Different types of credit card processing

Credit cards have been popular for a very long time now. As a result of this, different ways to use a credit card have entered the market. The different methods of credit card processing depend upon the business medium (retail stores, online, or via mobile phone), the seller’s finances, and circumstances. For example:

1.    Credit card imprinting machines. These machines simply make a facsimile of the credit card using carbon paper. The information on the credit card is used to process the transaction. This method is fairly cheap, since these machines are made available for free by some banks, and cost less than USD 40. However, it is also slightly clumsy as instead of currency notes, the seller is now dealing with several slips of paper containing highly sensitive data.

2.    Credit card terminals. These are much safer and more advanced than imprinting machines. They are frequently seen at retail stores – the magnetic strip of the credit card is swiped on the machine, the amount to be paid is entered, and a receipt is printed out for the cardholder to sign. While most terminals need a power supply and telephone line, and offer real-time processing, other models can store transaction information until a power supply or communication channel is obtained. Credit card terminals are fast, safe and also verify the transaction with the cardholder. They can be rented for occasional use, or bought for about USD 200.

3.    Point of Sale ensembles. These ensembles are a combination of hardware and software that can perform the functions of a credit card terminal, but can also do several other things. They can add the prices of different items, use a display pole to display the total to the customer before the receipt is printed out, and use separate swipe keyboards, price scanners and receipt printers. These are extremely popular at retail stores, due to their ease of use.

4.    Virtual terminals. A virtual terminal is merely one of the online options to process online payments. Credit card information and payment details can be filled into a form, following which the payment is processed. This is time-consuming, as each payment’s details must be entered separately. However, since the rental for a virtual terminal is low, it is excellent for small businesses or telephone transactions (where details always have to be entered manually).

5.    Online payment vendors. Online payment vendors offer buyers the opportunity to enter their own card details, minimizing work for the merchant. Large online stores find this method of credit card processing to be optimal, but transactions that take place in person or over the telephone can also be processed through this method.

Therefore, opting for credit card processing facilities in a business does not imply having to restrict oneself to a single processing method. Based on the needs and characteristics of your particular business, it is possible to choose among the credit card processing methods given above as well as other options that are evolving by the day.


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