Electronic Payments - Accept Payments Electronically

If you’ve decided it’s time to for an electronic payment solution for your business, then you need to educate yourself about how to accept those electronic payments. This type of processing requires both a merchant account and the appropriate computer software. Learn more right here about how to take your business to the next level with an electronic payment solution.

Merchant Account Provider
If you don’t already have a merchant account provider, you’ll need to find one. A merchant account provider is a company (usually sponsored by a bank) that processes credit card payments and other types of payments for merchants. With traditional credit card processing, a credit card is swiped through a terminal and the information is sent to the merchant account provider. The merchant account provider gets approval from the credit card company and processes the transaction. For a payment that is taken electronically, there is no terminal to physically swipe the card, but the rest of the approval and transaction process is very similar.

For those who already have a merchant account provider, the first thing to do is ask your current provider if they offer electronic payment processing solutions in addition to traditional solutions. If the answer is yes, then the process for setting up those solutions may be much easier. However, it’s important to know that fees for different types of merchant accounts often vary. You may or may not get the same rate that you get for your traditional account. To avoid any surprises in your monthly bill, check with your provider before implementing new types of payment processing. It is always possible that you can get a better deal with another company, so always check your options before simply signing on.

Credit Card Payments
Electronic credit card payment solutions simply refer to the way the credit card information is taken in. Since a physical terminal is not used to swipe the card, you need a way to take the credit card information and securely transfer it to your merchant account provider. To do this, you’ll need computer software that is known as a virtual terminal. A virtual terminal is necessary whether you are taking credit card information by mail, over the phone or directly over the internet. If you take orders by telephone or mail, you will be entering that credit card information yourself and using the virtual terminal to transfer the information to the merchant account provider. If your customers are entering their own information online, you’ll need a payment gateway to take their information and the virtual terminal to transfer that information.

Electronic Check Payments
While many people do like to use credit cards to make a payment online or over the phone, some actually want to pay directly from their checking account. It is possible to accept check payments electronically with the appropriate bank and check information. Instead of taking a paper check, all of the bank and account information is transferred via the virtual terminal. To accept these types of payments, confirm that your merchant account provider can verify and process electronic check payments.

One important aspect to keep in mind with any form of electronic payment is security. You want your customers to trust your business and a part of that trust is knowing that their financial information is secure when they supply it to you electronically. Don’t overlook this very important part of electronic payments and processing.

Accepting payments electronically is another way to build your customer base and make even money for your business. Talk to a merchant account provider today.