Credit card payment services are offered by most banks. Since banks are reluctant to give a merchant account to a small business, there are third party merchant account providers, or credit card payment services, that are willing to bridge the gap for the small business owner. In order to accept credit card payments, you must have a merchant account. The merchant account is the relationship between the retailer, the credit issuing bank, and the payment processing center. Credit card payment services are offered by companies that allow you to accept credit and debit card payments from customers, which they process for you. Applying for a merchant account with a merchant account provider generally requires an active checking account and good credit. Your own personal credit rating could be required to open a merchant account. If your personal credit rating is not stellar, you will be subject to higher fees because of the increased risk involved.
A lot of credit card payment services could include the processing software, the hardware required, such as a credit card terminal, point of sale set-up, and integration of all of these features. The processing software can help you keep track of online sales and recurring charges to a person's credit card, such as membership fees, installment payments, or regularly scheduled donations. This software will be heavily encrypted and security intensive so that the credit card information you gather to process payments will be secure. There is also software that will enable you to accept credit card payments on your mobile phone. You can purchase, rent, or lease the required equipment, such as point of sale terminals, credit card processing terminals, and even virtual terminals, which are needed for sales that occur out in the field. You can even utilize the services of a credit card payment provider without a phone line by using a store and forward terminal or an imprinter with carbon copy receipts.
The fees associating with credit card payment services vary, depending on several factors. Some fees are assessed by Visa and MasterCard, which are called interchange fees. Other fees will include authorization fees, batch fees, annual fees, and chargeback fees. Some credit card payment services will charge one or all of these fees. Conduct a search online that will let you compare various companies. The fees and features will vary from company to company.