Statistically, over 3,000,000,000 consumers worldwide possess and use credit cards, which make them an ever increasingly popular method of payment around the world. The average person owns three credit cards. For several consumer activities and purchases, credit cards have become the preferred method of payment. For almost all business conducted over the internet, a credit card is the required form of payment. Based on these statistics alone, accepting credit card payments and including the best payment card processing are vital to the success of your business. Your business needs payment card processing services.
Now that you realize the necessity of accepting credit cards as a method of payment, it is time to review and research payment card processing companies to determine, which is the best payment card processing solution for you and your business. With the increase in popularity of online shopping and advancements in technology, payment card processing services are plentiful and readily available. Making sure you find the right credit card processing provider will go a long way towards increasing your business’s revenues over the long term.
Checks and Cash
It seems, as if paying by check has become obsolete. Paying with cash or currency may never go away, but it is beginning to take a back seat to paying by credit card. Consumers prefer to pay with credit card, especially when buying online, because paying by credit card affords them certain protections. Customers are ready to buy your products and services with their credit card. It goes without saying that if you are not onboard with accepting credit cards and payment card processing that your business will be left behind.
Credit Card Transaction Basics
1. A customer uses a credit card to pay for a purchase.
2. The customer initiates the payment process by either swiping their card through a credit card swipe machine (also known as a POS or point of sale terminal). For ecommerce businesses the customer will manually enter their credit card number into the online payment card processing terminal.
3. The payment and the card are verified and authorized.
4. The funds are transferred from the customer’s account to your business’s account.
5. The transaction is completed.
Your Business Needs Payment Card Processing
It is absolutely necessary to the long term success of your business that you accept credit card payments. In order to accept credit card payments, you will need a payment card processing company. If you must have a payment card processing company on your side, then you might as well use the best payment card processing company for you and your business. There are outstanding credit card processing service providers available, and there are some that either do not deliver, or are not well suited to your business model. Look for companies that offer competitive processing rates, no hidden fees, customizable payment card processing services, and additional bonus features.
Payment Card Processing Defined
Payment card processing by definition is the transaction of electronically verifying, authorizing, and moving payment from the customer’s account to the business’s account. There are several credit card options available; however, four major credit cards exist. The top three are Visa (with over 260,000,000 owners), MasterCard (with over 175,000,000 users), and American Express (with approximately 50,000,000 users in the USA alone).
The Benefits of Accepting Credit Card Payments
Cash payment is the most common form of payment with its own set of benefits. Credit card payments have their own set of benefits as well. Accepting credit card payments helps establish your business’s credibility, because you have obviously earned the trust of a payment card processing company. Customers want to pay by credit card, and some will only exclusively pay by credit card. Not only do you establish trust with your customers, but you also are allowing them to pay using their preferred method of payment. A customer that can pay using their preferred method of payment is a customer, who is more likely to pay.
The Nuts and Bolts of Payment Card Processing
The two main parts of credit card processing fees are authorization and settlement. When the bank approves the payment and transaction that is taking place, then the bank is authorizing the transaction. Most banks require the customer to provide their credit card number, card expiration date, and card security number, in order to authorize the transaction. The actual processing of the payment is the settlement. If the payment is authorized, then the payment is electronically transferred from the customer’s account to your business’s account. If the payment is not authorized, then the settlement will not happen, and payment is declined.
Payment Card Processing Hardware and Software
Payment card processing technology continues to advance, and the equipment, hardware, and software required to process a credit card payment has become smaller, faster, and more readily available than ever before. Here is a list of the most common types of payment card processing services and machines in wide use today.
• Dual Communication Terminals
This is one of the simplest plug-and-play payment card processing terminals available. It only requires a phone or internet connection and processes quickly.
• Wireless Terminals
These processing terminals are very popular, because you can take them with you wherever you go. They do not require any cables, but they do require a wireless phone or internet connection.
• Cell Phone Apps
The advancement in smart phones has brought on a number of payment card processing apps and devices. You can even get a miniature swipe terminal that attaches to your smart phone, so you can swipe cards and type in card numbers using the smart phone app.
• Online Virtual Terminals
This is the online version of a credit card swipe machine. A business owner has access to a secure terminal form that allows him/her to enter the customer’s relevant payment and credit card information into an online form and process the payment.
Accepting credit cards is a necessity in today’s business world. In order to accept credit card payments, you need the services of a payment card processing company and credit card processing terminal. Look for payment card processing solution that includes low transaction rates, custom options, and the type of processing terminals that suit your business’s needs.