How to Accept Credit Cards In Store and Online

April 26, 2017 by  
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There are a few steps to pay attention to as you scout payment gateway services to find one that will work for your business. From specifying the type of product you sell (high risk or not), to establishing the rate and how you want to do business, it’s not as simple as swiping a card and calling it a day. Here are some tips to help you get what you want, pay for what you get and nothing more.

Find a Good Rate

As a store owner, you have a great deal of discretion for which credit card processing services you’ll use to process transactions for your business. Many websites talk about the virtues of interchange accounts, but flat fee is another good option for certain businesses.

An interchange fee offers variable rates depending on the transaction you’re processing, while a flat fee uses the same rate for every transaction. So why would you opt for either? Interchange fees charge based on the card the customer used at the credit card terminal. It works out great for businesses who see a large volume of customers every day or month, not as much for independents who are just launching their business.

Support is an Asset

One of the greatest assets you have on your side is the support of the merchant account. If something goes wrong, you’ll want to make sure someone is on the other end of the phone helping you get through the problem. It also helps if they provide setup support at no additional charge, which most providers will if you ask them for it.


Bio: Charge.com offers businesses a credit card terminal and software, with no setup fees, to accept credit cards online.

The Typical Transaction Process for an Online Merchant Account

January 25, 2017 by  
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A typical merchant account consists of two components: the first is the account itself, the second is the payment gateway that acts as the vessel to move money from place to place. You can think of the account like a car, and the gateway like a highway. Except this car is anonymous, it has a license plate that changes every time it takes a trip down the highway. In that sense, the merchant’s payment processor helps to move money from a customer’s account to the business owner’s. Here’s a more detailed breakdown.

Placing an Order

First, the customer places an order. If the transaction takes place in store, he or she will swipe their card at a credit card swipe machine; otherwise the customer clicks “Submit Order” or “Pay Now”. Once the order is placed, information is encrypted with Secure Socket Layer encryption.

At this stage, the merchant’s information is forwarded via payment gateway services. These services encrypt the data and transmit it to the merchant’s bank.

Once the bank that will issue the credit receives the information, it looks for the credit in the user’s account and authorizes the request based on the available debit amount. They send a response back to the cardholder’s bank, which signals the transaction is authorized and for what amount. That authorization travels through the gateway in about 2-3 seconds.

Fulfillment

The merchant essentially receives an authorization, which functions a lot like an IOU. The difference is that funds are typically verified at the time of the transaction. The user may have overdraft fee protection, which allows them to authorize a particular card over its limit, but the process is otherwise limited to the cash the user has available.

Once the order is received, the merchant can start fulfillment. In store, the customer just goes on his or her way. Online, this can trigger the complicated process of shipping inventory across the country. All of the logistics behind this shipping are a completely different story altogether, but understanding how your merchant account fits into this process is important.

The primary takeaways are that these accounts allow for near instant fulfillment, equivalent to handing cash across the counter, but they are safer for both you and your customer. Within 3 days, merchants typically have the money transferred to their account and the transaction is completed entirely.


Charge.com offers the most affordable and secure merchant account solution available online.

Get Approved for a Merchant Account with These Tips

September 17, 2015 by  
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Get-Approved-for-a-Merchant-Account-with-These-TipsIf you’re one of the many businesses contemplating an online component to your efforts, you might be surprised to find that merchant account providers consider you part of the high risk pool of applicants. A string of fly-by-night businesses has taught the industry to be more considerate throughout the underwriting process, which has made it harder for some businesses to accept electronic transactions. However, this does not apply across the board and there are tricks you can do to create favorable odds for  approval.

Time is On Your Side

The first tip applies to those who are looking to create an online component for an existing brick and mortar store. The longer you have been in business, the more a merchant account provider perceives that you’re serious and possess an understanding of how to run your business.

Good Credit Always Helps

Obtain your annual credit report and dispute any charges that seem unfamiliar in any way. These charges are often simple mistakes, but they can hurt your credit if you’re not vigilant. You can also write to Equifax, Experian and Trans Union to ask for removal of particular items from your report if the matter has already been closed.

Show a Willingness to Pay More

At the end of the day, if securing the merchant account means successfully scaling your business then you have to weigh the pros with the cons. It’s very likely that your business in the high-risk pool will pay more in fees for the same basic services others in the low-risk pool get for less. Paying higher rates will help you get the account and get you started. Once you’ve shown some history, you can re-negotiate for lower rates.

Bio: Firoz Patel is the innovative and resourceful CEO of AlertPay Inc., founded in 2005. Firoz Patel currently oversees the development of the Payza platform, and resides in the Montreal area of Quebec.

Three Reasons Business Merchant Accounts Are Declined

January 24, 2014 by  
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For some companies, finding a merchant bank to process their credit cards is difficult. Small business credit card processing has risks for merchant processors. Clients that go bankrupt or have an inordinate amount of chargebacks — essentially, customer requests for refunds — can cost merchant banks money. If a company falls into the category of being a high risk merchant account, they will have trouble finding a credit card processor that wants to do business with them.

While there are many reasons that a business might be turned down for a merchant account, here are five of the most common scenarios:

1. High Risk Business Types: Certain businesses are more likely to have chargebacks or other issues that can come back to hurt processors. This can include gambling sites, sites with adult content and video gaming sites. Processors are reluctant to provide online merchant accounts to these types of businesses.

2. Being on the MATCH List: The merchant processing industry keeps a list of businesses who have had their merchant accounts terminated in the past for unpaid bills, unethical business dealing or other reasons that would raise a red flag. Businesses on the MATCH List typically cannot get another merchant account.

3. Poor Personal Credit History: Along with checking to see if your business is on the MATCH List, a credit card processor will also check the credit history of the individuals associated with the business requesting the account. If the people who are signing on as principals of the account have poor credit ratings, defaults or bankruptcies, it will impact the business’s ability to accept credit cards.

If you are having trouble finding a company to process your credit card sales, contact Charge.com Payment Solutions, Inc. We excel in working with high risk companies to find solutions that let them accept credit cards.

This article is from Charge.com Payment Solutions, Inc.. Charge.com Payment Solutions, Inc.

gives business owners access to online merchant accounts with no long-term contracts.

How a Credit Card Transaction Works

January 22, 2014 by  
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Most businesses understand that they need to be able to accept credit card payments in order to provide a wide range of payment options for their customers. However, a surprisingly high number of business owners are unsure about how a credit card transaction actually works. It’s important for business owners to understand this process in order to plan for handling their transactions and to know when something is wrong.

If you are confused about the credit card transaction process, Charge.com Payment Solutions, Inc. can help you with a step-by-step guide:

  • When a person presents their credit card for payment, a business enters their credit card information into the system. This can be either by swiping the card on a terminal or, in the case of an Internet merchant account, by receiving it electronically through their eCommerce shopping cart.
  • The credit card information is then sent to a processing network associated with their provider of merchant accounts. The processing network then provides the merchant with an authorization that allows them to capture the funds from the customer’s credit card. If there are insufficient funds or other issues, the request is denied.
  • If authorization is approved, the business receives an approval with an authorization code. This is stored with the transaction information in the “batch” inside the terminal or computer. A receipt is either printed or delivered electronically for the client.
  • At the end of the business day, the business “closes” the batch. This means that all of the credit card transactions that were received during the day are sent over to the provider of credit card merchant services. Once this is received, the merchant bank checks to make sure that the amounts in the batch match up with the authorizations they sent out during the same time frame.
  • If there are any credit card sales that need to be voided or changed, the business owner needs to do this before the batch is settled. If there are no changes and everything matches up, the processing network sends a statement showing all of the credit card transactions that were approved since the last batch settlement. This can be broken down several ways including by type of card.
  • The business receives the funds from a batch settlement anywhere from 48 to 72 hours after it is received and approved by their payment processor. Any fees associated with the credit card processing are taken out of the final deposit before it reaches the business’ account.

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This article was provided by Charge.com Payment Solutions, Inc. Go to their website to find out more about how they can offer an Internet merchant account for a business of any size.