Credit Card Processing: Payment Processing That You and Your Customers Will Love


So you’ve decided to upgrade your business by accepting credit card payments. You’ll undoubtedly reap the benefits that countless merchants just like you have experienced. This is a form of payment processing that you and your clients or customers will love. Keep reading to learn about the ins and outs of credit card processing.

Credit card processing is a multi-step process that involves the business and credit card processing company. As you know, credit cards are a form of payment that allows holders to delay payment according to the amount of credit that the financial institution or retail store allows.

Credit cards were first introduced in the U.S. in the 1920s as an extension of gasoline store credit. The first card was directly connected to a single gasoline company. Next, retail companies began offering credit cards to customers. Eventually, general purpose cards were created. These allowed cardholders to purchase items on credit at a wide variety of suppliers. Although credit card use is rampant in the U.S., Canada and Europe, it isn’t as popular in some other countries, such as Japan.

In order for businesses to accept credit cards, they must sign up with a credit card processing company. There are many companies that meet this need. First, the merchant receives a unique identification code. Next, they receive a processing account, and the corresponding equipment needed to swipe the magnetic strip of the credit card. Merchants pay for processing based largely upon how often cards are used. Typically, the card network receives a service fee that is based on a total sales percentage.

At the register, or other point of sale, a cashier enters all the required sales data into the register and totals the amount of the sale. If a customer presents a credit card, the cashier accepts it and swipes the card in the processing machine. The machine submits all the card information and sales data to the credit card processing company. The processing company relays this information to the company that issued the credit card, and the customer’s available balance is checked. If funds are available, the sale is accepted. If there is an inadequate amount of funds, approval is denied. If the transaction is successful, the merchant receives an authorization code via the machine. After the customer signs the receipt, the sale is complete.

Merchants receive the funds for credit card transactions after they submit a report that summarizes the transactions for that day. After all credit sales are submitted in batch form, the credit card processing firm puts a credit in the merchant bank account equal to the total sales figure, minus processing fees. Typically, it takes a few days for everything to process and post to the merchant’s bank account.

For the utmost convenience, make every effort to get all of your credit card services in one place. Most of the leaders in the credit card processing industry offer all-in-one service. If you don’t choose a company that offers all the features and services you need, then your business – whether new or old – will likely suffer. The application process for nearly every company is free of charge. Avoid companies that make you jump through hoops to apply. Applying should be a quick and easy process.

We all know that credit cards basically trump cash. Paying by credit or debit card is more popular than ever. If you don’t accept these forms of payment, then your business will unquestionably take a substantial hit. Why would you want to lose valuable customers simply because you don’t accept credit or debit cards? It’s a ridiculously easy process. Make the right choice and start the application process today. Your business certainly won’t suffer from it. Rather, it only stands to benefit from this wise choice.

There are many ways your sales benefit from accepting credit cards. First reason: convenience. More and more customers are opting not to carry cash. Simply carrying plastic allows them to purchase whatever they want at any time. If your business accepts credit cards, you can accept funds anywhere and anytime. It’s a win-win situation. Another great reason: credit cards have no geographical boundaries. A man in Massachusetts can purchase an item from your store in Texas if you accept credit cards. Sure, this is a hypothetical situation, but you get the point. And if you have a web site that accepts credit cards, the sky’s the limit! With online ordering, you’ll almost certainly gain a customer base you never thought possible.

Whatever type of business you own, there’s a payment processing solution available to you. Retail, online, telephone, hotel, non-profit, food and beverage… the list goes on and on. If you can think up the type of business, there’s a credit card acceptance method to go with it.

Contact a merchant account company today, and you’ll be processing credit card sales in no time.