When a business owner begins their venture into eCommerce, it will be crucial that they contract with a merchant services provider. While there are many merchant services providers out there, picking the right one will take some research and a solid foundation of knowledge. Merchant services providers are all different; it is crucial to figure out your requirements to identify the best fit for your business.

Payment Processing

Will your business require batch payment processor real-time payment process? With batch processing, the order is then handled by an individual either by getting in touch with the payment processing company to confirm the legitimacy of the credit card number or by utilizing a point-of-sale terminal to swipe the card. The customer is notified immediately that the order is accepted when the credit card is verified, and the money is moved from the client’s account to the merchant’s account. When deciding, consider some transactions that may occur. If you are anticipating a low volume of sales, then this type of processing is something to consider. It is not as pricey as real-time processing. The main drawback to batch processing is the time factor. Real-time processing is more suited for bigger volume sales and for certain items that are sent over electronically.

Knowing Your Business

A business owner should be well-versed in their financial reports; because these statistics are going to weigh heavily on what merchant services provider is chosen.

Additionally, some banks have a set amount of transactions a month. Thus, if you do not meet this minimum, you could be required to pay a separate fee. Other banks will ask you to project how many transactions you think will occur on your site. Your business’s strengths and weaknesses will also influence the type of services you need from your provider. For example, if you lack state-of-the-art resources, then it would be in your favor to choose a merchant account provider that emphasizes customer service.

Rates and Fees

Web-based e-tailers and other eCommerce ventures need to be aware of the rates and fees they will be assessed when contracting with a merchant services provider. Typical costs include transaction fees, discount rates, and set-up or application fees. Fees vary among the merchant services providers based on credit history, type of business, and transaction volume. Merchant accounts have several fees, some that are time-based, and others that deal with a percentage format.

Assess your technology and service requirements. When an entrepreneur makes the jump to eCommerce, selecting a merchant services provider is only one of many aspects that have to be integrated together. Utilize a shopping cart solution and locate a merchant services provider, although many providers feature shopping cart solutions of their own.

Also required is payment system that processes transactions and a payment gateway to securely capture and process payments. Several merchant services providers offer systems that include each of these aspects. Many will bundle merchant services and other eCommerce services into their packages. Working alongside a merchant services provider that provide integrated services indicates that each level of the transaction works in conjunction with the other, meaningless difficulties on your end.

If the merchant services provider does not offer this type of service, the exact software that is used should be discovered. On occasion, a dealer account company will provide more affordable merchant services and then overcharge on software. A reputable merchant services provider will provide guidance about which type of software would be best for this situation.

Information such as this can be crucial to a business just starting out, that can not afford to make a mistake early on. Finding the right companies to partner with is a big step in the process of operating a successful business. Starting up an eCommerce venture is no easy task. If it were, everyone would do it! It is critical to know your own business inside and out; it will inevitably save you tons of time, effort, and money.

In this competitive world of e-commerce, public credit card services have a significant role to play, since they provide numerous solutions about service packages as well as several merchant accounts. They can aid you in accepting credit cards or even debit cards and processing quite a few transactions in a flash through a streamlined process, rather than experiencing blocked accounts or funds held because of doubtful transactions.

Taking your needs into account, you can accept cards via many different media such as the World Wide Web, telephone, fax, or personally. Different merchant accounts are custom-made for business owners who need to handle large transactions on a daily basis. They can assist you in making your business processes simpler and boosting your earnings. They also offer you several means to taste success now as well as in the future.

Using credible credit card services, you can quite effortlessly apply and obtain a merchant account online. These services can undoubtedly offer their clients the desired flexibility and unlimited advantages.

The majority of accounts are trouble-free and are suitable for business owners in any nation. The most excellent thing regarding such statements is that there is no need to abide by the stringent guidelines or make payment for any security deposit in the beginning. These kinds of accounts facilitate perfect integration with your internet site as well.

Almost all reliable credit card services boast well-qualified professionals with sufficient experience. They have expertise in offering safe and sound accounts to their customers. Whether you are unknown to the concept of accepting credit cards or already own a merchant account, they can help you handle each and every matter without any hiccup.

These service providers can offer retailers a comprehensive package at affordable rates and also aid them in fraud protection issues as well as acquire knowledge of various merchant account processing alternatives. Dealers can receive robust online management and reporting tools at no additional cost. These experts are very much able to direct you through the whole application process, customize a solution to your particular requirements, and ensure total customer gratification.

With plenty of credit card service providers available in the industry, it is at times rather difficult to locate the most appropriate one. Nevertheless, it is imperative to verify all the providers initially, instead of illogically choosing one provider.

Nowadays, the majority of customers tend to use the card in place of cash, and the capability of accepting credit cards is somewhat important if you run a web-based business. You will certainly have to install an online payment processing gateway, and for that, you must find a credible credit card service provider. They can successfully handle all the charge back problems without really bothering you and help you widen the payment alternatives of your customer.

Choosing a credit card service is important because this is what all your transactions for your business go through. As long as you consider the time and research in-depth before you commit to anything, you should have no difficulty deciding an experienced and reliable credit card business service.

When your business plans to accept debit and credit cards-either at your brick and mortar, online or by phone, you will need a merchant services processor so you can accept them. There will be some upfront costs and fees for doing so.  Fees if you have been a cash only business, that you are not accustomed to paying.  But the extra costs that are associated with taking credit cards far outweigh the disadvantages of you not taking them.

The biggest change you will see almost immediately is the boost in sales.  Credit card purchase encompass almost 80% of all purchases in the US marketplace.  By being cash only, you have been excluding these customers from your business.  People have a different mindset when they purchase with plastic.  Cash is a physical action you have to take to make a purchase.  You pull your wallet out of your purse or pocket, you pull your physical money out and you see it transferred directly to the merchant.  It is difficult, it can be painful.  One minute you have $200 in your pocket, and the next minute you have $25.00 and the goods you just purchased.  With plastic, you hand your card over to the business attendant, they process the payment, you sign for it, get a receipt that you barely look at and put it in your pocket.  Not until the end of the month will you receive your statement that gives you your payment balance.

Choosing a credit card processor can be a difficult task.  It is wise to compare the pros and cons of your options before signing a contract.  Here are several factors to consider.

Fees and Costs

Processing costs can range from .025% to 5% on all transactions a company processes through their terminals.  There are many companies available to you who offer products that are competitive and offer the same level of service as those who are charging a higher percentage.

How much are the fees and other costs?

Credit card processing fees can be up to 5% on everything a company earns from its credit and debit card sales, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. However, some companies might charge much less than others while offering the same products and level of service.

Fees to watch out for and compare: Interchange fees, monthly statement fees, application and set up fees, application and set up fees, monthly minimum fees, monthly gateway access fees, and early termination fees.  All of these fees are subject negotiation and are offered in tier pricing by different companies based on your volume of processing. Make sure you understand all of these fees and service terms.  Make sure they can provide you with a detailed explanation on all costs and fees and if they cannot, then find another processor.

What is the setup time?

Many companies have the ability to set you up in as little as 24 hours after your application.  The normal amount of time is usually 3-5 days from application until approval.

What are the accepted payment types?

You will want to make sure that your new processor accepts all major credit and debit card so you do not have to turn away any possible customers. Also, you may want to include a system that accepts prepaid cards and gift cards.

Is your system up to date with new payment procedures:

Most customers are very tech savvy now.  NFC (Near field technology) is the latest payment processing that will allow you to accept digital wallets like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or Google Wallet. This technology allows customers to make a payment with a simple touch of their cell phone.

Is customer support reliable?

If you run into processing, terminal, or technical problems how reliable is their customer support. Make sure you hire a processor that offers 24/7 support and you will need direct support from an account rep who can solve your issues. There may be an extra cost for this service, but it will be some of the best money you can spend.

Good luck with your search for a reputable merchant services provider.  There are many solid companies available for you to contact.  Find the right one and then good luck in the new world of credit card processing.

One of the biggest challenge any small business can face is finding the resources, time and money,  to compete with the larger, more established enterprises they compete against.  One tool that the small business has in its arsenal is the ability to accept credit cards.  According to sources in 2014 72% of all American consumers owned at least one credit card.  And that number is higher now.  There is not a small business in this country that can afford to ignore those numbers. Neither can they afford to ignore the new move to mobile payment systems.

By accepting credit cards the small business can benefit in many ways.  Their business become an immediate consumer shopping option for those people who prefer to use their cards instead of cash. Seeing the logos that you have posted in your windows gives the customer the confidence that you offer superior service.  This also legitimizes our business and puts you in the league with your larger competitors.

The convenience of accepting credit cards for your customers either dipping or swiping, cuts down on transactions time and lets your customers have more time for themselves.   Your business will also benefit.  With shorter transaction times, you will have time to work with and sell to more customers. Then at the end of the day, you can send all of your transactions to the crecit card processing system in one batch for settlement.

Security in transactions has been the major part of discussion for the last several years.  Several security breaches at companies like Target, Petsmart, and even the IRS have made security for electronic transactions one of the most important topics in todays merchant society.  Because of fraud, because of hacking, in October of 2015, the United States merchant processors mandated that EMV or smart chips be required on all credit and debit cards.  Also, merchants were also mandated to be able to take these new EMV chip cards.

As the journey for small businesses to transfer from magnetic swiping technology on their credit card machines continues to evolve, we can learn one thing.  The system is getting better. Last year’s back orders of EMV terminals is not affecting us right now.  The software techs to program the machines have worked out most of the bugs and your machines can be programmed in a matter of hours now instead of days, and there is a program in place for business now, who have not changed from swipe to EMV, to forgo any fraudulent charges on your account under the magic $25-dollar line.  That is all good news for the businesses who have not switched to EMV technology yet.

 

But the question still begs, why have you not switched?  You have not found the right program, you are comfortable with the system the way it is?  You like gambling with your businesses money?  As a former owner of a bicycle shop in Arizona, I would take charges for bicycles that cost thousands of dollars.  If I was using old technology, and I took a fraudulent card and was held liable for that sale, it would take me months to recover from that loss.  Forget about if it happened to me two or three times in a month.  That kind of loss would have hurt our business.   So why are you playing roulette with   your business and credit card transactions?

 

The main stumbling block right now is time of transactions.  High volume businesses have long complained that they do not want to use the chip EMV technology because the time to make an approval is 3 – 4 times longer than the magnetic strip swipe.  This will be a problem of the past soon.  Both major credit card providers Mastercard and Visa have been working on updates to speed up the transaction response time.   By the middle of December, these updates will be running and transaction times should be cut in at least half if not more.

 

Now is the time for your small business to make the change to EMV.  You can expect the process to be much smoother for you, and you will be protecting your business from chargebacks of fraudulent card usage by switching to the dip.

The payment cards industries mandate to transition all US credit cards to EMV chips is almost 1-year-old and has not been an easy ride.   Delays, chargebacks that are unwarranted, and even customer confusion as to whether to dip or slide have kept the transaction confusing and slow.   The lack of a centralized plan has also contributed to the slowness of the transition.

 

Merchants who have complied are still getting hit with chargebacks, and this has caused many serious financial harm.  But what is the alternative.  If you do not convert, then all your swipe transactions, potentially could be charged back if you are using enabled terminals.

 

In Miami, a class action law filed by a couple of retailers accused the card companies of slowing down the entire process in an attempt to distribute the liability costs onto the retailers.  Dieger Bohn, executive editor of “The Verge” tweeted: “US rollout of chip payments has been awful. Every point of sale terminal is a horrible guessing game.”

 

And he is right.  Even though a rash of retails have been approved to implement EMV over the last month, the actual statistics of the number of enabled retailers is very hard to come by.   As of 2 months ago the number was around 30% of all US retailers.

 

Chip and pin seem to be the way to go for the best security, but for some reason, the largest card issuers Visa and MasterCard are opposing this technology.  Officially, the bank line is that the pin burdens the consumer, or, they would want you to believe that people cannot remember their pin number.

 

One of the big issues is that data sent out over the network with a chip is the same as it was when you were swiping.  Data is taken in, cc number, expiration date are sent out over an unencrypted network to the processor and then the issuing bank.  If you, the merchant, want your data encrypted, there is an extra charge for Peer-to Peer Encryption.  This is a better solution, but adds to your processing cost.

 

The good news is, these are growing pains, and the banks are working on new chip software that is faster to process, easier to convert, and more secure.  This software has been promised by December 2016 and should shorten transaction times by a minimum of 15 seconds.

 

EMV processing is here to stay, and despite the problems now, it is a required and necessary part of all business processing in F2F (face to face) transactions.  Your liability for your small business increases 10 fold if you are still swiping and have not converted to the dip technology.  It takes time to get your terminals programmed as there is a backlog due to increased demand.  Get started right and change to your EMV enabled terminals now.

Banks are still at the core of the payment processing systems, which is largely responsible for settling of accounts of credit card or wire transactions, and other aspects of the transfer of funds in exchange for goods and services. The process is changing rapidly as other institutions have become involved in the payment process, and banks no longer have the monopoly that they once did.

 

The payment processing systems usually involve a series of complex transactions, with more than two parties. During credit card transactions, the payment processor will be contracted by the merchant, to assist in processing the transaction on behalf of the banks that acquire the credit. There are two types of processors, and they operate at either the front or back end of the process.

 

Front-end processors will normally be connected to the card issuer and would be involved in the authorization and settlement of the transactions. The processors that operate at the back-end would be involved in accepting the settlements, and transferring the credit amounts to the merchant bank from the bank that issues the credit.

 

To facilitate the process, a merchant account is needed. Real-time online payment processing provides rapid and secure ways for merchants to be paid for their goods or services. The almost instantaneous methods offer some protection from fraudulent purchases as verification is necessary before the transaction is completed.

 

Online payment processing, benefits, not only the merchants, who receive almost immediate payment for the goods or services that they offer, but it gives the customers the convenience of making immediate payments. Perhaps the most popular medium for transferring the payments is with the use of credit cards, and without a way of accepting credit card payments, the merchant may be a doomed failure.

 

One of the biggest benefits of online payment processing is derived from the ability to keep track of the different types of payments. With a reliable merchant account, you can easily gain access to processes such as automated payments and recurring billing, which can all be used to increase the profitability of your business, as customers can grow to appreciate the convenience.

 

Online payment processing is now at the heart of e-commerce, as it offers consumers the convenience of a fast and secure method to pay for purchases with a debit or credit card. It also helps merchants by efficiently handling a large volume of transactions. The process may appear instantaneous, but it involves some different transactions.

 

The payment processor will request verification of the validity of the card, from the bank that issued the card. When verification has been confirmed, the details are then sent to the merchant through the payment gateway. The merchant is then obligated to complete the process. If verification is denied, the merchant is also informed, where the transaction will be denied. Because payments are processed at a much faster rate, the merchant will now have a much-improved cash flow, with which she can manage her business.

 

Secure payment processing can be one of the methods that merchants use to increase profitability. Because online payment processing offers more variety in accepting payments, the likelihood of receiving an increase in sales also increases

THE CREDIT CARD PROCESSING

With the shift to EMV chip technology, the credit card processing news has been awash with details of the latest payment system technology. The directive by Credit Card companies warning that if merchants had not made the switch to EMV capable systems by October 1, 2015, they would be liable for any fraud that occurred, as a result, has plagued merchants who are yet to make the change. This directive left merchants scrambling as trying to either comply or take the risk of shouldering the burden of credit card fraud. Since accepting cash only is out of the question due the low volume of sales, merchants have been forced to use credit card processors to smooth the way in transitioning to EMV. Else, to perform a cost-benefit analysis in cases where the merchant has been unable to comply due to financial constraints. However, the latter has been rather unsuccessful because of lack of credit card fraud reports that are crucial in performing an analysis.

 

Most credit card processor agrees that merchants who do not make the move to EMV are more likely to attract fraudsters and should the merchant fall prey to fraud, they face millions in liability. Due to the expected decrease in card present fraud and anticipation in an increase in card not present fraud, the credit card processing news have also been dominated by news of online fraud preventative measures. As a merchant, choosing the best credit card processor is imperative in securing your business and giving customers a great user experience in their transactions. What defines a great credit card processor? The card processing company should be able to offer you customized solutions targeted specifically at your small, medium or large business’s needs. It should give you leeway in deciding how to accept credit card, fit your budget’s requirements and also provide support and fraud preventative measures and systems in case you decide to take your business online. This will enable you to gain from your credit card processor and learn how to protect your business from online and new identity fraud expected to see a rise. New identity fraud refers to fraud where the fraudster creates a fake account online by using real information about a customer.

 

Apart from informative news, the credit card processing industry has also experienced controversies. The latest bulls to lock horns are Walmart and Visa. Walmart filed a suit accusing Visa of requiring the retailer to accept signature verification rather than PIN. According to USA Today, the retailer says that the method is not only insecure but is also advocated by Visa as a way of making more money in its payment processing procedures. While chip-and-pin exists and offer more security, it is possible to verify through signatures and swiping in cases where a retailer does not have an EMV capable payment processing system.

The auto dealership, mortgage bankers, and credit card companies are the main money lenders and they strictly evaluate one`s credit worthiness from the FICO and credit scores as reflected by the credit report. Landlords, employers, and Insurance companies also find it worth to rely on the credit scores in the determination of financial worth of creditors.  Therefore, there is a strong need of maintaining a good credit in order to secure a mortgage or a loan for financial support. In order to maintain and acquire good credit score, you need to understand the following component and their impact on the FICO and credit scores.

Credit history

Credit history contributes a rough estimate of 35% of the FICO or the credit score. The credit history determines whether on one can be trusted to repay any money with the speculated time. The scores are calculated from the herein considerations:

  • Has the debtor paid all the bills on time? Timely repayment reflects positively while the late payment has an adverse effect on the FICO scores.
  • Does the debtor have liens and judgment regarding the debt settlement? Bankruptcies, wage attachments, and charge-offs have significant influences on any individual`s credit history.
  • In case one paid late, the credit scores figures reflect how late the repayment was made. The earlier the repayment the better the credit score and vise verse.

 

The amount of credit:

This is the second most determinant of credit scores. This is calculated by dividing the amount of debt owed by the amount of unutilized debt.  The figure is very crucial in determining the trust of the borrower.  This is a bit tricky since the financial credibility cannot be determined in case one does not owe any credit.

The scores are also determined by the type of accounts since the creditors might need to verify that the borrowers are stable enough to fully manage different credits.  The more the accounts, such as the auto loans, mortgage, installment and credit cards the high the credit scores.

The credit history length

The reflect credit score on the credit report also takes the consideration of how long has one been using the credit. The average score of the all the account is used in the determination of the length of the credit history.

The longer the history (though not marred by late repayment) has a stronger positive impact on the credit scores than a short time history.  A short history is only beneficial if the one has zero or minimal records of late payment.

The types of the credits and their repayment

The credits that have fixed due-date and fixed amount are weighed more in the calculation of the FICO score. These types of credit payments include the student loans, auto loans, and the mortgage payments. Violation of due dates on the above credits indicates financial hardship or carelessness and hence have a strong adverse effect on the credit score.

Therefore if you are using the magnetic credit stripe card you are very likely to affect your FICO score since the fraudster may borrow money using your account data.  This is so since there accession of the holders account data is easier than the EMV card account detail. Magnetic card stripe information