Credit Card FAQs

What kind of technology do I need in order to accept credit cards?

The type of technology needed depends on what kind of method you need to use for your transactions. For a business that does transactions at a physical location, but wants to be able to connect different locations or registers to each other, a point-of-sale (POS) system would be best. A POS system contains the entire checkout terminal, which can include a cash register, card reader, scanner, etc. Mobile credit card processors are available for businesses that do transactions in many various locations and simply include either a dongle or an app to enable you to accept credit cards from devices such as tablets or phones. Another technology possibility is the credit card terminal, which is best for businesses that only need to accept payments and nothing else. Lastly, for online businesses, there are e-commerce solutions that allow you to accept credit card payments online.

What is a merchant account?

A merchant account is a special bank account for businesses that allows them to accept credit cards. A merchant account is not always needed in order to just accept cards, but it is usually required for both POS systems and credit card terminals. Mobile payment processors usually don’t require a merchant account. Businesses can open merchant accounts through payment processing companies, and this is the first step in enabling your business to accept credit cards. Before opening an account, businesses should determine which type would best fit their needs.

How much does it cost to buy a credit card machine?

Pricing varies, depending on different factors, but basic models can usually be purchased for under $100. Also, some vendors will give merchants free machines, and there is also the option of renting. As with many products, the cost will depend on whom you buy your machine from and what kind of features you need it to have.

What are the fees for credit card processing?

There are three main types of credit card processing fees. The one that most businesses prefer is interchange plus pricing because with this type, businesses play one flat fee for all transactions in addition to a small percentage of each sale, regardless of the type of credit card being used in the transaction. The rates for tiered pricing, on the other hand, differ depending on different types of credit cards: qualified, mid-qualified, and non-qualified. The classification of credit card is typically determined by the individual credit card processors, so rates vary, but increase from qualified to mid-qualified to no-qualified. With the third type of processing fee, flat percentage, processors simply charge one flat fee for all transactions. This type of pricing is common with mobile payment processors.

What security features are important to look for in credit card machines?

PCI compliance and EMV capabilities are two of the most important features. PCI includes several different security measures, and although payment processing companies include PCI with their service, it is ultimately up to you to make sure your business is compliant in order to protect customer information and avoid fees. EMV capabilities allow you to accept cards with chips, which are safer and help to prevent identity fraud.

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