Credit Card Merchant Account Service 101

As a merchant, it is highly likely that you have partnered with, or have worked with a credit card merchant account service provider of some kind. This is for merchants that need to accept your customers’ credit card payments and facilitate such transactions from day to day. As a merchant, you may wonder what are some of the ways a credit card m service processes clients’ customers’ cards?

A credit card merchant provider such as VPS, processes credit cards in a few major ways:

Credit Card Terminal: A terminal for credit cards allows a merchant to swipe a credit card, and to gather additional information for processing a credit card transaction. A credit card terminal generally processes credit cards, but also gift cards and check verification, if necessary; a CCT is typically provided by your merchant account service.

Automated Response Unit: An Automated Response Unit, or ARU, allows the manually keyed entry and authorization of a credit card over the phone. A merchant typically imprints their customer’s card to create a receipt and merchant copy, then processes the transaction over the phone through their merchant account service.

Payment Gateway: A payment gateway is an e-commerce service that authorizes payments for e-businesses and online retailers, heavily linked to credit card services. It is much like a POS (point-of-sale) terminal in many retail stores. A credit card account service is typically a separate company from a payment gateway, and some credit card services have their own payment gateways, but most businesses implement third-party gateways.

Credit Card Merchant Account Service Marketing: Credit card account services are marketed to merchants in two ways: by the processor or sponsoring bank, or by an authorized agent for the bank and directly registered with card issuers as an ISO/MSP (Independent Selling Organization / Member Service Provider). Marketing details are regulated by card issuers like Visa, and enforced by rules and fines.

Marketing from (ISO)/MSPs: To market merchant account services, an ISO/MSP must be sponsored by a member bank. This mandates that the bank back the financial stability of the businesses marketing for the bank. The ISO/MSP usually pays a fee to be registered with Visa and Mastercard, and must comply with regulations of marketing a credit card merchant account service.