Credit card processing basics that small business owners must know, from accepting credit card payments to reducing processing fees. Intuit QuickBooks ...
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What are the components to credit card processing?
More and more, customers are using credit cards rather than cash when making a purchase. Convenient and relatively easy to handle, credit cards are often used by consumers because of the allowance of short-term loans and credit lines. The process starts when there is a sale between the merchant and the customer, and the customer swipes their card. Consumer information is transmitted to the credit card processor, where they register the transaction with the customer’s bank. Once the consumer balance has been verified, the authorization for payment is then sent back to the merchant. After all sales have been made for the day merchants will process all of their charges with their provider, this is often referred to as “running the batch,” which will then manage individual transactions and handle the transfer of money.
It is vital that owners integrate credit card processing systems into their businesses. However, there are several factors to consider when choosing a service:
There are a wide variety of credit card processing providers that offer their services to businesses. There are several ways to implement credit card processing in a business. One way is for businesses to create a merchant account directly with a bank. However, more and more banks are moving away from providing this service. Instead, most small businesses will go through third party vendors to set up the merchant account. In order to learn more about providers, business owners can visit the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA) website for more information.
Typically with each transaction made, there is a fee called the discount rate. The discount rate is made up of a variety of fees and charges that merchants are required to pay in order to process credit cards. The largest fee is known as the interchange fee, which comprises of a flat fee that is paid between banks for credit card transactions. Generally, they are set by the credit card company and are non-negotiable. However, businesses can negotiate certain fees with the service provider, such as processor markups, based on a variety of factors. These include the type of business, the number of transactions the business will process and the type of credit card processing system a business will use.
In order to integrate credit card processing, the business owner must buy the relevant equipment necessary to make such transactions. There are several necessary components that are critical to credit card processing systems. Credit card terminals are used to handle transactions, where customers swipe the credit or debit card to transmit consumer information to the merchant service. Software in place complements the equipment, as it runs the transaction system. Credit card processing systems are vital for businesses, as it provides purchasing options and streamlined business transactions. Providers may have different options when it comes to purchasing software. Based on the type of business and transactions handled, a business owner should consider what type of terminal to use, or whether mobile options are available.
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