Finding The Perfect Credit Card Processor

We live in a day and age where credit and debit cards are used with fervor.  Cash is usually too bulky to carry around, and carrying a checkbook is not something that many people, especially the rising generation, do.  The convenience of an ultra-slim plastic card to supply all the funds for consumers while they shop is all too appealing for most people to pass up.  In fact, there are more than 181 million Americans that have a credit card.  With so many consumers holding credit cards today, it may be no surprise to recognize that when these shoppers arrive at the register to pay for goods or services, they are looking for the familiar gleam of a credit card terminal to accept their payments for them.

 

Those retail shops that operate by accepting cash or checks only as payment methods can really risk losing customers, particularly when doing business with younger people.  It can be inconvenient for a person to run to the bank or ATM, make a withdrawal, and then head on over to your shop to spend the cash.  Instead of doing all that, a customer may just find a shop that accepts credit cards and buy something there instead.

 

When you’re deciding whether or not to accept credit card payments in your shop, ask yourself, “is it worth it to lose customers by not having a credit card processor?”  The answer will probably be a resounding “no,” and so you may find yourself looking high and low for reputable sources to provide you with the best credit card processing reviews.  The good news is that there are lots of resources online to provide you with good information.  You may want to start by investigating the following:

 

Look for terminals in action.

 

One good way to see different models of credit card processers in action is to go to the store and watch one being used.  It’s a low pressure situation because you wouldn’t be working with someone representing a credit card processing company where you might feel obligated to buy in to the salesman’s pitch.  It also enables you to see just how user friendly the machine is for the employees operating it.

 

It may be a little awkward to sit and observe a credit card terminal being used for an extended period of time in a retail shop, and you may have to wait around for some time before seeing a good number of transactions.  A quick service restaurant, however, particularly around lunch rush would be a great place to see a credit card terminal used in action.  With all the people coming to a quick service restaurant during a busy lunch rush, you may even see an employee process a refund.  Be certain to compare several different terminals and see in-person just how easy it can be to process transactions.

 

Shop around for credit card processing providers.

 

In order to start accepting credit cards you must have a credit card processing company provide you with merchant services.  These services can be provided through a bank or credit union, but they are also commonly provided by companies that offer merchant services only.  It might be a good idea to do business with a company that has extensive experience providing merchant services, that way you can be confident that you are in good hands.  Before you make your final choice, however, it’s important to compare options from one provider to another.  Look for the following:

 

  • Start-up costs.  In order to get a merchant account you have to apply for one, and not everyone who applies can obtain one either.  It is common practice to charge an application fee, but it is also common practice to waive the application fee.  In addition to an application fee that you may possibly be responsible for, there are fees to purchase equipment and have it installed in your retail space.  Be sure to ask about equipment and installation fees along with the application fee.

 

  • Average approval rating.  Credit card processing companies should be able to show you the percentage of applicants that have been approved to open a merchant account.  The percentage represents their approval rating.  Companies that have approval ratings on the higher end of the spectrum may be more accommodating, and can provide you with services at more affordable rates.  They may also be quicker at processing your application and getting your retail space set up with credit card terminals.

 

  • Monthly cost.  Credit card processing companies have various fees that they pass on to their merchants.  It’s important to identify these fees and then ask how much they would cost you.  Monthly fees might include statement fees, charge back fees, gateway fees, and others.  A competitive processing company would offer you low monthly fees and would clearly communicate any changes in fees.

 

  • Set-up time.  It’s important to determine just how quickly a credit card processing company might be able to set your account up.  Merchant services that are provided by credit card processing companies rather than banks might have the ability to get your application expedited so you could be up and running quickly.  While it doesn’t happen all the time, some companies can review and approve your application, and set up your merchant account all in the same day.

 

  • Customer service.  It’s important to get the best credit card processing reviews from reputable sources, especially when it comes to researching the topic of customer service.  In addition to reading reviews online, take the time to actually call the customer service department of the merchant account providers that you are investigating.  See how quickly they might respond to your concerns.  Find out what methods of communication you can use when trying to contact them.  Do they respond to email, instant messaging, and phone calls, or are they limited to phone call responses only? 

 

Find Reputable Sources when Investigating Credit Card Processing Providers

 

Before you settle on a merchant account provider, take some time to read the best top credit card processing reviews.  Go out and see credit card terminals being used in real time by real people, and shop around to make sure you’re getting a good deal on monthly fees.

credit card processing reviews

How to find the perfect credit card processor.

Seven Mistakes of a Small Business Owner

All small business owners at some point in time have that moment when they are at a complete loss for words. There are mistakes that can cost a business of fortune and there are those mistakes which don’t incur any financial losses but can be quite daunting to overcome. During my experience working as a consultant to many small businesses I have found numerous mistakes that business owners keep making. Regardless of the type of business or sector you’re in it is challenging to avoid these types of mistakes.

 

Mistake One: Hiring Your Friends

 

While there is a lot of conflicting information about friends and business out there, there is an unquestionable mistake that many business owners make. They hire their friends. While I may catch a bit of flak from this one, hiring a friend as an employee is an opportunity to lose that friend for a lifetime. During the course of business there may come a time when you have to put your foot down and make a decision or judgment call that could upset your employees. Often friends are unable to disconnect business from their friendship.

 

Mistake Two: Using Your Savings

 

There is a lot to be said about using one’s own finances to start a business. Often times an entrepreneur doesn’t have a lot to their name when they come up with their business idea. During these times they may use their own finances to start up a business. While this is a risky move, it is often an acceptable move since this is usually just an initial investment. However, if a business is proving to be difficult to make a profit, investing one’s own savings into keeping the business afloat can be a fatal mistake and can often affect the owner of the business in worse ways than to seek other financial assistance. At the end of the day those savings could be the difference between surviving and painful debt if the business goes under.

 

Mistake Three: Opening Your Dream Job

 

This mistake is something one must take with a grain of salt. I would never want to ruin the dreams of a young entrepreneur who has always had an idea for an awesome story or a great service to start in their area. Dreams are what fuel new businesses and those dreams should always be respected. There are, however, some dreams that have no financial viability in their very basic nature. Many look into starting an arcade, a barber shop, or some other type of dream business and often don’t think about the outside variables. Often the success of the business will depend solely on whether there is any interest in that type of service in the area. While the business may be a great idea, the location could be a nightmare. A business cannot survive without a dedicated community to use it.

 

Mistake Four: Payment Processing

 

One of the most difficult mistakes for any service-related business is choosing an incompatible payment processor to accept payments. Businesses are constantly changing and evolving in this fast-paced world. Having a merchant account that ties you to specific types of payments can be devastating. In most cases businesses need to consider having two or three different ways to accept payment in case the first method isn’t going to cut the mustard. Having a mobile processor to accept payments on-the-go in addition to some sort of online payment gateway could ensure multiple methods of accepting payment are available. These different payment methods also open up the opportunity to have on-site service calls.

 

Mistake Five: Expansion

 

A little bit of success can go a long way when it comes to making a business owner feel comfortable about a business. The first month a business manages to make a profit can be a cause for celebration. One giant mistake that numerous business owners have made at that particular point in their lifetime is an expansion. When a business is starting to make a profit, that doesn’t mean that expansion is necessary for the business to continue to prosper. In fact, it could be the death knell that leads the business down the road towards bankruptcy. Expansion is best served when the business is beginning to reach its maximum capacity with its current resources.

 

Mistake Six: Hiring Your Family

 

Even more difficult than hiring one’s friends is hiring one’s family. Often times as a small business owner there are compelling arguments about hiring a third cousin or even hiring a close family member. Family members may even put pressure on the business owner to hire their brother or sister on to help them out. This often leads to situations where family members may be able to take advantage of the situation whether they mean to or not. In the case of disagreements in the workplace or disagreements with the way things are done, it could lead to damaging one’s relationship with the other. It is best to avoid those situations at all costs.

 

Mistake Seven: Personal Time

 

Businesses are very hard to manage and run effectively. In many cases small business owners spend a lot of their time managing the business, staying on top of the way things are run, and making sure that all of their clients are happy. It can be difficult to achieve a strong reputation amongst a neighborhood let alone an entire customer base. It is even worse when that achievement comes at the price of one’s personal time. Every small business owner should be able to relax at some point and take a break from things in order to ensure they are rejuvenated.

Mobile Processor

7 mistakes a small business owner usually makes.

Make A Way With A Gateway

Your insert your debit or credit card and remove it quickly while at the gas pump. You swipe your card to pay for groceries, a cup of coffee or a movie ticket. You don’t know exactly how card readers work, but you know that you do. If you have your own company, you owe it to yourself to know how readers work since integrating one into your business could prove to be one of the best decisions that you’ve made since you started your business. Payment gateway credit card services allow companies and individuals to operate more efficiently. You’ll more than likely want to use a payment gateway if you do any of your business online. So now that you know how important payment gateways are, you’re probably eager to learn just what they are.

 

The Gateway To New Business

 

If you’ve ever bought an item online and had to enter your credit card information, you used a payment gateway credit card processing service.  Payment gateways verify and automate electronic payments made by visitors of an online merchant. Gateways act as an electronic liaison between the consumer’s bank and the merchant’s bank, making sure that the money is safely and properly deducted from one and added to another. More specifically, a payment gateway credit card service ensures that the buyer’s credit card information remains secure, checks to make sure that the buyer is who they say they are, ensures that the buyer has enough money in their bank account to cover the transaction and either rejects or continues the transaction. There are some payment gateway credit card solutions that are programed to include sales tax and the cost of shipping.

 

Certain gateways could require that a business have a merchant account. Basically, a merchant account is an account that secures any funds that are received over a payment gateway. Merchant accounts are available for both brick-and-mortar stores and electronic stores. If you want the best payment gateway credit card service possible for your brick-and-mortar business, you’ll need to contact your bank and ask for an Internet merchant account. The merchant account you have for the store requires that the card be present in order for the payment gateway credit card processing service to work. Having an Internet merchant account allows your customers to only input their credit card number and a few other details in order for a transaction to properly go through.

 

Why You Should Step Through The Gateway   

 

You might be asking yourself why you need a payment gateway if you have a brick-and-mortar store. The bottom line is that everything is going electronic. Your benefit yourself, your business and your customers by using an online credit card processing service. If you’re a freelancer or an independent contractor, you can get your payments faster by using a payment gateway. You’ll no longer have to keep racing to the mail every day to see if your payment has finally arrived. Not having to wait on a check also means that you don’t have to worry about driving to your bank and cashing the check. You not only save time by utilizing payment gateway credit card solutions, you also save money on gas. Such solutions will even allow your clients and customers to make recurring payments if you offer a certain service or sell a certain product each month. Now all you have to do is send them an email towards the end of the month just to remind them of the payment date. It’s more convenient and easier for the both of you. Before rushing to use the best payment gateway credit card processing service, there are a few ideas to keep in mind before deciding on one.

 

A Guide To The Gateway

 

Payment gateway providers make money in setup fees and monthly charges. If you want to avoid these, then you should select a service with little to no extra charges if you possibly can. If you plan on doing any more than 15 transactions a month, then you’ll want to opt for a premium payment gateway service. If you plan on setting up recurring payments, then you’ll need to make sure that the service you choose has that option. International businesses should make sure that their choices for payment gateway credit card solutions include those that deal with multiple types of currency. You should also do your research to make sure that the gateway company that you select has a credible reputation. Do an online search for reviews, but keep in mind that a large payment gateway service may have more than a few bad reviews. You’re mainly looking for a high approval rating. The level of support a service offers should also be taken into account. The best payment gateway credit card solutions are those that are up and running on a continuous basis and are able to quickly fix any problems should they arise. Integration is something else to keep in mind. Does the payment gateway have a shopping cart, ecommerce, point-of-sale and billing solutions? These could all be important points to bear in mind if you plan on opening a physical store or if you see your business moving in a new direction.

 

Points To Ponder

 

You’ll want to keep your shoppers in mind when looking at payment gateways. You may want to think about integrating a system if your shoppers are older than 40 since they may not be used to more modern systems. Choice is also a good way to go. You can not only have a credit card information and shipping page for shoppers to fill out, but third party checkout options as well. Shoppers who use a gateway service that you don’t offer can simply log into that service and click “Buy” if your site allows multiple gateway services, and anyone who likes filling in their credit card information each time they make a purchase may do so.

 

Payment gateway credit card services can allow you to increase your cash flow with a minimum of effort and a small investment. In order to get the most out of your business, you’ll want to make sure that you get the most out of recent innovations. You’ll find that technology is your gateway to success.

payment gateway providers

How a payment gateway company can help your business.

How A Card Credit Internet Processing Service Can Benefit Your Company

 

Whether you have just started your own business or have been in business for many years, you likely know that credit cards are the way many people shop now. Many people feel safer with credit cards, because in the unfortunate event that their wallet is stolen, credit cards and unauthorized transactions by credit card are much more easily recovered than unauthorized purchases with cash. Not only that, it is simply more convenient for people to use their credit cards. Because of these reasons, it is no surprise that having a card credit internet processing service can be highly beneficial to your company. If you are still not convinced, there are several other reasons that may make you change your mind. Card credit internet processing services can increase your customers, increase your average ticket size, give yourself the ability to sell online, and offer more convenience.

 

Increase In Customers

 

Using card credit internet processing companies can do a lot for your business, and one of the main things they can do is increase your customers almost immediately. Part of that is because of the simple fact that more people use credit cards than any other form of payment, but that’s not the only reason.  Studies have shown that when you begin accepting credit cards, customers begin trusting your company more. Seeing the credit card logos on display as the one of the forms of payment you will accept helps your business feel more legitimate and real to them. It can also make your business feel more firmly planted and stable, which makes customers feel more trustworthy of your company. It’s a matter of psychology, because credit card logos are recognized by many people, it helps create a sense of familiarity and security. When customers feel like your business is the real deal, they are more willing to spend their money there. Not only that, they are more likely to come back and recommend your business to their friends, co workers, and family members. This can lead to a large boost in the number of customers you see on a daily basis.

 

Increase In Average Ticket Size

 

Card credit internet processing services can do more than increase your customers. It can help your ticket sizes go up, meaning that your customers are buying more than they were before. Studies have shown that customers that pay with a credit card spend approximately 20 percent more than customers paying with a cash or check. One reason is because people tend to be more careful with where they spend their cash. Not only that, but when they buy with credit cards, they can spend more than they were planning to, because they aren’t limited to the amount of cash they have in their wallet at that given time. You will see an increase in the number of impulse buys people make, too. Impulse buys are things that people did not walk into your business with the intention of purchasing, but they wind up buying it anyway. The increase in impulse buys alone can make a substantial difference in the amount of money each individual customer is paying during one visit to your business.

 

Ability to Sell Online

 

Customers are shopping online more than ever. Online shopping offers so many advantages over physically going to the store. Customers don’t have to leave the comfort of their own home, meaning they can shop in their pajamas if they want to. They can avoid traffic, long lines, and rude people. They can save on gas prices, and save a lot of time by doing their shopping online. Almost every large retailer in the United States now has an online shop, and the number of people shopping online is only expected to increase in the years to come. This means selling online can turn into a great moneymaker for you. With credit card processor companies, selling online is easier than ever. You can reach so many more customers when you are able to sell your product online, not only to people who prefer shopping online, but to people who can only shop online. For example, think of people who are unable to leave their homes due to a physical disability. You can reach customers who can’t physically go to the store because they don’t have a car, or because the weather is bad. There are also people who simply prefer shopping online because they like having things delivered right to their front door. With selling online, you also have the opportunity to sell to people internationally. Selling online has the potential of increasing your sales by as much as 200%.

 

Convenient

 

Card credit internet processing companies can offer much more convenience to both the customer and the business than traditional cash or check does. For the customer, it is much easier to swipe a credit card than it is to dig out your cash, count the amount of money you need, and then wait for the merchant to hand you your change, or to write out a check. It also prevents the possibility of the customer not having the right amount of cash on them, meaning they have to cancel their order or at least put back some items. You can have the best of both worlds by still accepting cash for the customer who actually prefers to use cash, but also providing the option of paying by credit card for the customer who prefers to do it that way. For the business, it is a much faster process to get your money. The process of the money getting into your bank account is almost instant with card credit internet processing services.

 

If you don’t have a card credit internet processing service at your business, then you should certainly consider looking into it. Some of the main reasons it can benefit you include:

 

*More customers being attracted to your business.

*Customers buying more than they typically would if they were paying with cash.

*The ability to sell online, leading to a great increase of sales and the ability to reach many more customers.

*Convenience for both the customer and the business, in that the process is safer, faster, and simpler than with cash or check.

As you can see, considering card credit internet processing services can be highly beneficial to your business.

credit card processor

How online processing can benefit your company.

Selecting The Right Merchant Services – The Research Game

One of the major complications in doing business online is playing the research game. With the rise of web services, the hardest achievement is finding that rare service provider who has the perfect formula for balancing quality of service, customer support, technical prowess, while still managing to turn a profit in their business. With thousands upon thousands of competitors, there are a lot of businesses looking for any opportunity to cut their costs even if it means sacrificing one aspect of their service.

 

The same can be said with online merchant services. There are a large number of companies claiming to offer a superior merchant service compared to their competitors. They may have some strong competitive rate and may even offer your business a free credit card terminal. At some point one must consider the costs associated with the freebees and where they are cutting costs to be able to make these claims.

 

Let’s consider the following scenario: Your merchant service company provides the cheapest rates available alongside a lot of savings in rental fees. You get a free terminal upon signing up. You’re paying the lowest rate and you’re processing a respectable amount of money each month compared to those within your industry. The merchant service provider is making a minimal amount from your acceptance of payments. What are they going to do with the money they are making?

 

A proper merchant service provider understands that while it’s important to keep a low competitive rate, they must also be able to turn a profit and expand their business. This is precisely why it is important to be wary of those offering unreasonable offers to their clients; it is usually a pipe dream and things are going to get a lot worse down the road.

 

What To Look For

 

It is important to really understand what it is you’re looking for. If you’re like me you’re running a small repair shop or something service-related. You’re going to want to be able to accept a number of payments each month with a fair fee that you can build into your service model to cover the charges. An acceptable rate for credit card processing fees is 1.95% to 2%. This is a rate that is found to be acceptable in the payment processing industry for service-related businesses and retail businesses. Online credit card processing is a larger fee due to the increased cost of infrastructure.

 

If the payment processor you’re considering has a smaller fee for processing payments it is important to understand that they are cutting their cost at some point in the process to be able to offer that fee rather than taking a pay cut to provide the service. You’d have to hope that it is not in the support department.

 

Online Reviews: Your Best Friend

 

Online reviews are in all honesty one of the best ways to determine whether a merchant service is an acceptable business. Business owners are turning into more savvy consumers of the services they are using. With the rise of review sites on the Internet it is important to do a quick Google or Bing search to find out more about the company you’re able to start using. You can find reviews left by real clients of different merchant services to see what they are mostly complaining about. If merchants are complaining about hidden fees and charges that were hidden in a contract it could spell disaster for your business if you were to sign the dotted line.

 

It is also important to note that there are businesses online that focus on helping other businesses save their online reputation. This often revolves around creating fake reviews for their clients and then creating negative reviews for their competition. The easiest way to tell a real review from a fake review is to read the contents of the review and determine whether it is a reasonable complaint or a reasonable review of the company you’re interested in using. Is the review something a reasonable person would write, or is it merely a promotional piece for the company being reviewed?

 

Now that you’re read up on the reputation of different merchant services you’re free to pick the merchant processing company with a reasonable rate and a decent reputation within the industry.

merchant processing

Finding the right merchant service company.

 

Get The Best Gateway Online Payment Service

Gateway online payment processors offer a suite of payment processing services. The best gateway online payment processors allow any merchant with an internet connection the capability to expeditiously and securely process payment transactions virtually and without any processing hardware. The need for gateway online payment services has risen sharply in the last few years to accommodate the rise in ecommerce websites and online transactions.

 

What is a Gateway Online Payment Processor?

 

The best gateway online payment consists of an online website account that is accessed through a secure login. The business owner is allowed to then enter a customer’s credit card details and payment information. The gateway online payment processor is also known as the virtual terminal and includes fields in the processing form for the customer’s credit card number, billing and shipping address, name, phone number, and any other information relevant to the payment transaction. Once the information is entered into the online form, the payment gateway will then verify and process the customer’s payment and finalize the transaction.

 

Features of an Online Payment Gateway

 

The best gateway online payment services will account for and log every transaction that is processed through them. The online payment gateway will generate a receipt that includes all of the transaction and payment details and even send a confirmation email to the customer to act as the customer’s copy of the receipt. On-demand batch reporting features are also available through the online payment gateway to merchants who wish to view a tally or record of bulk account activity and transactions over a certain period of time.

 

Some might call it a necessary evil, but successful businesses must be nimble and agile enough to go where there customers are or are looking for the types of products or services the business offers. Simply put … This means that businesses today must conduct business online, regardless of the type of business they are, if they wish to compete, be successful, and be where there customers already are. If customers are online, so is their money. Customers want to shop your business online, and they want to buy from your business online. You must be able to accept online payments and perform transaction through a secure online payment gateway.

 

Your business can truly go mobile, when you have the ability to process and accept payments anywhere and anytime you have an internet connection. You can process payments on a laptop. With the increase in popularity of tablets and smart phones, you even have the ability to access your gateway online payment processor through apps on your handheld device. Processing a payment and accepting funds has become practically as easy as making a phone call.

 

Customizing a Gateway Online Payment Processor

 

Many gateway online payment services allow you to customize your online payment gateway to better suit your business needs. Certain add-ons or upgrades can be available to make your online payment gateway more flexible and secure. You most likely also will have the ability to customize your payment gateway to process recurring payments or accept partial payments. Other customizations allow businesses to use their payment gateway to only authorize a payment or verify funds in an account.

 

Choosing the Best Gateway Online Payment Processor

 

One of the most important decisions you will make for your business is choosing the right online payment gateway or online credit card processor to best suit your business’s needs. Today, numerous payment gateway solutions are available, so choosing the right one for you can sometimes be confusing and time consuming. How do you know which online payment gateway service and credit card processor will be the best for your business?

 

Here is a list of things to look for, when shopping an online payment gateway, to ensure that you get the features and benefits your business needs.

 

Simple Website Integration

 

Most online business owners and customers want the ability to checkout and pay seamlessly and securely through the business’s online store. It is important that the online payment gateway you choose is easy to integrate into your website’s shopping cart and checkout processes. Even if you are a payment gateway integration expert, your time is better spent promoting and operating your business, rather than troubleshooting a payment gateway that is difficult to integrate into your website.

 

Robust Suite of Shopping Cart Options

 

As detailed in this article, online payment gateways feature an array of shopping cart options. Search for a payment gateway that offers a robust suite of shopping cart features and gives you the ability to customize the shopping cart to your business’s needs. Certain shopping cart options include: the ability to accept online coupons and discounts through the use of promotional codes, the ability to add items to the cart and then continue shopping, or the ability to allow customers to create an account for faster checkout on return visits. Getting the most out of your online payment gateway by insisting on a complete feature set of cart options can help increase sales through your website.

 

Additional Bonus Features

 

Payment gateways that offer additional bonus features definitely deserve a second look. Oftentimes, a payment gateway service provider will partner with third party companies to provide a wide range of additional bonus features. Additional bonus features may include online marketing and advertising tools or services that will help your business grow.

 

No Hidden Costs or Charges

 

Try to avoid online payment gateways and credit card processing service providers that are not completely upfront in regards to their fee structure. Most payment gateways make their money by charging a small fee per transaction. Reputable payment gateways will not risk their reputation by toying with hidden costs or erroneous fees.

 

Process All Major Forms of Payment

 

Customers have numerous possibilities for making online payments. Your payment gateway should be able to process as many forms of payment as possible. Look for online payment gateways that will allow you to accept the four major credit cards at a minimum.

 

Use these tips to help you make the best payment gateway services for you and your business. Choosing the right online payment gateway will give your business to potential to be more prosperous and more profitable.

payment gateway services

Get the best online payment gateway.

Your Go-To Guide for Mobile Credit Card Processing

We’ve all been there. You’re out of the office but you’ve just managed to close a really great deal with the customer. They are ready to get started right away. The only problem is the lack of a way to get their money. If you’re like me you like to get the payment up-front and as soon as possible so you can allocate those funds towards getting the job done.

 

Mobile credit card processing has been a hot topic lately in the credit card processing industry. There are a thousand ways to process a credit card from where you are at this moment. You could get their credit card information on a form to take back to your company or fax back to your team. This takes a certain amount of time and you’re never really sure if the fax is going to make it through. If you have to physically deliver it to someone you’re going to be waiting until they get the form and then you have to wait for confirmation. Delivering this information over the email is most certainly a bad decision.

 

Most of these solutions rely on someone else or some other process and then waiting to hear the result rather than being able to process the payment yourself. As web technologies have improved and with the building of a robust cellular network that can deliver data, many payment processors have developed strategies for accepting payments on the go and processing it ASAP.

 

Online Payment Gateway

 

An online payment gateway provides users with a way to accept a credit card payment through an online terminal accessible from a laptop or a cellular phone. This provides the user with a variety of tools and information wherever they are. In general, online payment gateways will integrated into a company’s CRM system or other systems to ensure that all customer information is synced and correct between their different software

 

Mobile Credit Card Terminal

 

A mobile credit card terminal, also known as a wireless credit card terminal, can often provide a merchant with the ability to accept the credit card details of their client and then transmit them through a phone line or another communication method. The terminal is a mobile device that allows the merchant to scan or swipe the credit card for processing either once connected to the communication methods or at a later date. Depending on the method, the terminal may have a cellular data plan with it to handle the payment transaction or may require Wi-Fi to operate properly.

 

Mobile Application

 

There are now services to allow anyone to turn their mobile smart phone into a payment terminal. While some applications simply require the user to input the credit card and customer information to process payment, other applications may include an input device to swipe the credit card to automate the process of accepting the payment. There are different providers who offer competing software packages that integrate with online services for managing customer information, invoicing, and producing virtual receipts.

 

There are also a variety of different strategies for accepting credit card payments in bulk for many businesses that do business only during certain times of the year. These are mostly utilized by carnival and event merchants that sell their products at stands at concerts, parks, and other annual events. Finding the best mobile credit card processing method is as simple as doing some quick research to understand which methods have the features you need in your payment processing on the go. It is important to understand the features and functions of each solution and decide which would work best for your business needs prior to making a decision.

best mobile credit card processing

Your guide to mobile credit card processing.

 

8 Questions To Ask Credit Card Processing Companies

If your retail business isn’t accepting credit cards, it’s time to join the electronic payment revolution. Not only can this help you expand to other sales platforms beyond your retail outlet (such as the Internet), it can also help you meet consumers’ desires for whatever method of payment they prefer.

 

The 2008 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston identified that of the nine different payment instruments—cash, check, money order, travelers check, debit cards, credit cards, and prepaid cards, online banking bill pay and bank account number payments (BANP)—consumers far prefer to use debit and credit. In fact, in the same survey, 4 out of every 5 respondents had a debit card (80.2 percent), and of the 64 payments that consumers make on average each month, 30 of those are made with credit or debit cards, far outweighing cash (18 payments/month) and checks (8 payments/month).

 

In a November 2010 study commissioned by Visa Europe and conducted in the UK, 80 percent of consumers reported a preference for using cards wherever possible because it’s more convenient and 74 percent reported that cards make it easier to track spending.

 

Other studies have indicated that consumers spend more when they use a credit or debit card, so while it may cost the retailer some additional money in fees, businesses can increase profits by expanding payment options. A frequently cited Price Waterhouse Coopers study indicated that the average credit card sale is three to four times larger than the average cash or check transaction.

 

If you are ready to implement electronic processing for accepting credit cards in a retail store or online, first you need to decide exactly what kind of system you will need. Ask yourself these questions.

 

1 – What kind of payments do I want to accept?

This is not just whether you want to accept debit or credit cards, but what type of cards will you accept (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, prepaid cards, reward cards, and more)?

 

2 – Where will my customers be employing these payment methods?

Think about how your customers purchase from you—do they buy online? Do they come to a retail store to make a purchase? Do they place mail orders, or orders by phone? Each of these methods may require specific things from your card processing company; accepting credit cards in retail is different from accepting credit cards online, and your payment processing company needs to have the capability to process whatever kinds of payment you may need.

 

After you answer these questions about your needs, the next step is finding the right credit card processing company. Here are some important questions to ask as you are comparing and deciding.

 

1 – What processing methods do you offer?

 

If you want to start accepting credit cards online and accepting credit cards in retail, you will need a processor that can do both. There are websites like MerchantAccountGuide.com, from CreditCards.com, that give merchants the ability to compare different account types based on category (retail store, online store, phone order, mail order), or look at individual account providers like PayPal, Authorize.Net, iTransact, and more in greater detail.

 

2 – What is the fee schedule?

There is a cost associated with accepting credit card payments. In most cases, your company will have a merchant account set up through a third-party processor, and when a customer makes a credit or debit card payment, the transaction goes through the third-party processor on to the credit card company. The processor charges your business credit card processing fees, usually between 2-5%, then pays a fee to the card companies. In return, the credit card company releases the funds to the processor, who subsequently deposits the funds into your bank account.

 

In addition to the processing fee, some other common fees include per-transaction fees, monthly statement fees, non-qualified fees, and early termination fees. Per-transaction fees are generally a flat fee for each transaction processed, ranging from 10 cents to 50 cents or more. Non-qualified fees may be charged if you accept a payment when the card is not present (i.e. for a phone order), because there is a greater chance of that charge being fraudulent than if the card were present. Statement fees are charged for monthly statements, and early termination fees if you cancel your contract early.

 

3 – What is the contract term?

You may be required to sign a contract to work with a payment gateway or card processing company. If there is a contract, ask about the length of the contract, and cost of early termination fees.

 

4 – Is there a minimum required transaction volume?

Not all payment processing companies have minimum transaction volumes, but some may have monthly, quarterly, or annual minimums. Before committing to a company with a volume requirement, be sure that you will have enough transactions to meet those minimums. In some cases, you may meet the annual minimum but not the monthly minimums (for example, if you run a seasonal landscaping business and do the bulk of your sales during the spring, summer, and fall, but limited business in winter), so discuss that with your rep before committing.

 

5 – Are these rates applicable to all card types?

Some processors charge different rates for debit or credit cards, or a higher percentage depending on the type of card used (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc.). Additionally, the rates may be different for certain cards, like reward cards, frequent flier programs, restaurant gift certificates, or other specialty accounts.

 

6 – How long is the settlement process?

This is the time it takes the money to get from the customer’s initial transaction into your bank account. The transaction will travel through the payment processor to the credit card company, then the funds will be released from the credit card company to the processor, and eventually deposited into your bank account. This process usually takes about two to five business days, and shorter is better so you get your money quickly.

 

7 – Do you offer equipment?

If you’re accepting credit cards in retail, you will need a point-of-sale (POS) machine to swipe the cards. Equipment can range from about $300-$800 or more, but you may be able to reduce that cost by leasing equipment instead of purchasing, or by working with the company to include equipment in a package deal. If you’re only accepting credit cards online, this will be irrelevant.

 

8 – Do you offer any extra services?

Find out how you can reach the company for customer service—phone, toll-free, email, chat, text, or online. In addition, ask about bonus perks like fraud protection, gift card processing, and more.

 

If you are currently one of the roughly 40 percent of small businesses that does not accept credit cards, whether it’s because of the cost, or because you simply do not know where to start looking for the right company, it’s time to get your card processing set up. Avoid bounced checks, don’t miss out on sales opportunities because you lack the ability to accept certain payment types, and improve your cash flow when you begin accepting credit cards.

credit card processing fees

Eight questions to ask credit card processors.