Credit Card Processing Services
When businesses decide to use a credit card machine, there are many advantages to going this route: efficiency, convenience and even savings. The third part is the most critical for the business, however, the different credit card processing services must be considered before opening a merchant account.
There are many different credit card processing services, also known as intermediaries that work between the credit card companies and businesses. The most common intermediary is the bank.
How it works is that when the merchant opens up an account, a certain percentage and transaction fee is agreed upon that the merchant will pay to the bank, or credit card processing service. When the merchant charges the customer, the bank will deliver the profit from the product into the account, minus the percentage and transaction fee. The designated credit card company will then charge the bank.
Besides the bank, there are other smaller or independent intermediaries that many small businesses use as well. These intermediaries still act as a liaison between the business and the credit card companies. Some intermediaries will charge the merchant a monthly percentage and transaction fee, which means the merchant is still being charged per transaction but pays it in a lump sum once a month. Some businesses use gift card swipes for convenience to the customer — this can be a higher transaction fee though.
When looking for a good credit card processing service, the business should look for several assets. The more forms of payments a service accepts, the better and more convenient for the merchant – for example, checks and different types of cards. There should be a low or no startup fee to begin the service as well as a low or no contract cancellation fee, if the business decides to use a different service. The service should also offer good customer service for troubleshooting and questions and also have a decent rating when looked up online for research purposes.
Another benefit of using a good credit card processing service is that the merchant can charge the customer from different locations, whether through phone, Internet or a location where wireless access is needed. The service will also be of good quality, which means that each transaction is secured and all payments are authorized and free of fraud.
The merchant should keep in mind that when opening the merchant account, usually a yearly or two year contract must be signed with many credit card processing services. If a business decides not to use them anymore due to high costs, there could be a substantial fee. Doing research in the different fees, especially hidden, is important. All agreements should be clear cut upon deciding which service to go with.
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