe the card through a terminal that is attached to a cash register.
2. The system can take payments through credit card processing software.

The decision regarding which method to use will be determined by the type of the business and how payments are already accepted.

The next step decision is based on whether the business is operating from a fixed location, such as a store in a shopping mall, or does most of its business over the Internet.

For a business or company that is already taking payments with a cash register or point-of-sale computer, it may be easier just to add a terminal that is dedicated to credit card processing and debit cards. Both can be swiped through the system. This will get the transaction to the right company for processing.

Adding point-of-sale software in this situation will necessitate the need for a separate computer terminal to take care of the credit transactions. This will be an extra expenditure, sometimes major, and is usually unnecessary. Additional steps will be involved throughout the transaction process that both the staff and customer will find irritating.

Now, if the business is completely based online, a virtual terminal is needed, which is software that provides the functions of a point-of-sale computer. This type of software can come with a shopping cart and checkout options that are easily integrated into the ordering process.

The only other options would be to accept orders by telephone or mail. These methods had merchant accounts. Both processes are subject to errors being made. Verifying credit card numbers and tracking shipments will become more difficult if not impossible.

With the merchant account system, customers only have to press a button to add their items to the virtual shopping cart. They then enter their shipping and credit card information. The transaction is processed in a matter of seconds.

The owner of merchant accounts then has to acquire the product from his warehouse or supplier and ship the order to the customer. The software will track the purchases, inventory, and the profits.

There are other variations for companies having online and physical store locations. For example, some store locations may offer big-ticket items, but do not have them on-site. In these cases, the store will act as a merchant account using point-of-sale software.

The store will probably have computer terminals connected to online distribution points that customers can use to place orders themselves or with the assistance of a store employee.

The most important thing to do is to make transaction as easy as possible and that all sales secured and properly handled.

Weighing the Benefits of Accepting Credit Cards

Many business owners often start out with the impression that they will do well for themselves if they only take cash or check for payment. In truth, however, they are doing their business a disservice. If you weigh the benefits of accepting credit cards, you will see just how much it will profit your business.

Validation of Your Business

When you place a sign on your business door or your website that you accept credit cards, it will immediately validate your business in the public eye. Many people often consider a business that will not take credit cards as a business that will not be around for long. In many cases, they are correct.

Get a Boost in Your Sales

The greatest advantage of merchant accounts is you will see an almost immediate increase in sales. A person with cash in hand is only going to spend the amount they have on hand. However, by taking credit cards as payment in your store, you are going to get a lot more impulse buys. Your customers will not be limited by the amount of cash they have in their pockets.

Merchant Accounts are Inexpensive in Comparison to Not Having One

Credit card processing is competitive and, with a little research, you will be able to find a company that will suit both your needs and your budget. Many will have such low rates that small businesses of any type can afford them. In fact, most small businesses find that their merchant accounts are something they should have invested in much sooner.

Merchant Accounts Allow a Level Playing Field with Your Competition

From the moment you choose a credit card processing provider, you have leveled the playing field with all of your competition. The fact is that very few individuals actually carry cash with them. Instead, they pay for their purchases with credit and debit cards. As long as you are offering quality products and services, you can be guaranteed that you will be able to compete with companies in your line of work.

By allowing your clients and customers to pay with a credit card, you are setting your business up for success. The actual set up of a credit card merchant account is quite simple and within a short time, you can start seeing a major difference in your sales. The key is to find a provider that is familiar with the type of business and provides quality service.

Researching the Best Credit Card Processors

In order to process credit cards for your business activities, you will need to apply for a merchant account with a credit card processing company. There are generally strict requirements in place that businesses will need to meet in order to be approved for this type of account, but the requirements vary from provider to provider. More than that, the fees and the quality of service can vary based on the company that you choose to work with. Therefore, researching the best credit card processors with the most advantageous fee structure in place is an important step to take if you want to accept credit cards as a form of payment.

Account Services That Meet Your Needs

Before you begin comparing fee structures for different merchant accounts, it is necessary to find the companies that offer the services that you truly need. Some are designed for online merchants, and others may provide you with credit card processing terminals for you to use in brick and mortar venues. In addition to this important difference, the speed in which payments are processed and deposited into your account, online services like invoicing and more are also important to consider. It is wise to compare all of the options to eliminate the service providers that do not meet your needs initially.

Requirements and Fees

After you have eliminated the providers that do not meet your needs, you can delve further into the requirements and fee structures each has. Some, for example, may require you to be an established business with a solid credit rating, but others may be agreeable to working with a start-up business. Some may have a flat per-transaction fee, and others may have a fee structure that is calculated as a percentage of the sales price. Each of these factors may make some types of merchant accounts more feasible and beneficial for you than others.

The company that you choose to work with as your processor for credit card transactions will play a critical role in how you serve your customers, how quickly you receive payments and even in how profitable your company is. Because of this, it is imperative that you spend time researching each of the processing companies available. There is not a single type of merchant account that is a best fit for all situations, so focus on your business’s needs to make a decision that is right for you.

Why a POS System Might Streamline a Business?

Consumers today seek out the retail establishments that provide them with swift, courteous service. The only way retailers can provide this type of service to a large amount of customers is through a POS or point-of-service system that organizes the transaction process. A system, such as this, performs a number of different functions in a business, though, besides just the typical payment options as in cash and credit card processing through special merchant accounts. Check the list below for some of the ways a POS system will streamline a business.

Flexible Programming

Flexible programming of the POS system allows a business to create a setup specific to its unique needs. Whether the company is a clothing store, bookstore, restaurant or other type of business, it can create checkout menus to suit its transaction process. Tracking of sales, merchandise, payments and other data is available with a touch of the controls.

Accurate Payment Processing

With the help of merchant accounts, a POS system tracks and manages all credit card processing, and cash or check payments. Point-of-sale systems process the credit card numbers to verify that the customer cards are valid forms of payment. If any issues occur, the clerks can handle them quickly to enable approval of customer payments. In addition, accessing daily, monthly and even yearly sales totals is a quick and easy for businesses to do whenever necessary.

Inventory Control

POS systems today also keep track of a company’s entire inventory, and make adjustments each time a customer purchases merchandise. Companies still need to double check inventory counts periodically, but these systems help the merchandise stay at more accurate levels than prior to the installation of the systems. Reordering is less of a hassle too, since the companies learn faster which merchandise is out of stock.

Less Employee Theft

Since employees will understand that the POS system closely watches over the inventory, they will be less likely to steal merchandise from the company. Losses will decrease, which will help profits climb for a business that has one of these systems.

The above benefits are just some of the reasons that businesses need to install a point-of-sale system in their companies to streamline not only credit card processing and other payment options with transactions in conjunction with merchant accounts, but also other important details. Each business will discover its own unique advantages of these systems. Companies need to contact our company today for further information.

Your Responsibilities When Accepting Credit Cards

When a business accepts a credit card payment, it is bound to a set of rules that are detailed in operating guides of all merchant accounts. Adhering to the policies associated with credit card processing protects customers, employees, and businesses from malicious activity. Following the contractual responsibilities of merchant accounts keeps data secure, prevents incidents of fraud, and avoids chargebacks. Failure to sustain accountability in these regards results in fines, convictions, and potential merchant account closure.

PCI Compliance

The payment card industry data security standard (PCIDSS) is the standard of protection agreed upon by the major credit card brands. Meeting the PCIDSS’s twelve basic policies is required of all merchants that store, process, or transmit cardholder data. Without safeguards, credit card processing is vulnerable to intrusions that expose customer data. It is important that businesses of all sizes achieve and maintain the minimum PCI minimum standards in order to avoid data breaches and the associated penalties.

Vigilance Against Fraud

Credit card fraud comes in several different forms, and businesses have a mandate to adhere to procedures that help identify and impede attempts to use wrongly use credit card data. In-store transactions, in which the credit card and its owner are both physically present are easier to monitor, but special attention must be paid to online transactions and telephone orders. Acquiring banks and credit associations will penalize or close merchant accounts if they incur too many financial losses from fraud.

Avoid Chargebacks

Some chargeback situations are unavoidable, but strong business practices will decrease the likelihood of customer dissatisfaction and the resulting complications. Chargebacks cost businesses not only the money from the sale, but fees on their merchant accounts. Like other major violations, too many chargebacks may damage a business’s reputation and make merchant service providers less willing to work with them.

Maintain a Positive Relationship with Merchant Service Providers

Credit card processing is considered a privilege to credit associations and acquiring banks. If a business is consistently unable to meet their standards, the penalties are significant, from fines to the privilege being completely revoked. It is crucial that business owners monitor their statements every month and stay familiar with the policies guiding their merchant accounts.

How Does an Internet Payment Gateway Work?

In order to make online sales, businesses need a payment gateway. Gateways are e-commerce tools that essentially function as the online equivalent of a sales clerk at a register. When customers enter their information and agree to a charge, a payment gateway completes the credit card processing automatically, authorizing the transaction and accepting the funds. From there, the transaction continues much like they do in person. Payment gateways are connected directly to merchant accounts and deliver the money from the sale to them.

The Transaction Process

After a card holder authorizes a charge, the internet payment gateway proceeds to contact the card issuer for authorization. Once both ends have accepted the payment, the gateway securely finishes the transaction. Payment gateways provide businesses with a protected link between themselves, their customers, and the credit associations. Each transfer is heavily encrypted according to PCI Data Security Standards.

In addition to basic credit card processing, payment gateways assist in the settling and reporting of credit transactions. Internet payment gateways create batches of transactions every day and transfer the settled funds from merchant accounts to the owner’s bank account, with some services doing so automatically. Digital records and reports can typically be accessed from anywhere and printed for physical backup.

Other Benefits

Internet payment gateways save business owners a great deal of trouble setting up their own security protocols, verification methods, and settlements. There is much less room for human error, as the only person typically involved in credit card processing online is the one sending the payment information. As the business owner sees fit, payment gateways can be used as digital terminals to manually enter transactions for orders put in over the phone or through the mail.

Payment gateways are also particularly immune to certain liabilities. In addition to built-in fraud screening tools, credit card transactions processed through online gateways are stored on the gateway rather than the website of the business that uses it. Because the information is stored in a separate location, if the website of a business using an internet payment gateway is ever accessed unlawfully, there is little chance the perpetrators will find anything that business could be liable for.

GET FREE QUOTE TODAY AND START SAVING


Testimonials

It took me a while to decide who I wanted to settle with to handle all of my credit card transactions because every company wants to make it sound like they're offering you the best rates. CreditCardProcessing.com was able compare and beat all of the other offers I received. They were also able to provide me the fairest price on my EMV-compliant terminal. My sales representative and the support team were there to assist every step of the way. Ultimately, I'm looking forward to a long term relationship with this company.

Roland Tran from the Hong Kong Kitchen

It is a pleasure dealing with these folks. Their pricing is fair, their statements are understandable and their employees are knowledgeable and friendly.

John MacMillian from the Great Lakes Baking Company

The service was very professional, my sales person (Steven B.) was very well versed in the product and most helpful in getting our company set up to accept credit cards via my cell phone. Their rates are some of the lowest on the market and their service is unparalleled. I will recommend them to anyone requiring a credit card processing service.

Michael Harper from Deluxe Auto Body

Jonathan C. is wonderful to work with. He is very helpful, accommodating and resolves any issue quickly. It is hard these days to find someone who gives great customer service, but I can say, Jonathan is the best! I would not hesitate to recommend him to any business owner and to assist you in helping to grow your business.

Linda Garner from Regali Da Forno

I called indecisive about getting a device, but speaking to your Sales Consultant completely settled me. He was very professional, knowledgeable and patiently walked me through the process. He always responded to my voicemails and answered all my questions. After I received my merchandise, he called following up to ensure that I had received it. Customer service I would say is 5 stars. Stellar! Thanks Credit Card Processing, I will definitely recommend you.

Sarah Morgan from Vision International Ministries
Call Us Today! (866) 837-0751

© 2016 CreditCardProcessing.com. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy
CREDITCARDPROCESSING.COM, LLC is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Walnut Creek, CA

*Further terms and conditions may apply. Promotion contingent upon CreditCardProcessing.com's receipt of written competing offer(s).

**Certain restrictions may apply.

Promotional offers brought to you by CreditCardProcessing.com.

Call (866) 837-0751 for details.