How Do You Accept a Check by Phone?

How Do You Accept a Check by Phone?

Accepting a check by phone is very easy if you know what to do. It’s about as difficult as doing manual credit card processing over the phone, and you’ll be following many of the same steps in regards to collecting information and ensuring that the funds are transferred to your account. Only those with merchant accounts are able to accept checks via this method, so be sure to have an account before trying this.

Methods

There are two different methods for accepting checks over the phone, and it largely depends on your processing system and merchant account. The most common way is to enter the check’s information via the computer, such as the routing number and personal details, so that the funds are added to your account. The other way is to enter the information, and then print out a physical check with all the numbers and details. You can then deposit this check into your account.

Both methods are considered safe and take about the same amount of time, though the former might take a day longer on average.

Account

Merchant accounts are required for processing a check over the phone. Most accounts offer this as an optional feature, but you’ll typically have to pay a fee for using this tool. The fee depends on how many checks and how much money you intend on processing. One of the problems with this method is that you are limited based on your account, but this also prevents fraud and keeps both you and the customer safe. Be sure to set your account based on your realistic expectations. If you’ll only process $5,000 in checks every month, then there’s no need to set your account limit to $15,000.

Collecting Funds

This is very similar to manual credit card processing over the phone. The client will call you with the check’s details.
Just open your system, enter the details and process the payment accordingly. Like with most checks, you should have the money within a few days. There is the same amount of risk as accepting physical checks in general, and most merchants find this a reliable and safe way to collect money.

Conclusion

Accepting checks by phone is very easy. You just need the right account and system, which is generally provided by your financial institution, and then the details of the check to collect payment. Just be sure to set your account accordingly so that you don’t run into any issues.

Checking Reviews of Credit Card Processors

If you are looking to take your business to the next level by accepting credit cards for payment, you will need to do some research on merchant account providers. While you may be tempted to do your credit card processing with your bank, you may find that because they do not specialize in this particular area, the fees are much higher. The key is to check out reviews that are available for a wide variety of the top providers. Some of the things to consider when reviewing the providers include the following:

Total Fees for a Merchant Account

When you are researching the various providers of merchant accounts, it is important to look at the total of fees you could be charged for the services you need. There are numerous fees associated with these types of accounts, including start-up fees, transactional fees, terminal fees, and chargeback fees. Each one is another expense for your business.

Simple Equipment and Sufficient Training

One item to consider is whether or not the processor provides you with equipment that is easy to use and provides you with the proper training on it. The fact is that technology can be confusing for some and you will want a system that is easy to understand, yet functions according to demand.

Tech Support Availability

When looking at the reviews, consider also the availability of their tech support department. Your equipment going down on a Friday could make for a very difficult weekend for your business if you cannot get in touch with the provider for assistance.

Sales Projections

It is also important to take your sales projections into account before choosing your credit card processor. The fees associated with your account may increase as your sales increase. However, it is also important to consider that without utilizing a credit card processor, your sales would not increase at all.

Of course, these are just a few of the things to look at when you are researching credit card processors. Look at the reviews and determine how many of their clients are business’ similar to your own. Chances are that you will find several reviews that will be relevant to your own business and it will help you to determine which provider will be best for you.

An Overview of EMV in the United States

Old credit cards use magnetic strips for data. Now, some of the top credit card processing firms are advocating a shift to micro chips for better security. Here is an overview of the implementation of EMV chip-based credit cards in the United States.

Europay, Mastercard & Visa = EMV

Do you remember how cassette tapes used that “strip of carbon” to play music? Well, the modern credit card merchant accounts use a similar technology encoding monetary identification data onto a magnetic strip. Unfortunately, some credit card processing companies believe this technology is too easy to counterfeit.

Europay, Mastercard & Visa created the basic guidelines for EMV back in 1995. Gradually, the EMVCo was created with the addition of American Express, Japan Credit Bureau, Discover and China UnionPay – each with equal shares in the standards body. EMV has created the ISO/IEC 7816 standard for contact cards and ISO/IEC 14443 standard for contactless cards.

Why are microchips superior to magnetic strips?

Hackers are very enterprising and can steal personal identification numbers (PINs) quite easily. When a hacker steals a password for a magnetic strip, he can pretend to be the owner without any cross-checking. Data on magnetic strip cards does not change.

The EMV microchip acts as its own authentication technology even if a password has been stolen. For each transaction, the EMV microchip card creates a unique authentication number. Thus, hackers have a more difficult time replicating these changing verification sequences.

How far has EMV implementation progressed in the United States?

The US credit card industry is taking a gradual approach to transitioning over to the new EMV technology. Oftentimes, a credit card company will offer one new special EMV card for its patrons. Then, the credit card company gauges the customer response.

American credit card companies are also upgrading the credit card processing technology to read the microchips. As of March 2015, nearly 120 million EMV credit cards had been mailed to American consumers. The goal is 600 million EMV credit cards for Americans by the end of 2015.

Consumer and merchant accounts are still testing out the new EMV system and offering feedback. The campaign to switch over to EMV seems much lower key compared to the analog to digital television technology switch. Credit card processing companies, merchants and consumers must see how the new EMV technology functions in real-time.

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.

VeriFone Omni 3750

Whether you own a small, medium or large-sized business, the element of payment convenience is key to success. Customers now have an increasing number of payment options, and successful businesses strive to offer their clients an array of payment forms to choose from. One of the most popular (and convenient) methods of payment is the use of credit/debit cards, which introduces business owners to the world of credit card processing.

For most people, using a credit or debit card only entails a swipe of a card. Money is then debited to the customer (credit), or deducted from an account (debit or bank card). The process is designed for ease-of use for the customer. For the businessman, a slightly different transaction takes place.

In the world of credit card processing, there are four different entities. Every business (or business owner) is considered a “Merchant”, and must have a merchant account with his or her own bank, known as the “Acquiring Bank”, which provides the transaction processes. The Customer uses a card, issued by their bank (also known as the “Issuing Bank”). The process is fairly simple: The Customer slides a card through the Merchant’s electronic equipment, which is read by the Acquiring Bank. The bank then processes the payment, which is simultaneously debited to the Customer’s account at the Issuing Bank. The customer is then provided goods and/or services, completing the transaction. Interchange fees (the fee the Issuing Bank receives) and discount rates (the fee the Acquiring Bank receives) are usually expressed in percentages of the sale. Occasionally, a single flat-rate may apply for the charge. In either case, all funds (minus fee deductions) are deposited into the Merchant Account.

What many business owners need to understand is the difference between a regular Business Account and a Merchant Account. Business accounts allow business owners to deposit and write checks, deposit money, accept loans, as well as a variety of other banking options. However, most Business Accounts with an Acquiring Bank do not perform credit card processing. Instead, the business owner must also obtain a Merchant Account through the Acquiring Bank. This allows the business owner’s bank to process credit card payments via electronic devices (such as the VeriFone Omni 3750) and transfer funds.

Although the business-side of this process may appear to be a little more complex than what the customer experiences, having the ability to accept credit and debit cards is an absolute must for every organization. Credit card payments have become an economic trend that continues to grow, and the ability to accept this form of payment form has become a standard.

Things to Understand About An Independent Sales Organization

When talking about the payment industry, a lot of terms are thrown around that are either misunderstood or are not real. However, without a doubt, an independent sales organization is something that is both important to understand and follow. With that being said, here are three things to understand about an independent sales organization.

Third-party:

First and foremost, if a person wants to know how to sign up for a merchant account, they are often lost. Think about it, there are so many things to consider, and it’s not always easy to find out the truth, especially when there is a lot of money involved, which there is. So, when looking to get a merchant account, a lot of people sign up for a third-party company that can help them find the best solution. With this in mind, an independent sales organization will come along and help a person. In the end, this is one of the easiest ways to get a merchant accounts as one won’t have to go out of their way to find everything that they want out of a service.

Independent:

As mentioned, a person or company in this industry is working alone and has no allegiances to a payment services provider. This is important as the company can help a person find exactly what works for his or her needs. Think about it, when looking for credit card processing solutions, some people will want a company that has a strong tech presence. Other times, a user will want to use a company that has 24/7 tech support on the Internet and over the phone. Either way, with credit card processing, it’s important to choose the right firm, and an independent sales organization will help.

Works with all the major players:

Finally, when looking to accept payments on the phone, on the Internet or at a retail location, one will want to use the right services. Luckily, an independent sales organization can work with the client. By sitting down with him or her, the company can find the best solution for the client’s needs. In the end, this is important to understand, and a person will get more if they know this fully.

With an independent sales organization, one can improve their company. However, it’s very smart to take the time to find a quality provider. If not, one will have a hard time in the future.

All About Tellan Software

When looking to accept payments, one will have to use a payment solutions provider. One famous company was Tellan Software. This company went out of its way to make the customer happy, and it provided a lot of services. While true, many don’t know the extent of the offerings, and here is a brief overview of Tellan Software.

SSL:

First and foremost, when thinking about secure transactions online, one should think about Tellan. Yes, this company was on the forefront of credit card processing security, and anyone who is online and shopping should be grateful to Tellan. Simply put, when logging in for credit card processing, a person will have vulnerable information sent all over. However, with Tellan, one would not have to worry as they used multiple layers of security to make sure that nothing happened during the transaction. In the end, this changed the industry as everyone else started taking security a lot more seriously.

Hardware:

Without a doubt, when looking to take payments, one can’t solely rely on software. Yes, with software, one can take payments online, overt the phone or through a smartphone application. However, this is still not always the norm as plenty of people like to go to a physical store and make a payment, in person. For this reason, Tellan Software was a great company to work with as they made the hardware and set it up in people’s offices and stores. Then, when taking payments, a client would have an easy time doing so since they would have the right hardware on their side.

While great, they are gone:

Finally, when thinking about Tellan, one will have to realize that it is all in the past. Sadly, CyberCash bought Tellan, and the company ended up going bankrupt. However, in a way, Tellan still lives on as Tellan was sold to Verisign, which PayPal then bought. So, when using the Internet and shopping online at PayPal, one will still use the services of Tellan, even if they have no idea about the history of this once well-run and powerful corporation.

When looking at the payment industry and merchant accounts, one would have to think about Tellan. This corporation was at the forefront, and now the merchant account industry is strong because of a lot of hard work by the employees and owners of this once well-run and well-respected industry leader.

How to Accept Check Payments Instantly?

Although the use and acceptance of credit and debit cards are on the rise, there are still many people who choose to pay by check. As a merchant, you always want to provide a comfortable and convenient experience for your shoppers. Accepting credit and debit cards is simple and straight forward when they are done through your existing merchant accounts. The challenge for some merchants comes in identifying how they can accept checks through an instant transaction in which the check does not have to clear in order for the funds to be transferred.

Accepting Checks in the Manner You Accept Cards

Through a diversity of credit card processing merchant accounts, you can have the capacity to not only accept checks, but conduct immediate transactions. What this means is that instead of simply getting an approval through a check approval agency, which only warns of the potential of a check returning due to insufficient funds, you can now scan or swipe checks through your merchant account, allowing you to have immediate access to the issuers bank account.

Much in the same way that you would swipe a debit card and have immediate access to funds, you will be able to accept checks while alleviating the two to three day waiting period that is normally associated with accepting checks. These methods of acceptance allow you to have the s immediately transferred from the shoppers account to the processing account where they will be transferred to your account based on your existing agreement with your processor.

Choosing the Right Processing Company

The key to effectively accepting checks is in choosing the right card processing company. There are many to choose from, but like everything else, they are not all created equally. The right company will be able to provide you with a seamless process for accepting credit cards, debit cards, and checks. Their processing rates will be in line with the industry standard, and they will have a strong customer support system that will help ensure that all challenges that arise will be dealt with in an expeditious manner.

The inability to accept checks can mean a significant loss in potential revenue. Opening credit card processing merchant accounts that facilitate the immediate acceptance of checks will ensure that you are able to create a customer experience that will not only allow you to close the immediate sale but initiate a process that leads to customer loyalty.

Why Contractors Should Accept Credit Cards on the Job?

A contractor already has a lot to worry about while working on the job. One thing that a contractor should not have to sweat is the payments. Unfortunately, this is a pipe dream for many as it is hard to get around this issue. However, when accepting credit cards, a contractor can avoid problems and get paid on time. With this in mind, here are four reasons why contractors should accept credit cards on the job.

Fast:

When dealing with checks, one will have to wait days to receive their money. This is annoying and can cause cash flow problems. On the other hand, when opening a merchant account, one can begin taking in money immediately. With so many options, a contractor can charge a customer while he or she is still in the driveway. This is a serious benefit that will help one improve their cash flow and avoid problems receiving payments in the long run.

Justify spending:

Making payments with cash is not fun for most people. When a homeowner doles out hundreds of dollars, he or she will feel the pain and may want to rethink other projects. When paying with plastic, one will not think about this as they will swipe their card and sign their name. Remember, people do not think about or worry when using their credit card and they are likely to spend more money.

Protection:

People can write a check without having money in the bank. However, with a credit card, unless one commits outright fraud, it is hard to cheat a contractor out of their hard earned money. This is crucial for a contractor who wants to get paid for every job and not worry about a criminal or shady person taking advantage of the situation.

Advertise:

When trying to find and attract new customers, it is important to advertise. One way to draw a client in is to offer multiple solutions to their needs. For this reason, it is wise to accept credit cards as most homeowners will appreciate this capability. One must remember that most people have more than one credit card and love to use plastic in daily transactions. By advertising this to potential clients, one can bring in more business with little effort.

Without a doubt, a contractor should accept most forms of money. By doing so, he or she will not lose out on potential business in the future.

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