Credit Card Processing: Options for a Small Business Owner

You can give your small business a boost with a merchant account and credit card processing equipment. A credit card processing machine will help you increase your sales and it will allow you to accept credit cards for purchases that are made in person, on your website, through the mail, using a fax machine or telephone. Credit card processing equipment will help you attract new business and retain your old customers because it provides them with a convenient way to pay for their purchases. Credit card processing also reduces the risks of bounced checks.

How Does Credit Card Processing Work?
When a client makes a purchase, the bank that issued his credit card will send an authorization and approve or decline the transaction. After you settle the transaction, the customer will sign the receipt. You will receive payment for the transaction in about one business day. Payment will be deposited into your merchant or business account.

What Equipment Do You Need?
You will need a merchant account and equipment to process debit card and credit card payments like a credit card terminal, software, gateways, and a printer. A variety of options are available, so you will have to do some shopping around to decide what kind of equipment suits your business.

Retail Merchant Accounts
If you own a business and your customers will be paying for their transactions in person, you will need a retail merchant account. You or the customer will have to physically swipe the credit or debit card. If you are not a retail merchant, you should consider opening an Internet merchant account or mail order merchant account.

What You Need to Know About Third Party Providers
You can use a third party provider for your credit card processing needs, but be careful. Some third party providers are fraudulent businesses, so make sure you use one that is legitimate. If you use a third party provider, they will transfer your funds into your merchant account. The whole process may take several days or less, so make sure you get all the facts before you sign up for a merchant account.

Merchant Accounts through Banks
You can acquire a merchant account through a bank. Banks are dependable and secure, and they tend to have reasonable fees for good customers with excellent credit ratings. However, some banks do not open merchant accounts for business owners that want to accept credit cards on the Web. Banks are also more likely to close merchant accounts if there are chargebacks.

Independent Sales Organizations
If you are a business owner with poor credit, you can use Independent Sales Organizations for your payment processing needs. Independent Sales Organizations accept small businesses and high-risk businesses that plan to accept online payments. These kinds of organizations do charge higher fees, but they are an excellent choice for businesses that are unable to accept credit card payments.

Accepting Credit Cards and Debit Cards
With credit card processing equipment, you can accept all kinds of credit cards like Discover, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. You can also accept debit cards with credit card processing equipment. Many merchant account providers offer signature-based and pin-based debit card processing. Your customers will swipe their debit cards on your machine and the credit card terminal gives a receipt for the customer to sign.

Mail Order/Telephone Merchant Accounts
You can take your business to a higher level if you accept orders through the mail or over the telephone. To do this, you will need a mail order or telephone merchant account. Mail order merchant accounts are necessary when the credit card and customer is not present. This means that the merchants will have to enter the customers' credit card data manually on their credit card terminals or credit card processing equipment.

Choosing the Best Merchant Account Provider
You should only partner with a merchant account provider that you trust. When you are shopping around for a merchant account, compare your options.

Compare and contrast credit card processing equipment, terminals, merchant accounts, and prices until you find the best options for your business. You should also choose a merchant account provider that offers customer service help. That way, if you have a problem or questions, you can get the help that you need over the phone or via email.

A Merchant Account Provider That You Can Trust

If you are looking for a reliable merchant account provider, you should consider a proven industry leader in credit card processing that offers payment processing solutions for small businesses and large corporations. The ideal provider makes it easy to get everything you need in one convenient place.

If you cannot accept debit card and credit card payments, you are going to lose business. Don't lose customers to another business that accepts all types of payment. Your customer base will grow larger and your revenue will increase if you open a merchant account today.