Credit Card Merchant Services For Small Business – Most businesses are familiar with the concept of credit card processing. Allow customers to purchase goods or services in person and online using a credit or debit card. But what you might not know is that behind the scenes, the process is much more complicated.
In this article, we’ll explain how credit card processing works and why it’s important to almost any business.
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The basic concept behind credit card processing is that a customer scans, “embeds” or taps their card into a terminal or enters their card details online, the payment is authorized and the transaction is complete. However, this is only superficial. The process is more complex than you might imagine, and it can be helpful for business owners to understand how it works.
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So what are the credit card processing steps? First, it can be helpful to understand all stakeholders.
By knowing each party’s involvement in the process, we can explain exactly how it goes behind the scenes.
While it may seem like everything is done instantly and payments are easy to make over the counter or online, the entire process can take 24-48 hours.
This is the part that most of us are quite familiar with. At this stage, the issuing bank approves the seller to proceed with the transaction.
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Customers hand their card to a merchant to swipe it on a processor-provided terminal or enter their credit card number in an online field. An internet connection or phone line will then be used to send the credit card details to the merchant’s bank.
The merchant bank then forwards this information to the credit card network, and the credit card network requests authorization from the issuing bank. Authorization requests include the following information:
Validation is the last step that happens in-store or online when a transaction is complete, but it’s not the last step in the entire process. It simply allows the customer to complete the purchase and accept their goods or services.
At this stage, the issuing bank uses anti-fraud tools such as the Address Verification Service (AVS) and the card security code to verify the credit card.
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The issuing bank receives the authorization request from the credit card network and validates the card details and checks whether the funds are available in the customer’s account. The issuing bank then approves or declines the transaction and sends it back through the credit card network, which then sends that information to the processor or merchant bank.
When the seller receives confirmation to proceed with the transaction, the purchase amount is stored in the customer’s bank account.
These first two steps take a few seconds, but you need to be aware of what’s going on behind the scenes so that if something goes wrong, you can assess the situation from a point of knowledge and understanding.
The final stages of the credit card process happen simultaneously within the next 24-48 hours.
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At the end of each business day, merchants send all approved transactions to their bank or payment processor. The processor then sends the approved transactions back to the credit card network, where it forwards each approved transaction to the issuing bank.
Here, the customer can see the amount of money held or “confirmed” in the bank account until the transaction is completed. Within 24-48 hours, the issuing bank will send the funds back to the processing bank and merchant via the credit card network.
Any fees to the credit card network or payment processor will be charged to these funds and the merchant will receive the remaining amount.
Once everything is done, the hold will be removed from the customer’s account and they will see the transaction information posted to their account.
A How To Guide For Small Business Credit Card Processing
Credit card processing is not a new concept for small businesses. Most companies offer some form of credit card processing online through a terminal or even over the phone. As cash is no longer common and fewer people carry checkbooks, customers expect businesses to accept credit cards.
There are several types of credit card processing that will give your business more sales opportunities, whether you are in the retail or service industry.
One thing that keeps some business owners from getting a credit card processor is the fees involved. These fees can vary widely and may be a percentage of each transaction or a fixed amount per transaction required by your service provider. While they can add up and be scary, the increased sales you can get from offering credit card deals will more than make up for the increased costs. Promote your business better today with Bank of America and Mobile Stories. Just add a card reader and you’re on your way.
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Just as romantics must be willing to accept love, small businesses must be willing to accept payment. Fortunately for business owners, service providers known as payment processors will make this process easier. Accepting love is, of course, a more difficult thing.
Payment processing is an important business function of accepting payments from customers for goods and/or services. Online payment processing including customers, merchants, payment processors, payments
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