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Technology has been massively improved over the last decade or so. As a result, it has made business more easy and reliable. These days, almost all businesses use credit cards. They rely on credit card processors to process and handle the details of accepting credit cards. Credit card processing is very important for business because it ensures that customers quickly and simply checkout. Accepting payment through credit cards is one of the best techniques used by merchants these days to grow and expand their business.
Along with its benefits, there are some obstacles to this process. Credit card processing can be expensive and confusing. Some people call it a “necessary evil” for their business. But it isn’t that difficult! To tackle online credit card processing, you first need to understand its working, charges and other details about it. This article will cover all the points needed to understand online credit card processing. So let’s start.
Steps in Credit Card Processing
To find the best credit card processor, it is important to understand its general working and procedure. First of all, the consumer presents its credit card information for payment. These days, in stores, consumers swipe dip EMV chip cards, magnetic stripe cards, or use different digital wallets like Apple pay mobile payments solution with their phones. Online, consumers present their credit cards through apps and websites. A virtual terminal offers secure credit card processing for phone orders.
In the second step, the payment information is sent to the processor for analyzing, who communicates with the customer’s bank through different card networks, for example, Master Card or Visa. The transaction may be approved or denied by the customer’s bank. If the card number validity, sufficient funds, and some other factors are verified, the transaction will be approved otherwise not. The approved statement is then sent back to your payment processor and finally back to your credit card reader. At the end of each business day, the approved transactions are grouped for settlement. The customer’s account is charged for the transactions and deposits are ready to be made into your bank account.
Best Ways to Accept Credit Cards
The most commonly used methods to accept credit cards are discussed below:
1. Online Merchant Gateway
It is like a credit card machine, the only difference is that it is online. It enables your customers to enter their credit card details through the internet making it easier for you to accept credit card payments. Similar to other methods of credit card payments, you will have to pay merchant fees.
2. Merchant Account with a Bank
Though it is the hardest method to achieve, at the same time, the most professional and reliable as well. A merchant account with a bank means that you would have a bank account with an actual bank, not online. So, you can easily accept credit cards. Instead of using online services, this enables you to have your online merchant gateway. Through this, you can log in to a website more easily, enter someone’s credit card number and security code, and debit the money from their credit card! A lower merchant fee is paid in this method. However, at the start of a business, it is difficult to get a merchant account.
3. Payment through Mobile Card Reader
In this method, your mobile phone acts as a credit card machine. However, you would need a device that plugs into your mobile to do it. The only disadvantage with a mobile card reader is that the presence of a debit card is compulsory. Accepting credit cards has become a critical part of your business. It can be confusing and irritating at the start, but after passing through the initial stage, it will be much easier.
The Fee of Credit Card Processing
Accepting credit cards is important for your business, however, it is not free of cost. Below are some fees discussed you will have to pay for credit card processing.
1. Interchange Fee
This fee consists of a flat charge and the transaction amount percentage. Interchange fees make up the largest part of the credit card processing expenses. It is also called the merchant discount rate.
2. Assessment Fee
This fee is charged by the credit card associations for using their networks. It usually ranges from 0.13% to 0.15% which depends on the brand of card you are using.
3. Per-Transaction Fee:
It is generally $0.10 to $0.30 for card-present transactions and $0.20 to $0.50 for card-absent transactions.
Presently, card-present transactions carry a discount rate of 0.35% to 2% while card-absent transactions are at 0.9% to 3%. The monthly fee for some credit card services ranges from $15 to $35. There also are incidental fees you may also pay, depending on your level as a merchant. For example, some businesses need to pay chargeback fees if a cardholder starts a disputed charge with the card issuer on a transaction.
Credit Card Terminals
These are specific machines used by merchants to process credit card payments. The terminal aims to scan the card, authenticate it and transmit the data. These machines are important for merchants because if the customer attempts to use a stolen or expired card, the payment will be denied and the merchant will not give away their product.
Credit card terminals have a keypad and a slot where the customer can swipe their card. The terminal reads the information on the card’s magnetic strip after the card is swiped. The information from the card’s magnetic strip is then sent for verification. It returns as an approved or denied message to the merchant. If the card is approved, the merchant provides its goods and services to the customer. But they block the sale in case if the card is denied.
Whether you have a small business or a large scale business, credit card processing is an essential part of it. With almost any complex system, troubleshooting and its maintenance are necessary as well. So if your company is not doing well, contact a credit card processing company that offers all the services you need for your business.
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