Credit cards… Plastic money… It’s the new green they say. And they (whoever they are) aren’t wrong. In the past couple of decades credit card spending has grown by leaps and bounds. Economies like the US are literally driven by credit and this despite the financial upheavals that have rocked the global markets and economies in past years. It isn’t surprising really as this form of money is quite convenient for the customer. Most of us are aware of the customer’s side of the story.
This article will look at how things work from the seller’s perspective. When the customer hands over their card, it is swiped through a credit card machine which registers the sale. Merchant service providers will process the transaction for a fee. The credit card machine mentioned earlier is technically referred to as the point of sale terminal. The machine is usually provided by merchant services credit card processing companies at a separate cost. Charges for these services can be a flat fee or a percentage of the transaction amount over the course of a pre-determined period. There can also be a combination of the two, where a flat nominal fee is charged for the rental of the terminals and the percentage goes towards the transaction charges.
Merchant services vary depending upon the provider but credit and debit card processing is usually common to all providers. Other services provided by these companies include cheque and draft clearance, cheque guarantee and conversion services, payment gateway options and others.
Because of the risk involved in the process, merchant services credit card processing has several built in security and validation checks in the process to protect the customer and the seller against any possible fraud. By aligning themselves with such security measures, businesses are protecting themselves from credit card which is now a multi billion dollar industry. Taking up the facilities provided by these merchant services credit card processing companies makes good business sense and is worth it in the long run.
While selecting a merchant services credit card processing company, do your research. There are literally hundreds of companies which provide such facilities but not all of them are necessarily the right one for you. It’s important as a seller to understand what additional value and tools a particular provider will offer which will help in organizing and managing the business.