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    Credit Card Processing - Who Else is Ready to Gain a Competitive Edge?

    by Admin in Blog

    America has become a nation of credit card users, which means businesses have to keep up with consumer spending habits to ensure a competitive edge and in some cases, survival.

    Does a company increase sales just by accepting credit cards?

    The answer is absolutely! Reports from VISA show that the businesses that accept credit cards see a jump in sales by 20-30%. Facts are facts. Consumer card usage far surpasses the use of cash and personal checks, especially online. Today's consumers desire quick and easy transactions that only the use of a credit card allows.

    How credit card processing works

    When making a sale through a credit card, you process the customer's payment information over a card processing network, which then continues onto a transaction with the customer's credit card computer network or the bank that issued the customer's credit card. Once the communication between your credit card processing network and the customer's card computer network, you will receive (or not receive) authorization for payment. The sale is complete.

    Once the sale is complete, the merchant must send all charges to their network for processing. Each transaction will then be sent back to the customer's bank, which will make appropriate payments to the merchant's processor. These funds then go into your bank account.

    Next, the merchant service provider credits the merchant's bank account for the transaction amount, excluding the transaction fees. Those fees also go toward transaction fees to the network and the issuing bank. It generally takes about two business days before the merchant's account is credited.

    Looking for a processing vendor

    Third-party card processing vendors are strictly dedicated to handling card processing. They are experts at taking care of all aspects of the transaction process such as authorization, billing and reporting.

    Because it's now essential for businesses to accept, merchants must know how to go about processing clearly and concisely. Here are some tips to ensure successful processing, which will guarantee your business a competitive edge.

    Make sure to look for low rates: Low credit card processing costs are a merchant's top priority. Shop around for payment processing companies that guarantee the lowest rates so you can keep more of every dollar you earn.

    Offer more payment options: It's to a merchant's benefit to offer your customer more payment options. In addition to accepting, it's important to process debit cards, checks and pre-paid cards, electronic balance transfers and gift cards.

    Require excellent service and support: Research payment processing companies and look for those that offer 24 hours a day, seven days a week support. It's also important to find a vendor that offers your company free, top-notch equipment such as countertop and wireless terminals with pin pads and check readers.

    Accepting cards online

    Merchants have options when it comes to accepting credit cards online. Still, the most popular option is to work with a third party vendor as it's generally most affordable and less work for businesses. A third party vendor will handle all your credit card processing needs through a merchant account with your business.

    Before setting up a merchant account, there are certain terms that a merchant needs to be aware of to understand the process completely. Online processing provides a path from the customer's account to your online merchant account. Card processing verifies the customer's account information to help transfer the funds to your bank account.


    Other benefits to using a processing vendor

    Another benefit of using a processing vendor, especially if you have tight cash flow, is that funds can be transferred to your bank account quickly. It's also important to inquire about next-day access to funds and secure transactions.

    How a card processing gives you a competitive edge

    People do not carry cash the way they used to thanks, direct payroll deposits, and debit cards. Also, most Americans find it easier and more convenient to use a card over cash not only because of loss or theft but because a bank provides security.

    Merchants can never make business too easy for consumers. By accepting credit cards, your business won't miss out on many sales opportunities and in fact, will increase sales, provide fast transactions, provide customers with convenience, and is cheaper and safer than simply handling cash. For the best North American Bancard Agent Program, visit www.shawmerchantgroup.com.