Credit Card Processing : Credit card processing for every business!

Credit Card Processing

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Credit card processing for every business!
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Business: E-Commerce, Payment Systems provides news and professional advice regarding payment systems, reviews of credit card processing providers as well as general listings of companies providing the service. We aim to educate business owners how to make the right choice for their payment system without falling into the traps of scams in the industry. Payment processing is a vital part of any business trying to gain an online presence and we are here to help people learn how to enable their websites to safely and securely charge credit cards online.

  • What type of application process is required by credit card processors?
    • In order to get approved by a credit card processor, a merchant will need to provide the company with some fairly basic data concerning his or her business. While some credit card processors require you to fill out lengthy forms and submit them through the postal service, many processors now allow merchants to apply online. Many of the top credit card processors do not require an application fee or will wave their fee at a merchant’s request.
  • Is it difficult to get approved by credit card processors?
    • Generally speaking, it is not very difficult to get approved by a credit card processor. Most credit card processors approve between 95-99% of their applicants.
  • Does a merchant need a business license or business checking account to obtain an account with a credit card processor?
    • Not necessarily. A business license is not required in order to be approved by a credit card processor, but it can help speed up the approval process. A merchant does not need to have a business checking account unless the business is a corporation.
  • How long does it take to get approved by a credit card processor?
    • The length of time that it takes to get approved by a credit card processor can vary from one company to the next. Some credit card processors boast same day approval, while others can take three days or more to get to your application.
  • What type of monthly fees are required by credit card processors?
    • There are three monthly fees that are required by nearly all credit card processors: the gateway fee, the statement fee and the monthly minimum.
  • What is a gateway fee?
    • Credit card companies partner with gateway providers to verify a customers data and determine the authenticity of a transaction. Most gateway providers charge a monthly fee that is billed to merchants through the credit card processor. Most gateway fees range from around $5-20 per month.
  • What is a statement fee?
    • A statement fee is simply the monthly fee charged by credit card processors for their services. Statement fees are typically $10 per month.
  • What is a monthly minimum?
    • The majority of the top credit card processors out there require merchants to process a minimum amount of money per month of $15-25. If a merchant does not meet the monthly minimum, the difference is added to the merchant’s monthly charges.
  • What types of fees do credit card processors charge for individual transactions?
    • Credit card companies charge three different types of fees for each transaction: the discount rate, the transaction fee and the address verification fee.
  • What is a discount rate?
    • The discount rate is the percentage of a transaction that a credit card processor keeps for itself.
  • What is a transaction fee?
    • A transaction fee is the set rate that credit card processors charge for all transactions regardless of their size. Transaction fees are rarely more than $0.30 cents.
  • What is an address verification fee?
    • Whenever a credit card address is verified during a transaction, a fee of $0.05-0.10 is charged to a merchant’s account. Addresses are verified in credit card transactions by an address verification service, or AVS.
  • Are the fees the same for both retail and internet transactions?
    • No, internet transaction cost merchants slightly more than retail transactions. The average discount rate for internet transactions is usually around 0.50% more than retail transactions, and the transaction fee for internet transactions often costs a few cents more than internet transactions.
  • What is a non-qualified rate?
    • A non-qualified rate is the discount rate that a credit card company charges for certain types of transactions that are not covered by a particular merchant account, such as a phone order. Non-qualified rates are commonly 5-8%, so be sure that all of your transactions are covered appropriately before you agree to a processing contract.
  • What types of transactions can be processed by credit card processors?
    • The top credit card processors can handle all major credit cards, checking cards, debit cards, gift cards and electronic checks.
  • How long does it typically take a credit card transaction to clear a merchant’s account?
    • Although there are some credit card processors that clear all transaction the following day, most processors clear payments two to three days after a customer has completed a transaction.
  • How does a merchant acquire a P.O.S. credit card swiper?
    • Many credit card processors provide merchants with a point of sale credit card swiper regardless of whether a merchant will be conducting retail transactions.
  • How can a merchant handle credit card transactions with a mobile phone?
    • Many credit card processors now allow merchants the flexibility of accepting credit card payments on the go with their mobile phone. Any mobile phone with internet access can handle these transactions. A merchant simply logs on to their account over their mobile phone and enters a customer’s credit card information, and the payment is approved a moment later. Some credit card processors even offer Bluetooth enabled credit card swipers that work with a merchant’s mobile phone.
  • How do credit card processors handle internet transactions?
    • Most credit card processors provide merchants with a virtual terminal in the form of a link to a secure webpage where customers can enter their credit card information.
  • Do credit card processors offer merchants virtual shopping carts?
    • Most types of online transactions require a basic shopping cart in order for customers to shop efficiently. While not all credit card processors offer this service to their merchants, the leaders in the processing industry general offer some sort of basic shopping cart.
  • What types of fraud protection are offered by credit card processors?
    • Credit card processors use a number of different methods to provide the appropriate level of security for merchants and their customers, including address verification, real time processing, SSL or 3DES data encryption and the three digit CVV2 number.
  • How does real time processing enhance a credit card processor’s fraud protection?
    • Credit card transactions are generally validated by a credit card processor in a matter of seconds, reducing the amount of time that a customer’s information is available to computer hackers and other criminals.
  • What is SSL and 3DES data encryption?
    • SSL, or secure socket layer, provides credit card processors and merchants with some basic security to safely complete credit card transactions without criminals intercepting a customer’s personal information. SSL consists of a 128-bit encryption. Some credit card processors use 3DES for their data encryption. 3DES encrypts information three times over 64-bit keys, resulting in a total of 192-bit encryption.
  • What is a CVV2 number?
    • A CVV2, or card verification value, is the three digit number located on a credit card that is not included on a card’s magnetic strip. The CVV2 number is located either on the back or the front of the card depending on a customer’s credit card.
  • How does the use of a CVV2 number reduce credit card fraud?
    • Credit card processors often require customers to enter their CVV2 number in order to reduce the likelihood of credit card fraud because a customer typically must have his credit card in front of him in order to provide this information.
  • What is a merchant account?
    • A merchant account is simply the individual account that a merchant has with a credit card processor. Using a merchant account that is not your own to complete a transaction is an illegal activity known as factoring that can have severe legal consequences.
  • What different types of merchant accounts are available?
    • The most common types of merchant accounts offered by credit card processors are retail and eCommerce. Other types of merchant accounts include restaurant, lodging, mail order and car rental.
  • What is the difference between different types of merchant accounts?
    • There are two main differences amongst the different types of merchant accounts. First, merchant accounts that have a higher risk of fraudulent activity like eCommerce and mail order typically charge a higher discount rate. Second, some merchant accounts provide customers with more information regarding the merchant and the transaction. For example, merchant accounts for lodging provide customers with some detailed information regarding their stay, such as check in time and room service authorizations, while retail merchant accounts simply provide customers with the basic details of a transaction.
  • How do credit card processors handle refunds and customer returns?
    • Most credit card processors allow their merchants to provide customers with a refund as long as the transaction is completed within 90 days of the original sale. However, the merchant does not receive a refund for the transaction fees that were charged on the original sale, and many credit card processors charge an additional fee for processing refunds.
  • How do credit card processors handle chargebacks?
    • If a customer disputes a transaction or there was some sort of error in the way that the payment was processed, the credit card issuer will send the transaction back to the processor. The processor will then inform the merchant of the problem, and it will be up to the merchant to either accept or dispute the chargeback.
  • What is the role of batching in credit card processing?
    • After a credit card transaction has been authorized at the point of sale, the transaction is then stored in what is known as a batch. A batch is a group of transactions that have not been settled. Most merchants submit their batches to their credit card processor at the end of their business day.
  • What is the difference between credit card processing with a bank versus third-party institutions?
    • While many merchants enjoy the convenience of letting their bank process their credit card transaction and deliver payments directly to their account, third party processors offer the same services at a much lower rate.
  • Do credit card processors charge a termination fee if a merchant wants to switch to a different company?
    • Yes. Most credit card processing contracts last for one to three years, and processors charge a fee of a few hundred dollars to merchants who decide to cancel their contract early.
  • What types of customer support are offered by credit card processors?
    • All credit card processors offer some form of customer support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through a toll-free phone number or email messages, and many now offer live chat at their website. However, it is important to find out what type of support is available, as some processors have outsourced much of the customer support oversees. Retail merchants who may need to have their point of sale equipment repaired should make sure that their credit card processor has local repairmen who are on call whenever the merchant is open for business.
  • How do credit card processors handle gift cards and gift certificates?
    • Not all credit card processors offer support for gift cards or gift certificates. However, some processors can issue merchants gift cards that are processed at a much lower fee than other transactions.

The introduction of the Internet to consumers worldwide has changed the way companies do business. No longer restricted by location, businesses can now sell their products and services to buyers around the globe. In order to do this however, your company must use a credit card processing service that is capable of handling international transactions. Here we look at international credit card processors and how they can help your business grow.

International credit card processors

In order to accept credit cards as a method of payment you will need a merchant account and a credit card processor. For some businesses getting one or both of these things is not a problem, however many others, especially those that are either new or high risk businesses face a bigger challenge. For home businesses or businesses that do a high volume of online sales, an international merchant account and/or credit card processing services are recommended. Not only are international credit card processors more adapt at handling foreign transactions, they are also more familiar with with the laws that govern international transactions. This is important in that different countries have different regulations as to how credit card transactions are handled.

List of International Credit Card Processors

  • 1. 2CheckOut offers a complete pay-as-you-go “credit card processing alternative.” Service includes the 2CO reloadable MasterCard and alternative payment products such as PayPal.
  • 2. AcceptPay lets you use one system to accept credit card and ACH/eCheck payments, set up recurring billing and automatic customer payments, send customized e-mail receipts, and more.
  • 3. Advanced Payment Solutions offers free equipment placement, 24-hour technical support, quick approval, and a “Best Rate Guarantee.” If they can’t beat your rate, they’ll pay you $500.
  • 4. AlertPay tailors its business account to the online business owner, allowing multiple online businesses to be managed with a single account and offering easy integration with third-party applications.
  • 5. American Express Merchant Services< offers online and retail credit card processing with and without a point-of sale terminal option. Data security is top priority with AmEx, and the company offers complete merchant support.
  • 6. Resellers partners with established finance companies to offer credit card processing and other merchant services. Services are sometimes bundled for greater value.
  • 7. Bank of America offers a wide range of credit card processing products which are suitable for many business applications, from simple e-commerce website functions to large corporate transactions.
  • 8. BluePay, Constant Contact All Star Award winner and leading credit card merchant account provider, has been recognized for its effective online communication which has enabled the company to build relationships with customers and continually improve services.
  • 9. provides real-time online processing, accepts all major credit cards and offers multiple funding options for greater flexibility.
  • 10. Chase Paymentech offers real-time online reporting, interactive chargeback management, and easy-to-use tools to prevent fraud.
  • 11. Commerce Payment Systems offers low-cost merchant accounts with credit/debit card processing capability, along with a full suite of other electronic payment solutions.
  • 12. Credit Merchant Account Services< offers competitive setup rates and high-volume discounts and helps you avoid higher credit card swiping fees on debit card transactions. Also offers a Money Tree Account with “the lowest PCI Compliance fee in the business.”
  • 13. E-Commerce Exchange offers free marketing consultation and 24/7 customer service, along with its standard suite of credit card processing software and services, and boasts a 95% approval rate for new credit card processing applications.
  • 14. E-xact Transaction offers virtual POS transaction processing software and checkout options, competitive transaction rates, and multiple data centers to minimize downtime.
  • 15. Echo Inc. (Electronic Clearing House, Inc.) has provided Tier 1 credit card processing since 1986 and offers an entire suite of business accounts, services, and payment transaction products.
  • 16. Electronic Transfer Inc. offers competitive rates and fast account setup and boasts a 98% approval rating for new accounts. Other pluses are no startup costs and easily accessible customer service.
  • 17. offers credit card, virtual terminal, direct entry, pay-by-phone, micropayment, and either automatic or token (selective) billing options in Australia, England, Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand.
  • 18. First Data offers a variety of merchant services, 24/7/365 support, low rates, superior security and fraud protection, and 48-hour account funding.
  • 19. Flagship Merchant Services, a high-ranking provider, offers a free lowest-rate quote for credit card processing, free merchant account application, and cost-saving low-volume transaction rate programs.
  • 20. Free AuthNet, one of the largest online resellers, offers a free payment gateway service with its online merchant account credit card processing program with no setup fees, free licensing, and more.
  • 21. Gotmerchant, a five-star award winner, provides both and private label payment gateway options and allows use of any compatible payment gateway. Also boasts a 99% approval rating, one-day account setup, and discounted gateway setup fee.
  • 22. GSPay specializes in providing offshore merchant accounts and third-party processing to international businesses at competitive rates, offering processing for both low- and high-risk merchant accounts.
  • 23. Heartland Payment Systems provides cost-effective debit/prepaid/credit card processing, online payments, check processing, payroll services, and more.
  • 24. Internet Secure offers a complete e-commerce solution with one application that requires no capital investment and provides everything you need to accept major credit cards.
  • 25. iTransact offers easy account consolidation and multiple payment options and boasts no hidden fees for its one-stop credit, debit, and check processing solutions.
  • 26. Merchant Accounts Express provides low-cost internet, POS terminal, cell phone and standalone wireless, touch tone phone, and QuickBooks processing options, as well as processing software for your PC or Mac.
  • 27. Merchant One, an award-winning company, offers free account setup, same-day approval, no application/setup fees, 24/7 toll-free support, a personalized account rep, and more.
  • 28. Merchant Warehouse, a company with a superior reputation and a 99% application approval rating, provides several inexpensive startup options and a highly competitive discount rate for internet-based businesses.
  • 29. MerchantPlus offers a low flat-fee option; no annual, application, or setup fees; and no minimum monthly transaction fee.
  • 30. MultiCards products, developed for the global market, provide real-time, world-wide payment solutions in USD, Euros, or GBP.
  • 31. Payment Express offers Visa and MasterCard certified payment solutions to companies in Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Singapore, South Africa, USA, and UK.
  • 32. Payment Max offers low rates, next-day funding, and an option to purchase only needed services now and add others later as your business grows.
  • 33. Payovation welcomes high-risk merchants, such as pharmacy, travel and dating sites, and features fast approvals, multi-currency capability, advanced fraud protection, and flexible, real-time reporting.
  • 34. PayPal, a popular online third-party gateway, allows your business to start accepting credit card payments in minutes and features lower transaction fees, no payment minimums, and no startup, monthly, or cancellation fees.
  • 35. PSI Gate (Payment Services Interactive Gateway) offers consultation, technical and account support, and a secure website interface that enables you to “accept credit card and Interac Online payments with reliable, real-time transaction processing.” Also offers a virtual/e-terminal that allows you to process payments on the go.
  • 36. Sage Payment Solutions offers card, check, and ACH processing services which integrate fully with Sage software. Receive a free copy of Peachtree Complete Accounting 2010 when you sign up for an integrated merchant account. Company also offers donation-processing solutions for non-profits.
  • 37. Shift4 offers secure, web-based credit, debit, check, and gift card processing through its Dollars on the Net solution, a real-time payment gateway between merchants’ POS systems and their bank or payment processor.
  • 38. The Transaction Group waives your application fee, requires no monthly minimums and no long-term contracts (which means no cancellation fees), and offers some of the lowest credit card processing rates in the industry (which they post right on their website).
  • 39. Total Merchant Services provides free (brand new) terminal equipment or free reprogramming of your existing terminal and offers a low-rate guarantee and additional services including gift card, loyalty card, and check processing.
  • 40. TransFirst offers a variety of merchant programs and prides itself on its streamlined and accelerated Application Manager, which provides real-time “status-at-a-glance” capability to identify applications that require attention and request support at the touch of a button.
  • 41. USA ePay offers real-time multi-level business solutions, from e-commerce to wireless to retail. Featured solutions let you process payments from any computer or from your mobile phone or other mobile device.
  • 42. VeriPayment offers weekly settlements anywhere in the world, full customer and technical support center, real-time transaction reporting with full administrative panel accessible from any computer, a one-time setup fee, and a wholesale discount rate.
  • 43. Verisign PayFlow Pro, now owned by PayPal and called simply PayFlow Pro, offers a highly secure method for processing online payments, since Verisign has been a market leader in developing state-of-the-art identity authentication, secured internet transaction, and encryption technology.
  • 44. Wells Fargo offers integrated credit card processing, PIN debit, electronic check processing, online payment processing, gift cards and more, along with a free merchant processing review to help you determine how to manage your payment operations more effectively.
  • 45. WorldPay is the UK’s leading provider of POS services, processing online, face-to-face, and telephone payments and facilitating credit card transactions, bank transfers, and direct debits. The company’s Business Gateway gives you all the core features you need for online processing for one low monthly fee.

Another important aspect of international credit card processing is the fraud protection offered by the provider. Just as there are different laws regarding how a transaction is handled, fraud management is vital to ensure your transactions are secure and your business is protected from fraudulent transactions and the chargebacks that may result from disputed transactions. An international processor will have the experience and expertise to handle these unique situations that come with accepting payments from around the world.

If your business is going to sell products or services worldwide, it is also necessary to work with a credit card processing company that is equipped to handle multi-currency processing as well as international taxation. Again, these are unique situations that are not present when dealing with domestic sales. A quality international credit card processor will also be able to help guide you through import/export issues that result from across the border transactions.

Your international credit card processor should also be familiar with and able to help you stay within the bounds of international privacy laws. Each country that you do business with may have varying laws regulating how private information is handled. If you are unfamiliar with these laws as a business owner, your credit card processor can ensure your transactions are handled correctly and that your business is protected.

Working with an international credit card processor can help your business in so many ways, making it possible to expand your business into areas of the world that otherwise would be unavailable to you. In doing this, a business has the opportunity to reach target markets around the globe while ensuring their credit card transactions are handled in a way that guarantees protection to both the company and the buyer. When selecting an international credit card processor, businesses are encouraged to follow some of the same guidelines as they would when selecting a domestic credit card processor. Of course an international credit card processor will offer the same advantages while supplying your business with the knowledge and know-how to properly manage international transactions.

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