May 2012

Today’s Mobile Credit Card Processing Solutions

If you’re an on-the-go business, and you don’t know much about mobile credit card processing, then today’s piece is for you. Without a doubt, if you’re a business owner who’s been in business for any length of time – from just a few months to several decades of hard work – you very likely already know that accepting credit card payments from your clients are customers can be the lifeblood of your company’s financial stability.

Of course, when consumers use their credit cards, they are more likely to spend more, which increases your average ticket and, of course, generates more revenue for your blossoming business. A vital component of accepting credit cards from your patrons, however, is being able to process their card information and, by doing so, eventually deposit their funds into your merchant account – actions that could only be made possible through merchant credit card services. While there are many excellent solutions for more traditional, brick-and-mortar retail establishments already in place today, one has to wonder, what about mobile companies?

From hot dog vendors to tradeshow professionals, and from remote contractors to even children’s ice cream trucks, accepting credit cards from their patrons is just as vital for mobile merchants, and naturally, there can be no other way to do so than through mobile credit card processing.

Due to the increased mobility of virtually all industries today, mobile credit card processing – whether conducted through iPhones, iPads, Androids, Blackberries, and other smart-phones – enables businesses on the go to close their sales and acquire payment without being tied down to a standard point-of-sale terminal. Mobile credit card processing, with just a capable portable device, a swiper, and a processing app, allows for businesses and individuals that previously had trouble processing payments on the road to successfully, securely, and reliably implement mobile credit card processing that puts money in their account – and a smile on both the merchant’s face and the patron’s.

If you are a mobile merchant, and you’ve ever experienced the frustration of not being able to make a sale because of lack of mobile credit card processing, you’re not alone. Join the many thriving merchants under Vision Payment Solutions who have signed on with us for mobile credit card processing that delivers results – and doesn’t just drain their operating costs budgets. Call VPS today to get set up with the ideal, customized mobile credit card processing solution today!

Be An iPhone Merchant And Reap The Benefits!

Today’s piece goes out to all those hardworking, on the go businesspeople whose companies conduct transactions in a fast-paced, mobile, or otherwise adaptive commercial environment. Tradeshow workers, convention booth salespeople, independent agents, door-to-door salespeople, hot dog vendors, ice cream truck entrepreneurs, and anyone else who has a livelihood dependent on mobility – and of course, the ability to implement mobile credit card processing.

While you may have heard of mobile payment processing solutions for businesses on the go, you may not yet be aware of all the magnificent iPhone merchant solutions out there for those of you who already own iPhones. Additionally, though, if you’ve always wanted an iPhone, now would be the perfect time – or excuse, rather – to buy one and become an iPhone merchant!

iPhone merchants experience all the same benefits that mobile entrepreneurs experience from their other processing devices, including iPads, Androids, Blackberries, and so many more mobile devices like other brands of smart-phones and tablets. With Vision Payment Solutions, you can rest assured that you’re getting the very best and most up-to-date iPhone merchant solutions, including hardware add-ons (credit and debit card swipers), software applications – or apps, for short, in the mobile lingo, and much more.

Further, iPhone merchants not only experience the convenience and the ease of mobile credit card processing, they get the same level of PCI-compliant, sophisticated security encryption that protects both their own sensitive financial data and the personal credit card information of their customers and clients from fraud and other suspicious activity.

Additionally, becoming an iPhone merchant – for some reason unknown to those uninvolved in the world of style and esthetic – provides a certain level of exclusivity and a sense of professionalism unobtainable by other means, even with the use of the iPhone’s competitors (Android, Blackberry, and even tablets). People just love to see that little Apple logo, and when you’re an iPhone merchant, you put it on display each and every time your perform a transaction. This enhanced professionalism of being an iPhone merchant and performing mobile processing in such a manner enhances your rapport with your clientele and customer base, thereby instilling trust and inspiring future transactions.

If you are interested in becoming an iPhone merchant with Vision Payment Solutions, simply give us a call at the number above, and you’ll be on your way toward rocking the mobile payment-processing world as an iPhone merchant in no time.

An Introduction to PayPal Credit Card Processing

PayPal credit card processing has always been something of a questionable endeavor for a lot of business owners, online entrepreneurs, other economic opportunists, and even consumers themselves who understand the value of credit card processing but don’t quite get the specifics involved in PayPal credit card processing – and the importance of its use in modern commerce online. In this introductory piece, we’ll be discussing the basics of PayPal credit card processing, as well as some of the ways it benefits those who subscribe.

PayPal is a multinational electronic commerce company that enables money transfers and payments via the web, providing an electronic variant on the conventional payment methods of check or money order.

PayPal credit card processing now mandates a demonstrably verifiable bank account after an account holder has surpassed an initially established spend limit. Then, PayPal will procure funds to cover such a transaction from a number of sources, starting with whatever funds are currently in the offender’s PayPal account, other specialized PayPal credit card processing accounts, the offender’s actual bank account, or even credit cards.

PayPal is technically an acquirer, providing PayPal credit card processing for a variety of clientele, from online vendors and auction sites to commercial users. PayPal credit card processing charges a fee, of course, for its payment processing. Because PayPal credit card processing is an international service, their fees depend on both locations and currencies.

PayPal touts two basic methods for clients accepting credit card payments: PayPal Payments Standard and PayPal Payments Pro. Both are PayPal credit card processing services and enable merchants to accept their patrons’ payments relatively easily.

PayPal Payments Standard: This option for PayPal credit card processing allows a user to create a payment button in only fifteen minutes, with no programming skills needed, high compatibility with most shopping cart applications, no monthly, setup, or termination fees, and a small deduction from each transaction. PayPal credit card processing also provides fraud protection at no additional charge.

PayPal Payments Pro: The professional model of PayPal credit card processing is for those businesses with a higher volume of sales, and enables offline credit card processing, popular cart compatibility, and – much like its standard program – free protection from fraud like identity theft and more.

Although PayPal credit card processing solutions are customizable to a degree and do provide business owners with a way of accepting electronic payments, it’s vital that you carefully and thoroughly inspect and assess the payment-processing solutions set forth in their contracts. As with any business deal, PayPal credit card processing requires scrutiny and caution.

A Merchant Processing Credit Cards Is A Merchant With A Chance

Merchant processing credit card services aren’t too difficult to come by, but it’s essential that, as an entrepreneur, you keep your eyes open and stay cautious when looking around and comparison-shopping for merchant processing credit card services. As in any field, there are always good guys – but then there are those few, rare bad apples that make the rest of us SEO professionals look bad.

A merchant processing credit cards today is a merchant with a chance, as our title said, because today, the vast majority of consumers prefer to pay with a card. And further, it’s better for your business. Statistics show that consumers who shop with their credit cards in hand are far more likely to purchase more goods and services from you, thereby increasing your average ticket and – of course – providing your business with a much-needed monetary boost in such a turbulent and frankly, quite scary world market. But accepting cards from your patrons could never be possible without merchant processing credit card services, which enable your transactions to be processed, quickly, easily, and securely.

More importantly though, you can have the peace of mind that comes with having a huge variety of merchant processing credit card service packages from which to choose. The sheer assortment of different options – customization, pricing, customer service, and so much more – can be overwhelming, but with some common sense and a few methods for sorting the good merchant processing credit card firms from the bad, you can accept cards from customers and clients confidently, knowing you picked the right payment processor to suit your individual and specific company’s needs. So, what are some of the service options available in merchant processing credit card plans today?

If you’re a standard outlet, all you need is a conventional point-of-sale console, which allows your patrons’ cards to be swiped, authorized, and processed with ease and efficiency. If you operate online like so many businesses do today, your merchant processing credit card service will differ; you’ll need a shopping cart, a payment gateway, and a specialized merchant account, all of which are available through Vision Payment Solutions. We also provide the equipment, software, and support needed for mail- and telephone-order transactions, as well as some excellent modern mobile processing solutions that are perfect for those businesses that need to close deals on the go.

If you would like to know more about our merchant processing credit card services, or if you would prefer to sign up with us already, call VPS today at the number above, and experience merchant processing credit card services you never thought could be so good!

Virtual Terminal Merchant Services 101

Virtual terminal merchant services – you may have heard the term, especially if you’re the owner or operator of a small to mid-sized online business. Regardless of your current understanding of virtual terminal merchant services, it’s important that you do all you can to understand the basics involved in such processes. In this way, you’ll be better able to provide your customers and clients with a satisfactory transaction and shopping experience, and perhaps even solve some technical issues on your own based on your newly acquired, independent knowledge of virtual terminal merchant services.

In today’s piece, we’ll be discussing the basics of virtual terminal merchant services: what they are, what they do, how they do it, and how they can benefit your online business.

Virtual terminal merchant services are not simply a superfluous luxury for online entrepreneurs – they are as vital as oxygen when it comes to actually being able to sell a product or service over the Internet. Without such services, you have no way of processing your patrons’ electronic payments, and thus, no way of establishing a cash flow strong enough to maintain a website at all, let alone make any profits.

So what are some of the basic components of virtual terminal merchant services? At VPS, we offer the full range of comprehensive card payment solutions, including those supporting ecommerce operations.

Virtual terminal merchant services enable your business to implement credit card processing at any Internet-connected computer – anywhere. Along with an appropriate merchant account, a merchant can easily implement many different and important business tasks, like verification, documentation, and of course, the actual processing of online card payments.

When you opt for virtual terminal merchant services from VPS, you can efficiently and conveniently log into your virtual terminal suite, enabling you to process transactions, manually key in card data, get approval codes for transactions, create receipts, issue refunds if necessary, look through older purchases, check the status of a transaction, safely store customer financial information, instate recurring billing, upload batch files of your workday’s transactions, and naturally – access, generate, and store reports.

VPS only works with PCI-compliant devices, equipment, software, and hardware; it’s not only the safest best, it’s the law. Our virtual terminal merchant services can even support businesses with many merchants – through multiple user profiles.

If you want any chance at all of becoming truly successful with your online business today, then choose Vision Payment Solutions for your virtual terminal merchant services. Not only must you have virtual terminal merchant services to accept your patrons’ online payments, but also to manage your transactions in an efficient and intuitive manner.

Understanding Payment Gateways

Payment gateways are a vital component of online credit card processing – in fact, so essential, that the entire payment-processing scheme could never work without payment gateways. As a merchant, business owner, or entrepreneur, it’s crucial that you understand the basic principles of payment gateways: what they are, what they do, how they do it, and how your business benefits from them.

Even if you don’t conduct business online or deal with payment gateways typically, it’s important that you comprehend the fundamental components of payment gateways, because business is headed online, whether the market likes it or not. People love the convenience of shopping online, and if you have ever shopped on an Internet retail shop, you undoubtedly enjoy the convenience of sitting in a chair and clicking through purchases. At any rate, this is where business, commerce, and all other forms of human interaction are headed.

What Are Payment Gateways?

Payment gateways are essentially the means by which your online consumer’s sensitive personal and financial information – specifically usually credit card numbers and authorization codes – are transmitted to and from the acquiring bank in the transactions. They feature a variety of encryption options, but rest assured that the vast majority of payment gateways today – especially those supported by Vision Payment Solutions – are as secure as possible.

How Do Payment Gateways Work?

Because payment gateways are fundamentally tunnels, they transmit the data through a specific, ordered process, although some details may vary across different models:

  1. Your patron submits their order, along with credit card information for payment.
  2. If the order is submitted from a website, the patron’s browser encrypts the data, to be sent to the merchant’s server – known as SSL (Secure Socket Layer).
  3. Merchants then forward this information through their payment gateways to their acquiring bank (payment processor), which in turn forwards it to the card company (VISA, American Express, etc.).
  4. The Cardholders’ issuing banks reply with an authorization code to the payment processor, which then relays data through payment gateways.
  5. The payment gateways route the approval codes back to the merchant’s site, so that both the merchant and consumer know the transaction is successful.
  6. Finally, the merchant submits their transactions in a batch to their bank for settlement with the processor. The bank then deposits the funds into the merchant’s account.

How Do Businesses Benefit from Payment Gateways?

It’s not so much a question of how payment gateways benefit a business, but rather understanding that, without payment gateways, you cannot accept your patrons’ card payments, and therefore cannot conduct business online if you don’t have payment gateways to facilitate the transfer of information.

Mobile Processing for Mobile Endeavors

In today’s modern, fast-paced, never-stop, bite-sized, on-and-off, on-the-go, rat race of a turbulent economy, one truth remains about transactions and how they are facilitated: you must accept credit cards – period. Studies have repeatedly and emphatically demonstrated that those consumers who purchase goods or services with a credit card are far more likely to spend more, to buy on impulse, to return to the place of the transaction, and to generally walk away happy. That doesn’t even cover the more obvious benefits to merchants, whose profits increase drastically when accepting cards from customers is the norm (as opposed to cash or checks), and also who profits dramatically dive when they are unable to process electronic payments.

So we’ve established that a merchant must accept credit cards today, and, because we know how many on-the-go businesses are out there (including everyone from trade show booth operators to hot dog stands to ice cream trucks to home and gardening services, and many more), it goes without saying that the need for mobile processing today is immense.

Just imagine: you’re an entrepreneur out on the road, sealing deals and securing your livelihood with each transaction. If you have a defunct or defective mobile processing system, you can lose a business deal simply by not being able to take your patrons’ card – and if you can’t process it then and there, they very likely will turn you down. This efficiently demonstrates the vital importance of mobile processing solutions that are robust, effective, and supported.

Vision Payment Solutions provides the whole gamut of mobile processing programs, hardware, software, and technical support needed for you, the merchant, to keep on the go while sealing deals, processing payments, and easily managing transactions – without the hassle of being tied down to a phone line, desk, or physical store location. All you need for mobile processing of payments today is an Internet connection and a compatible portable device. This could be anything from an iPad to an iPhone to an Android to a Blackberry; VPS provides all the necessary equipment add-ons, such as the dandy swiper, in our mobile processing plans.

Further, you’ll not only benefit from the improved image of professionalism your clientele will take note of during and after the transactions, but with mobile processing solutions from Vision Payment Solutions, you’ll have the same world-class customer and technical support we’ve provided all our clients over the years. Choose VPS for your mobile processing needs, and call today at the number above!

Shopping Around: Merchant Account Comparisons

As times change, all sorts of new technologies and practices emerge, no matter your industry or field of interest, and the more we grow, the more choices we must make everyday. One of the harder kinds of choices out there is finding the right service for your business; after all, your business is your livelihood, and as such, any entity contracted to service your company should perform admirable, efficient, and generally worthwhile service.

Even more difficult within these types of choices are those that make you select a service that impacts how your patrons pay you: your merchant account. This is why it’s necessary to implement sensible and practical merchant account comparisons when you’re perusing the web for merchant accounts and payment processing services. So, when you’re out there doing your own merchant account comparison among a few seemingly suitable prospective providers, take some of these factors into consideration:

Application

To avoid delay and worry, assess your prospective providers’ application processes in your merchant account comparison. Of course, those service providers with the shortest application processing wait times and those with the least expensive application fees seem most appealing, but weigh this against the other factors, as well, and ask yourself if it’s worth it.

Pricing Structure

In your merchant account comparison, you’ll typically find that most merchant service providers charge for initial set-up and processing, while other fees may vary. Consider your business model and its needs when assessing monthly fees, chargebacks, per-transaction fees, and others in your merchant account comparison.

Reputation

A vital aspect of a worthwhile merchant account comparison is the providers’ reputations. All industries have both bad apples and good guys, and merchant services are no exception. For your merchant account comparison, read reviews online and ask around for advice.

Restrictions

In your merchant account comparison, you’ll need to compare whatever restrictions your prospective providers might incur on your merchant account – such as limits on your monthly sales volume or limits on the types of products and services you can provide. Many merchant account companies choose not to work with certain industries, due to inherently problematic risks involved.

Contract Terms & Conditions

Contract terms are very important in your merchant account comparison, because some of them may mandate that you stay with them for a given period of time. If, however, you prefer the flexibility of being able to jump ship without some absurdly expensive termination fee, choose the prospective provider that’s more relaxed about the length of time for which you’ll contract. Further, within your merchant account comparison process, read all the fine print. This is where a lot can go wrong – or right – and you might not know about it until it happens.

Merchant Processing Plans: Which Suits Your Company Best

Merchant processing is not just some optional service a business contracts with as a convenience or a luxury – it’s far more than that. While you may already understand this – perhaps a little too well as an experienced business owner – there are still many newcomers out there who are just starting up a business of their own and who don’t quite know the ins and outs of entrepreneurship well enough to decide on merchant processing partners and programs that benefit them – not take advantage of their naivety.

Of course, as with any industry of modern persuasion, there are a lot of choices when it comes to establishing, customizing, maintaining, and ending a merchant processing contract and relationship – so many choices, in fact, that some just throw up their hands and call it quits after only having been in the game a few weeks. Although it can be initially overwhelming to find and secure a merchant processing solution that works for your business without wasting your money, there are unquestionably basic program fits for certain types of companies.

Let’s discuss a few of the more common merchant processing solutions offered by most merchant service providers. While some companies just need a typical stationary terminal for swiping cards, others may need online processing solutions for their Internet store, some might want merchant processing for their mail-order business, or some just need to be able to process on the go. As you peruse these merchant processing options, take into account the needs of your own business, and decide on solutions that have such needs in mind:

Standard – or conventional, to some – merchant processing set-ups are the most common payment solutions, as many business owners operate physical stores. Known as brick-and-mortar operations in today’s modern digital lingo, these establishments require the least technical prowess and have the lowest risk of fraud.

Merchants who run online stores require shopping carts, payment gateways, and other specific software applications and contract terms, as risk is typically higher with online transactions. However, the profitability of an online store is likely to surpass that of a typical store if current trends are any indication.

Any business owners who implement mail-order or telephone-order transactions will need MO/TO merchant processing. This variety of course carries increased risk, and therefore higher costs, but if you’re doing well in that business format, keep with it!

Lastly, and likely most importantly as time goes on, is the mobile merchant processing needs of businesses and individuals who have to process their patrons’ payments via mobile devices like smart-phones, tablets, and more. This is lower risk, but slightly higher cost due to mobility.

Deciding On Credit Card Merchant Services?

Credit card merchant services can be overwhelming, to say the least, if you’re brand new to the business world – or even if you’re a very well experienced merchant and just trying to secure a new credit card merchant services provider – and a lot of business owners and associates utterly loathe the screening and selection process for such services. It doesn’t have to be terrible, however, and with the help of Vision Payment Solutions’ knowledgeable and experienced advice, you’ll be on your way to securing the best possible credit card merchant services for your individual business needs.

The first issue to take into consideration – and arguably the most vital – when seeking the right credit card merchant services for your business is your prospective providers’ adaptability to your specific, unique business needs. Take into account how the customization such providers allow could meet the requirements of your daily, weekly, and monthly business activities. How will their credit card merchant services suit you in a way that no other providers can? Not that this issue alone should supercede all others, but you don’t want to be wasting money on superfluous, unnecessary, or unsuitable service.

Another important issue in the comparison of credit card merchant services is your potential merchant account provider’s reputation. Are they honest? Do they conduct business in a way that would make you want to sign on with them? What kind of end results have occurred with friends of yours who are business owners themselves and signed on with them? Word of mouth is likely the very best way of assessing the reputability, because you know there’s nothing in it for those who speak positively about an experience with their processor. Further, conduct a little research online yourself, but beware that a few negative reviews do not necessarily nullify otherwise great service; conversely, repetitive positive reviews may seem great, but some providers have used tricks to achieve such.

Finally, let’s talk about everyone’s least favorite topic when it comes to business: paperwork. Review your prospective credit card merchant services providers’ contract thoroughly. Carefully read through its fine print, terms, and conditions, and understand it better than the back of your own hand before finally taking the plunge, signing on the dotted line, and committing to an extended period of time with particular credit card merchant services that you may have initially liked, but eventually come to find out, should you not thoroughly enough investigate their contract documentation, that you don’t.