April 2012

Credit Card Processing Systems: An Introductory FAQ

Welcome back, readers! Today, we’ll be covering the topic of credit card processing systems in the form of a convenient, chunked, accessible FAQ. While many merchants who have been in business for quite some time might already understand the basic principles by which credit card processing systems operate, newcomers – or those in need of a quick refresher – can easily learn about credit card processing systems and their different methods for processing electronic forms of payment.

What is a merchant account? A merchant account enables your business to accept credit cards. Merchant accounts are vital for credit card processing systems, and can be obtained at a bank or via credit card processing systems providers online.

Why does it cost more for Internet, mail, and telephone transactions? Those assuming financial risk in credit card processing systems prefer the customer to be present and in possession of the physical card. This limits the chance for fraud.

How long does it take to get started? Depending on the size of the company, bank, or other provider, and how many clients they serve, it can take anywhere from 24 hours to two weeks.

When are funds deposited into my account? Fund deposition occurs between two to thee business days.

Are there different types of credit card processing systems and solutions? There are terminals for physical retailers, real-time systems for online stores, PC software for telephone transactions, and many more.

Are shopping carts necessary for all Internet merchants? No. Shopping cart application designers partner with certain payment gateways. Your merchant account provider can tell you which gateway they will use to secure your transactions.

What is a chargeback? A chargeback is, quite simply, a conversion reversal, meaning that funds will be deducted from your account rather than deposited. Causes of chargebacks may include double charging, card expirations, customer disputes, and bank errors.

Will I get transaction reports? While it is common to receive a detailed monthly report, some companies offer real-time online reporting.

If you have any additional questions or concerns about credit card processing systems, or if you would like to sign on with VPS for superior credit card processing systems services, then give us a call at the number above today, and experience firsthand why so many successful merchants have chosen VPS for their credit card processing systems needs.

Merchant Account Credit Card Processing for Today’s Hectic Economy

Welcome back, readers! Today, we’ll be covering the topic of merchant account credit card processing, and discussing a few of the benefits involved for merchants who need to process their customers’ credit card payments.  Merchant account credit card services are a staple of the modern market, so familiarize yourself with their many benefits. If you haven’t opted for merchant account credit card processing services of your own already, then now is the time!

With cash carried far less often and checks slowly fading into uselessness, credit and debit cards have completely taken over the payment process, surpassing all other forms of payment and taking the top spot for most consumers. Most merchants today now accept cards; the benefits of a merchant account are too numerous and too impactful to ignore, and to maintain your  competitive edge, you should accept plastic too.

By accepting credit cards through merchant account credit card processing, you experience for yourself the numerous benefits of merchant account credit card services:

  • Increase your sales while increasing your consumers’ satisfaction of being able to choose their favorite way of paying.
  • Increase your profits for the average sale; the customer needn’t have cash to buy.
  • Streamline your check-out process with convenience and speed.
  • Safeguard your business from bounced checks.
  • Avoid the risk of having a lot of cash on hand.
  • Accept payments from just about any customer, at any time.

By providing alternative payment options, merchant account credit card services can easily benefit any business. Studies have indicated that people tend to spend more money when they’re paying with a card than when they’re paying with cash. By accepting such payments via merchant account credit card services, your increased revenue will more than compensate for the costs involved in setting up and maintaining your merchant account credit card processing.

If you need more information on the topic of merchant account credit card processing, or if you already know that Vision Payment Solutions will be your provider of merchant account credit card processing services, then simply pick up the phone and call us today! Friendly representatives are standing by, ready to arrange the perfect merchant account credit card processing solution for you, custom tailored to your specific, individual business needs.

Virtual Terminals for Credit Card Processing

Virtual terminals for credit card processing are web-based applications one can access, using a user name and password, from any computer that has Internet connectivity. Using an intuitive online interface, the user can easily enter and edit credit card information and perform any transaction task that is otherwise typically performed through a physical device, such as authorizing, capturing, and refunding transactions.

Virtual terminals for credit card processing are often used by online entrepreneurs. These types of smaller, typically home-based business do not achieve the kind of sales volume that would warrant a fully automated online system integration, so they frequently use virtual terminals for credit card processing as a transitional solution, at least until their business expands into a full-scale, automated site.

Today’s virtual terminals for credit card processing are typically easy to use, accessed via SSL, enable separate authorization and settlement transactions, offer an assortment of fraud detection tests, and support multi-user access.

When you’re choosing a virtual terminal provider, check all other aspects of credit card processing, like merchant account versus third-party processing, fraud management capabilities, merchant tools and reports, rates, fees, and payment schedules.

Merchants who use virtual terminals for credit card processing have the ability to manually key in transactions, as well as a variety of other payment management functions. Virtual terminals for credit card processing are typically Web-based applications that perform the processing functions much like a physical point-of-sale (POS) terminal; they require only a computer with a secure Internet connection and an up-to-date browser.

Virtual terminals for credit card processing can easily simplify your payments’ infrastructure without hardware or dedicated phone lines, enable you to access a full range of processing functions needed to manually enter and process credit card transactions, offer a comprehensive set of payment management functions, provide options for settling batches daily by default or manually overseeing the process, empower you to access past orders quickly and easily, and secure your transaction payments by way of a secure login.

If you have additional questions or concerns on using virtual terminals for credit card processing, or if you would like to arrange the ideal payment-processing solution for your business, then simply call Vision Payment Solutions today at the number above, and experience for yourself why so many successful merchants have chosen VPS for virtual terminals for credit card processing!

What You Need To Know about Merchant Credit Card Processing Online

In this Vision Payment Solutions blog, we’ll be speaking of merchant credit card processing online, and how such a service can enable a business to succeed like never before. If you’re a business owner, you know the importance of providing your customers with options – and that’s not just limited to your selection of products and services; it’s a vital component of merchant credit card processing online, as well! With everything in the business world going digital, it’s no surprise that experts in the financial industry are recommending the switch to more web-friendly systems of payment processing. Let’s look deeper into the many aspects of merchant credit card processing online.

If you conduct business online in any fashion, you require merchant credit card processing online. With an online merchant account and a secure, reliable payment gateway, your customers have the option to buy with just a click of the mouse at any hour of the day. Vision Payment Solutions can provide you with merchant credit card processing online, no matter the size of your site or the nature of your industry. For optimum set-up of merchant credit card processing online, check out our tips below.

Tips on Establishing Merchant Credit Card Processing Online:

  • Begin thinking about initializing merchant credit card processing online a few weeks before you even implement it.
  • Be in touch with experienced professionals for your merchant credit card processing online needs. Because such processing is rather young, verify that you receive the best possible advice, software and costs through thorough research.
  • Merchant credit card processing online differs in its fee structure than a retail merchant account, so understand all your processing fees and be thorough reviewing the application. Doing so may save you a world of hurt from a surprising statement.
  • Verify that you are quoted for merchant credit card processing online, and not a retail account. Many merchants are initially quoted and mistakenly sign on with a retail account, which has much higher fees than merchant credit card processing online.

Choose a reputable, leading payment gateway to handle your merchant credit card processing online. While young gateway providers may have great products, trust the reliability that only more established gateway companies have, such as Vision Payment Solutions. Apply for merchant credit card processing online with us, and see why so many of our clients have stuck with us for so long! Call at the number above.

Understanding The Debit Card Payment Process

If you’re a business owner then soak up whatever advantages you can, and understanding for yourself the debit card payment process is one of the greatest steps you can take toward providing your customers with superior service. There are very few businesses out there that don’t have some sort of payment process for debit cards, and with good reason.

Once you comprehend the basics of the typical payment process for debit cards, you’ll be better equipped to understand and to add this method of payment to your storefront. Understanding the debit card process is not difficult at all.

You’ll first establish an account with a debit card payment processing company, possibly while buying the actual system used to facilitate transactions, so take that into account. The two options you’ll be presented with are the PIN-based debit and the signature-based debit. As its terminology implies, PIN-based debit card payment processes will require customers to enter their card PIN during a transaction, while signature-based debit card payment processes will require a signature – as in a credit card transaction. Signature-based processes also enable online or telephone transactions; PIN-based processes will not.

The transaction data will then be transmitted electronically to the payment processing company with whom you’ve partnered; they process the payment by deducting the purchase amount from the customer’s debit account and transferring the funds to your merchant account, while deducting a fixed, per-transaction percentage for the service of debit card processes.

Comparison shop for card payment processing services to find the best rates and additional perks from processors, so consider the value of options like free technical support, periodic statements, and ease of processing.

Typically, notable debit cards will be accepted by any debit card payment processing company, enabling your patrons to pay you, despite their banks or cards of choice. And because credit card processing is so similar, most debit card payment accounts will allow acceptance of both kinds of payment. Transaction versatility can aid your business and your customers greatly, so understand and implement the process professionally and effectively. The payment process for debit card payment requires little investment, and features a huge ROI.

Credit Card Merchant Account Services 101

Credit card merchant account services comprise a vast array of both products and services that enable businesses to accept credit card payments from their customers. As a reputable merchant services provider, Vision Payment Solutions offers merchant accounts, POS terminals, online and mobile payment solutions for credit and debit cards, checks and prepaid cards, secure processing, and world-class customer support. Essentially, VPS provides the full spectrum of payment-processing services, allowing businesses to process transactions securely and effectively.

The duty of a credit card merchant account service begins prior to any credit card information being collected. The credit card merchant account service provider initially opens a merchant account for its client – separate from other accounts – and this is where your customers’ payments are deposited.

Along with a merchant account, the credit card merchant account service also provides the merchant with all other equipment needed for processing. For instance, brick-and-mortar locations need a system for handling card-present transactions: a countertop terminal with a reader and a line to the processor.

Once the merchant account is established, s/he can accept credit cards. The credit card merchant account service facilitates interaction among the merchant, card networks, and issuing banks.

When a customer swipes their card, the credit card merchant account service securely transmits their information to their bank for authorization. When the bank determines that the cardholder has enough credit, the sale is authorized. The credit card merchant account service informs the merchant, who finalizes the sale and issues a receipt.

Lastly, the processor submits the merchant’s transaction to the bank for payment, and then deposits the remainder into the merchant account, typically within a couple of business days.

When you’re working with a credit card merchant account service, offer them a full, accurate overview of your business, your processing needs, and even plans for the future. In this way, the credit card merchant account service can tailor the ideal merchant account according to your specific processing needs, no matter if it constitutes retail, online, wireless, or mobile transactions.

Vision Payment Solutions is a comprehensive credit card merchant account service with the experience to work effectively within any business budget. If you are looking for a reputable, professional credit card merchant account service that can help your business instead of hinder it, call VPS today at the number above!

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Accepting Credit Cards

For those launching a small entrepreneurial venture, it’s unquestionably overwhelming just starting the process of accepting credit cards. After all, your new small business must first be certified for merchant status from a number of banks as a method of accepting credit cards.

Despite the trouble involved in initially accepting credit cards, what owners must consider is that setting up your enterprise for accepting credit cards can be highly beneficial, and can promote the growth of your business. We’ve compiled this article on why accepting credit cards will be advantageous your business; we hope this will help to orient you with the concept of accepting credit cards – and the mistakes you should avoid in doing so.

With customers affording more purchases by you accepting credit cards from them, you can easily increase the likelihood of them buying. Accepting credit cards for payment facilitates sales through ease of purchase; when your clients purchase your products on impulse, they can still buy even if they have no cash in their pockets. You are virtually doubling the possibility of customers buying from you by accepting credit cards.

Not only does accepting credit cards enable those without cash to buy, but it also allows travelers to buy, as opposed to issuing a traveler’s check. The vast majority of consumers today use their plastic to make shopping easier and faster. When clients are pleased with your company’s policies and with your services, they are more likely to become returning customers, and accepting credit cards is just one component of customer-pleasing practices – but a fundamental component, indeed.

You can also take advantage of the higher cash flow that naturally accompanies accepting credit payments. In addition, when you’re accepting credit cards, your transactions don’t depend on whether your customer has the actual cash to back up purchases. It also guarantees you that you’ll be paid that money in just a couple business days. You’ll have the cash to meet payroll and keep up inventory.

Furthermore, accepting credit cards can also provide an image of professionalism. The universally recognized practice of accepting credit cards and banking portrays a degree of competency and legitimacy, as it generates trust from customers.

Accepting credit cards plays a crucial role in helping your business to grow. By increasing your sales volume, offering payment convenience, guaranteeing payment, and promoting a professional image, accepting credit cards is one of the best moves you could make in today’s market. Ultimately, no matter how well your business is or isn’t performing, accepting credit cards from customers as a regular component of your services can only serve to benefit your business.

Card Payment Terminals: A Beginner’s FAQ

You know that your business simply must accept credit cards from customers because, as most business owners know, card payment terminals, coupled with merchant accounts, services, and software, will enable your business to sell more, to benefit from impulse buys, and to provide convenience for your customers by allowing them to pay via card payment terminals.

Unquestionably, there is a lot of information out there on the basics of merchant accounts, payment processing, and card payment terminals, so we’ve compiled this brief FAQ for those of you new to the world of payment processing and related issues.

What Do I Need To Get Started With Accepting Credit Cards from My Customers?

Setting up a merchant account, familiarizing yourself with the program, and initializing your new card payment terminals will enable your business to accept card payments. Typically, your terminals – and their necessary accoutrements – can be up and running more quickly than you ever thought possible. When arranging for the use of your new card payment terminals, be sure that you:

  • Establish a merchant account to process payments via card payment terminals.
  • Install the card payment terminals’ equipment. When using your new equipment, your customers’ cards are either swiped through or fully inserted. Some acquiring banks allow you to rent card payment terminals for a monthly fee.
  • Connect your card payment terminals or integrated tills to a phone line, so that transactions will be transferred and processed.
  • Address your acquiring bank about specific Payment Card Industry/Data Security Standard (PCI/DSS) guidelines according to the way your card payment terminals will process transactions.

What Kinds of Electronic Payments Will Card Payment Terminals Accept?

Most merchant accounts generally allow your business to accept all major debit and credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, and SOLO. To accept most major cards, however, you need to establish an agreement with the actual charge card company, with which your acquirer should be able to assist you.

How Can I Prepare My Associates to Use The Card Payment Terminals?

Before having associates using card payment terminals, verify that employees are well trained in both using the card payment terminals efficiently and correctly, avoiding fraud, and appropriately responding to any issues – like a card failing to swipe correctly or any of the card payment terminals experiencing technical difficulties.

An Introduction to Vision Payment Solutions

For those of you new to the site, those of you just out researching credit card payment-processing services options, and those of you who haven’t heard of Vision Payment Solutions before, we’re taking this opportunity to familiarize you all with our company, what it is we do, and how we help our clients grow their business through the complete, full range of payment processing solutions and services.

Vision Payment Solutions is a quickly expanding, expert merchant account service provider, offering merchants of virtually all industries the full spectrum of comprehensive processing solutions across all forms of transactions, major and lesser known card brands, and merchant segments. Vision Payment Solutions’ knowledgeable management team has well over six decades of professional experience in the financial services industry, not to mention more than thirty years within the electronic payments field specifically, partnering with some of the most successful and diverse companies around.

Vision Payment Solutions works with a truly eclectic line-up of merchants and business owners. We’ve managed payment processing for five-star restaurants, local mom-and-pop shops, huge national chains, and online businesses with purely digital needs. From the gas station around the corner to the massive grocery new to your town, Vision Payment Solutions can provide payment support for your company with a customized solution, no matter your business requirements.

Vision Payment Solutions carries the total catalog of major products and services for your processing needs. We provide merchant accounts to enable your business to accept both debit and credit card payments from your customers. Supplementing these accounts is a massive assortment of hardware and software terminals, cash register solutions, and even business financing for those tough economic times.

At Vision Payment Solutions, our ultimate vision, toward which we strive daily in offering professional, affordable processing solutions to clients is that, in a dynamic industry, we’ll keep you ahead of the curve, providing flexible hardware, software and e-commerce solutions with an eye to the future. So as your business evolves, your payment systems can evolve with it.

Vision Payment Solutions supports all aspects of electronic fund transfers and payment processing, including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Diners Club, JCB, Debit, EBT, Gift cards, electronic check conversion, and more. We’ve established a complete in-house processing solution, with underwriting, technical support, risk management, and information technology. Vision Payment Solutions consistently strives to ameliorate any and all customer issues that arise, addressing each issue in the most efficient and professional ways possible.

Becoming A Smartphone Merchant

At Vision Payment Solutions, we understand the difficulty of obtaining that perfect merchant account for your specific business needs, and the importance of not having to pay absurd fees and rates just to accept credit card payments from your customers. That’s why VPS is here – to take the worry and hassle out of the process of becoming a smartphone merchant, a virtual necessity for many businesses today. So, what are some of the steps involved in becoming a smartphone merchant and obtaining that custom account for superior business interaction?

1. Obtain a merchant account with a reputable smartphone merchant account provider. Merchant account fees can be overwhelming if you get an account with each card provider individually, so be wary. Smartphone merchant service providers offer business owners the ability to process transactions for any or all major credit cards under a single account – and all on their smartphone, no less.

2. Install the card-processing software on your smartphone. The basis of any such mobile system is the software that links your card reader, your phone, and your printer. Processing software will easily facilitate the transmission of sensitive transaction data between your phone and your smartphone merchant account provider.

3. Get a mobile reader for your phone. As with more traditional retail card-processing systems, a magnetic stripe reader is needed to gather and disseminate information on your customers’ credit cards. Card readers designed for smartphone merchants are not much larger than a credit card themselves, and can typically connect via USB.

4. Attain a portable printer designed for smartphone merchants. This will allow you to print receipts for your customers right at the time and place of the transaction, and even transmitting them via email or text message. The ability to print your customers’ receipts from your phone enables you to gather hardcopy signatures as well.

If you have additional questions on the process of becoming a smartphone merchant, or if you would prefer to arrange a smartphone merchant account with us today, then give us a call at the number above; you’ll be able to speak with a friendly representative who can analyze your situation and get you set up with the ideal, custom-tailored smartphone merchant account. As a smartphone merchant, you’ll be on your way toward accepting more payments in more versatile ways. Call now!