Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Merchant Services Credit Card Processing Accounts Keep Up with Mobile Trends

You might have seen advertisements for the many standalone portable mobile devices that you can use with a smartphone to collect money from clients when you are on the go. These devices work well for businesses that set up shop in multiple locations, door to door salespeople and people who need to collect client deposits and payments during meetings and on the spot.

However, though these devices are convenient, great little tools in their own right, if you are like most merchants, what you don't know is that you can get these payment processors as part of a merchant services credit card processing account as well. Your merchant account will have a similar device that you can use to turn your Android, iPhone or Blackberry into a mobile payment processor. With merchant services credit card processing, just swipe the card anytime, anywhere and collect payments.

In addition, merchant accounts are more secure; come with better support than a standalone device and offer many more benefits as well.

Why Merchant Accounts Fit Businesses of Every Size

The modern merchant account expands your customers' payment options like never before. It's also a compliment to your business management processes. In addition, when you have a merchant account, any payments you collect through your mobile device or other payment gateways attached to that account, reach your bank accounts faster and more often.

In addition to accepting mobile and standard credit and debit card payments, a merchant services credit card processing account lets you enjoy other features like:

  • Accepting electronic checks, Internet checks, paper checks, checks by phone and deposited checks
  • Accepting gift cards
  • Processing your employee payroll through your merchant account, and
  • Getting an extra terminal solution that's right for your business model, (The right terminal for a retail store likely isn't the right one for a 4-star restaurant)
Lastly, you will receive the type of fast, professional support that only a bank can give you, (via text phone, email or social media) and your money goes right into your account.

When you use payment processors instead of a bank, you sometimes have to wait up to a week to receive the money in your checking or savings account. In addition, the longer you have your account, the more freedom you will get with it and the more options you will receive to expand your business. In essence, with a merchant account, you're choosing a relationship and not just a simple product.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

How to ensure secure credit card processing

Credit card processing security

This day in age, you can never be too careful, especially when it comes to the electronic transfer of money. Make sure you are performing secure credit card processing with help from the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, or PCI DSS. The PCI DSS is a set of security guidelines for businesses that process cardholder information for a wide variety of cards, including credit, prepaid, e-purse, ATM, debit, and POS cards.

These credit card processing security guidelines are enforced by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. They created these standards to gain deeper control and insight into cardholder data. This regulation allows the PCI DSS to lessen the amount of credit card fraud and ensure credit card processing security. Companies are audited each year to ensure everyone is following secure credit card processing best practices. These audits are done by a Qualified Security Assessor, or QSA. If a company processes a large number of card transactions, the QSA will develop a Report on Compliance or ROC. If a company processes a smaller number of transactions they will be audited via a Self-Assessment Questionnaire, or SAQ.

There are currently 12 requirements of credit card processing security compliance. These requirements are divided into six categories called “control objectives”. Learn more about these objectives here.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

How To Select A Merchant Services Provider for Your Business

Choosing the right merchant account service provider is important to your bottom line. Having a merchant account service can help you provide your clients and customers with convenient options for payment. It can also increase sales by providing customers a way to pay when they don't have cash. If you’re ready to take the next step to grow your business with increased sales, here are some tips on how to select a merchant services provider that's best for your business.


When deciding on the right merchant account services provider you must consider the equipment. In some instances your POS system may already be set up for a merchant account service. If this is the case, many merchant service providers can use your current equipment to process sales.

Your merchant account service provider should be able to easily integrate the software needed with your current POS system. If your equipment is not up to date, will not integrate successfully, or if you have no current equipment, your merchant service provider will be able to supply you with the equipment necessary to process sales.

The best providers offer a complete POS system that provides card acceptance and an easy to use platform. These advanced POS systems also include the ability to manage inventory, track sales, control, costs, which help you build usable BI. 


Many merchant account service providers also offer mobile payment solutions. This system allows you to accept payment from virtually any mobile device such as an iPad or smartphone. These payment options are backed by a secure network ensuring your customer's and your information is protected. Mobile solutions give your company a great advantage, allowing you to accept payment upon delivery of services from any location. Depending on what type of business you are in, the option for mobility may be a determining factor when making your decision on the merchant service provider that is best for you.


Your bottom line should increase with the proper merchant account service provider. It is important to investigate the services provided and initial system set up costs when making your decision. Interest costs, sale finalizing costs, and monthly fees should be discussed with potential providers. Always keep a look out for hidden fees or costs associated with extra services. An honest provider can work with you to set up the perfect plan that fits your budget and suits your needs.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Encryption, Tokenization and Credit Card Processing

How Secure Merchant Account Services Grow Business

More and more small businesses accept credit card transactions today, as the world of banking and retail purchases are shifting to a digital standard. From restaurants to mom and pop antique shops, having a quality merchant services account increases sales through efficient credit card processing and increased customer satisfaction. Aside from the obvious benefits, secure credit transactions are vital in keeping small businesses and their customers’ sensitive information safe from fraudulent activity. Security plays a vital role in all merchant accounts, utilizing encryption and tokenization to minimized chances for data hacking.

Encryption works to scramble information and decoding is only possible when someone understands the algorithm. This minimizes chances for interception and typically encrypts data from the entry point to the processing point. By using this methodology, credit card data is encrypted at the browser level and decoded when the payload reaches the database or application (Source: While encryption sends protected information to a specific destination, tokenization does not store any sensitive credit card data. This serves as a simplified security technology, as the need for storing and managing encryption keys is nonexistent. Tokenization, a much younger technology, pinpoints sensitive information such as Social Security numbers and credit card data and packages them as tokens. Each token is replaces data with an abstract set of irrelevant numbers until the token reaches its final destination. Once the endpoint is reached, the actual numbers contained in the sensitive data replaces the token.

Credit cards accepted at small businesses’ brick and mortar or online stores undergo this coding metamorphosis for maximized security. Fraudulent activity is greatly reduced when one or both of these technologies are used in conjunction as a hybrid solution. With 66% of all POS purchases occurring via credit cards, acceptance in small businesses throughout the U.S. is likely to rise. Furthermore, statistics are showing cash sales have dropped nationwide, suggesting our economy is headed for a more digital, more secure transactional standard.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Credit Card Merchant FAQs

Whether you are currently a credit card merchant or investigating merchant processing services, there are still a few common questions that everyone asks about merchant processing services.  To help clear up any confusion, we are answering a few frequently asked questions from credit card merchants.

1. What Is A Merchant processing account?

A merchant processing account is an understanding between a bank and a credit card merchant that allows businesses to accept ability to accept credit card transactions from your customers in exchange for goods or services.

Merchant processing
consists of the credit card transaction going through the POS device and the payment being deposited into your account.  Depending on the payment and the product you used, merchant processing can take about forty-eight hours from start to finish.

2. What costs are associated with Merchant Processing?

Credit card merchants should know about a few different considerations when researching merchant processing costs.  The first is the use of a POS device, like a terminal.  Although you can lease POS equipment, it is more cost-effective to purchase it. 

The second cost consideration is the result of fees associated with the merchant processing account.  How much merchant accounts cost credit card merchants depends on the merchant account you are utilize.  However, the majority of the time fees are anywhere from 2.00% to 5.00% of the payment.

Friday, August 23, 2013

What do merchant account services include?

If you are interested in merchant account services, you are likely starting your own business.  If that is the case, congratulations!  Starting an online business is definitely a lot of work, but at the same time, it is very rewarding.  Now, with the help of merchant account services, starting an online business has never been easier.

The first question people have about merchant account services is “what do these services include?”  We are here to answer that question.  All merchant providers have different product offerings, but there are a few products that are included in most merchant account service packages.

Credit card processing:

One of the most popular merchant account services is credit card processing.  When a customer places an order, you can securely submit credit card information and get authorization almost immediately.  Once the credit card transaction is authorized, you can feel confident fulfilling the order since you know funds are available.  When you confirm the order has been filled using a POS system, the payment is transferred into your bank account.


Many merchant account services have the option of utilizing both physical and virtual terminals.  A virtual terminal is one method for processing online payments, whereas a physical terminal actually involves swiping a card or manually entering the credit card data.


The first step to setting up an eCommerce site is finding a merchant account that offers payment gateway services.  This allows you connect your website with the bank processing your customer’s payments.  When you make a sale and the payment processing begins, the payment goes through a payment gateway in order to gain approval that this is a legitimate transaction.

In general, people invest in merchant account services to process credit, debit, and gift cards and more!  Giving your customers the payment options they prefer is convenient to them, and allows you to be paid faster.  Make starting your own business a little easier by utilizing merchant account services.