In this age and day, a good number of people do not want to carry liquid cash in their pockets, purses, or wallets. As a wise entrepreneur, adding credit cards as an acceptable mode of payment can greatly improve your sales and returns on investment. However, it is important to understand generally how credit cards work before taking the huge step. Since there are different types of credit cards, merchants, and payment processors, the associated fees also vary a lot. In addition to considering the security and convenience of transactions, the rates are an important aspect to look at before introducing credit card payment as an acceptable method in your business. Below are a few things you should know about credit card processing fees, what they constitute and how they work.

Components of Credit Card Processing Fees
The two major components of credit card processing fees include an inquiry fee and a percentage of the total transaction amount. However, there are also other fees associated with credit card processing services depending on the merchant you sign up with. For instance, some payment processing companies charge an initial sign-up fee, monthly account fee, and so on. Some companies also induce an opt-out rate or early terminal fees. Other associated fees may include reporting fees, statement fees, network fees, monthly minimum fees, gateway payment fees and so on, which are together referred to as flat fees. Again, these may vary from provider to the other.

Main Types of Credit Card Transactions
Just like it is with debit cards, there are two major types or categories of credit card transactions. These include the following.
• Swiped Transactions
• Manual Entries
For swiped transactions, the consumer presents his or her credit card when paying for their purchases or service, which is then swiped physically through a POS terminal for the transition to be processed. For manual entry transitions, on the other hand, the details of the card are manually entered or keyed in for processing. These are either internet-based or mobile phone-based transactions.

Choose Your Merchant Company Wisely
The best way to save on credit card processing fees is to choose your merchant or credit card processing provider wisely. It is important to carefully look at the fees and rates a provider will charge you for subscribing to them since these will directly eat up a portion of your profits. When doing this, also consider digital apps and e-wallets as an alternative to credit card processing terminals if and where you can to keep your costs lower. Again, it is important to note that some credit card fees are negotiable. For instance, transitional percentage rates can be negotiated between the business and the provider. However, you stand a better chance of getting a good deal if you’re sure of a higher customer base paying using credit cards. In other words, the higher the amount of credit card transactions, the higher the chances of paying lower credit card fees.

Whichever merchant account provider you choose, be sure to stay on the lookout for hidden charges. Advisably, consider working with a reputed provider that has been in business for a considerable amount of time.

Credit Card Machine Buyers Guide

We live in a time where credit cards are processing most transactions. Paying by credit card is preferred by most people due to convenience, security, and buyer safety. With more and more businesses moving towards the web and the popularity of e-commerce, business owners need to have the ability to process credit cards or risk losing business. Accepting credit cards has plenty of advantages for business owners. Giving customers a choice to pay by cash for by credit card will increase sales, expand your customer base, and will provide convenience for its clients. If you are planning on selling online or creating an online business, accepting credit cards is a necessity.

With more and more business’s accepting credit cards, credit card machine manufacturers have been able to evolve the credit card machine, so it’s convenient for all types of business. Selecting credit card processing equipment is something you should be researching to find the perfect credit card machine for your business. It’s essential for you to choose a new terminal that is reliable, easy to use, and secure. Not only for you but for your customers as well. With the explosion of credit card processing ease, you can find a credit card machine just about anywhere. Many choose to purchase their credit card machine online, from banks, credit card processors, ISO’s (independent sales organization), or through 3rd party companies. Make sure you take your time to make an informed choice and ask questions especially when it comes to warranties.

Almost every brick and mortar business have a credit card machine. Let’s face it; most people don’t carry around much cash. Selecting your credit card machine will be based on your business’s needs, size, sales volume, and your locations actual set up. Fortunately there is a wide variety of credit card machines that range from simple table top machines to hand help machines, apps for tablets and smartphones, to Ethernet based machines. With so many choices available how do you go about selecting the perfect credit card machine for your business? Read out guide below for assistance selecting the perfect credit card machine.

Credit Card Machine Buyers Guide

1. Selecting your Communication Type.

Credit card machines have multiple types of communication paths. The standard is dial up through an analog phone line. With more and more phone service providers switching over to digital of VOIP lines, credit card machines have major issues communicating over there lines. Ask your phone service provider what kind of lines you have. If you have digital lines, go for a terminal that is IP/Ethernet based or wireless.

2. What Applications is the Credit Card Machine Able to Integrate.

Depending on the credit card machine, some models are only capable of processing credit card and some can process multiple payment types. You want to select a machine based on your needs. If you run a website or phone order business, you will only be running credit cards. If you have a brick and mortar store or restaurant, you need a credit card machine that can handle other payment types. Make sure you have the ability to process credit cards, debit cards, EBT, gift cards, loyalty cards, and smart cards.

3. Always Lease your Credit Card Machine

Leasing a credit card machine may seem like the logical choice if you are low on start up funds.

4. The More Memory, The Better.

When shopping for a credit card machine, keep the memory size in mind. Most payment applications are pretty large files that take up a large portion of space. Most mid range credit card machines will have 3-6MB of memory. This amount of memory will allow you to support all payment applications and store roughly 150 transactions before the need to batch your machine. If you run a lower volume business, you can get away with having a lower memory device.

5. Always Have a Backup Payment Method.

This is something most merchants will overlook until its too late. If you are a merchant that will be processing transactions at craft shows, Christmas tree farms, or any business that doesn’t have direct access to power need a backup. When processing transactions you are at the mercy of plenty of factors that can interrupt your ability to make a sale. Always have a backup credit card machine, a spare battery, and a manual credit card machine just in case you loose power

Online shoppers want to get the same benefits from your ecommerce store that they get from brick and mortar retailers. Offering a wide range of payment methods will make your customers feel safe and comfortable and they will increase their online shopping. Accepting credit/debit cards in your online store increases your sales. The problem that many online business owners face is that they are confused by the many choices available and they don’t know where to start.

There are two ways in which an online business can accept credit card payments online;

Real time online credit card processing

Here is where the customer submits their payment information and the payment is processed online through a payment gateway. Even though the payments are processed right away, the costs are usually higher.

Card present or swiped

The merchant will collect the card information by swiping the card through a mobile card reader or credit card terminal. The costs involved here are much lower than card not present or online transactions.

For a business to start accepting online debit and credit cards, they first need to have an online merchant account and payment gateway. And just like any other business decision, you have to adequately research before selecting a provider that you feel is right for you.

Setting up an online merchant account that is quality and secure is critical if you want to launch and operate a successful business. You can avoid unnecessary fees and charges if you find a provider that understands how to set up an online merchant account correctly and understands the needs of your business.

A merchant account may have cost implications like set up fees, application fees and minimum monthly fees. It may also take up to a month for your account to be fully set up and one has to be patient. Depending on your credit history, your application may or may not be approved and you will need to estimate your sales volumes to know the approximate number of transactions you will expect per month.

When shopping for merchant account providers, you may choose to go with your local bank of one of the many available online merchant account service providers. If you already have an offline credit card processing merchant account, then you can just ask your provider to add an online processing feature to your account.

Online payments for medical billing

Medical payments via credit/debit card will help reduce the headaches of bill collecting from patients and processing them. A merchant account gives your patients the freedom and flexibility of making payments in various forms. The system works in a very simple way; the client pays using their credit/debit card, the payments get processed immediately and. There are many available credit card processing systems that are customized specifically for medical billing and come with other features that make your billing work easier.

Law firms

With the growing trend of accepting payment through credit and debit cards, attorneys and law firms that are looking to accept credit card payments have a lot of available options in the market. There are providers that offer services that are specifically tailored for attorneys and are even endorsed by associations but a firm is also free to use the standard credit card processing services that are available to the other businesses. For those lawyers who have reaped the benefits of accepting credit card payments from their clients, they have realized that it is one of the ways of attracting and maintaining clients.

Mobile payments

Mobile commerce and e wallets have recently emerged as the standard payment of the days to come; merchants are trying to position themselves for tomorrow by trying to meet the demand for mobile credit card processing.

Whether it is accepting credit cards through a mobile devices or accepting mobile payments via a Smartphone, mobile credit card processing has become prevalent and will continue to grow in its usage and adoption.

The capability to accept credit cards through a mobile device gives your business the flexibility of accepting remote payments with ease and securely. Merchants can easily process real time transactions from any locations as long as they are connected to the internet.

 

Accept Credit Cards

Once somebody turns 18, they are introduced to the world of “adulting”: signing their own paperwork, not needing parental permission, starting to accept financial and personal responsibility for themselves, and as a part of that, starting to build their credit.

 

When picking a first credit card, there are a couple of factors to consider. 

 

First, it’s important to pick something that is easy to keep track of in terms of spending. If you are new to managing your own money, this is crucial. It can be done by deciding to have your first credit card be an in-store credit and rewards card. This way, it’s easier to keep track of your purchases and how much you need to pay back, since you probably have a decent idea of how much you spend per month at one specific location.

 

Stores like American Eagle Outfitters, Target, and Nordstrom all have an in-store credit card. The store itself is the only place that accepts its credit card, which means that you are sure to keep a limit on your spending.

 

Secondly, it’s an added bonus to find a credit card that helps you build up some other form of benefits or rewards. For example, cards from the locations above allow you to build up rewards points with their company, which can be used for discounts on purchases, gift cards, or even cash back. 

 

Another popular form of rewards that can be found with credit cards is air miles. Alaska Airlines and other major airlines have credit cards that you can sign up for with them (oftentimes while you’re on your flight!) and most places accept the card. As you make purchases, you’re also building up miles to use towards flights with Alaska Airlines and its partners that accept the same points system, which include KLM and Carthay Pacific. You can also sign up for an account with a Star Alliance airline, like United or Air Canada, which also allows you to accumulate points with airlines like Air New Zealand, Lufthansa, Swiss Air, Turkish Airlines, and South African Airways.

 

There are some individuals who have learned how to use the points system on their credit cards so successfully that they rarely pay for flights anymore. There is one drawback of using an airline’s credit card as your first: it is more difficult to keep track of your purchases, as they aren’t limited to one specific location, which can lead to excessive spending. 

 

One specific example of a great first credit card is the Victoria’s Secret Angel Card. This card can be used at Victoria’s Secret, PINK, and partner stores Bath & Body Works and Henri Bendel. You’re able to build points up to receive rewards cards for discounts in the mail every month, there are no annual fees for maintaining the card, and you also receive early access to all major sales. In addition, you receive a rewards card for your birthday month. It gives you the chance to limit your spending and receive rewards at the same time, which is an amazing way to start to build your credit and start to “adult”.

Merchant Services On Poshmark

There’s a new way of thrift shopping, and you can do it right from your cell phone.

 

An app called Poshmark allows users to put themselves in the shoes of the merchant by posting their clothing and accessories for other users to browse and buy. Individuals who are selling their clothes can mark them by brand, size, and colour, and potential buyers can search using the same categories.

 

While the seller, like any other merchant, can set their price, the app also makes it so that buyers can negotiate or make offers, which the seller can either accept or decline. They are also able to make a counter-offer at a price that they see as  more reasonable, which the buyer can then counter-offer as well. The offers can go back and forth for a full 24 hours, after which the process has to start all over again.

 

Up-and-coming merchants can even use the platform to run their own boutiques. The app allows boutiques to use a feature called “new with tags retail”, which indicates to potential buyers that they are shopping a boutique rather than someone’s closet. 

 

One unique service that Poshmark offers sellers is that the costs of priority shipping are paid for. This is done by charging buyers a flat rate shipping fee of $5.95, and simply sending the seller a shipping label. 

 

The app also protects its buyers, though. Through its protection policy, a buyer can cancel a purchase if the seller does not ship it after a week, and they are entitled to full refunds if the item arrives and is not as described (sellers are supposed to disclose all damages and wear and tear to an item if applicable).

 

A seller can also look into a buyer’s closet and see if there are any items that they’d be willing to trade for. They either take the transaction off the app, or if they decide to stay on Poshmark, both parties set the price of the item to $3 (Poshmark’s minimum price) and then notify each other to purchase each other’s listings. 

 

Unfortunately if users decide to take their trades off of Poshmark, the app’s protection policy no longer applies, and of course, there’s no way to one hundred percent guarantee that somebody won’t purchase the 3 dollar listing before the person it was intended for gets the chance to, as anybody who has favourited an item is notified by email when the price drops.

 

Though it gives users the feeling that they are the merchant, the ultimate merchant in this process is, in fact, Poshmark. The app takes about a 20 percent cut of each sale made using its platform, so despite the various benefits, some users interested in clearing out their closets end up looking for other ways and other apps to get rid of their clothing.

 

In the end, though, the users who end up sticking with the app can make hundreds of dollars off of their closets, and many decide that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. 

Credit Card Machine

When you swipe your credit card through a credit card machine at a store, you are putting your card at risk for security breaches and for people having the ability to steal your credit card information and to make charges to your account.

In addition to the security risks that the magnetic stripe poses, having a credit card that swipes can also lead to the magnetic strip eventually wearing away after being swiped through machines repeatedly and not being as efficient or effective anymore.

That’s why many banks and credit card companies are making the change over to cards with chips, also known as EMV cards, which have been designed specifically to prevent fraud and increase a customer’s security when they swipe their cards through a credit card machine.

The chip creates and encrypts a new, one of a kind, and completely unique code for every single transaction that a customer makes in order to help prevent fraud from occurring. Instead of swiping your card, you insert it and allow the credit card machine to read and exchange information with the chip.

Credit card information can also be put at risk without even running your card through a machine. Money and account information can also be stolen through online shops that are not legitimate.

Many of these stores gain popularity through taking images of various products from fully legitimate Australian online boutiques, putting them up as their own, and pricing the items as significantly less expensive than the original items. They then create viral social media posts by purchasing retweets from popular Twitter accounts with large followings, which helps them to grow the following on their own account, which makes them appear to be more legitimate and well-established than they actually are.

Many Twitter users, who are often times young, see these expensive-looking products listed at much more affordable prices (usually listed as being “on sale for a limited time only”) and they are quick to charge their parents or their own credit or debit cards.

After waiting eagerly for their fashion-forward apparel to arrive, some of these users end up disappointed, as the company manufactures cheap, poorly assembled products that typically do not even resemble what they ordered. From receiving clothing in completely the wrong size, the wrong colour, to clohting that is falling apart, or even a completely different clothing item, these customers feel ripped off.

Unfortunately, the rest of of these young customers never even see the products that they ordered. After placing their orders, they receive a purchase confirmation email indicating that their card has been charged, and that they will receive a second email when their order finishes processing and is being shipped. A majority of the time, the second email never arrives, because the product never ships, since it does not actually exist. The company then has the customer’s money and card information, and they are quick to delete their websites and accounts, leaving these customers with nobody to pursue about their orders or requesting refunds.

Credit Card Processing On Venmo

Venmo is changing the way that millennials exchange and spend their money, because they can pay each other back with just a tap on their smartphone. 

 

 A new user signs up for Venmo by registering through either their Facebook page or their email account, and then by linking in their credit card for processing when they use the app. They can then pay other users on the app by searching their usernames and simply typing in the amount, then pressing “send”. Users can also request money from each other.

 

Venmo is especially popular in university campus environments. Roommates can easily split the cost of shared items by “Venmoing” each other for the other half of the price. When a group of friends are out to dinner, the check no longer needs to be split, because everybody at the table can just Venmo one person. Processing the charge from one account to another is instant, and the money is taken off of one person’s credit card an added to the other’s Venmo balance right away.

 

On campus organizations are also now adopting the app in order to increase sales for their events and to make getting involved much easier. When fraternities and sororities hold their events, they give the option of paying with cash or with Venmo, which helps to attract attendees outside of the Greek system who would not have known to carry cash in order to purchase a ticket to their events.

 

The ease of the app makes it so that university students no longer have to carry their wallets on a day-to-day basis, since cash is barely used anymore and students are now able to essentially carry their credit cards for immediate processing through their smartphones.

 

Venmo also has a social aspect to it. Users of the app are able to label and caption the charges and payments that they are making, and their friends who also use the app are able to read these captions (but not view the specific amounts that have been paid for privacy and safety reasons). This “news feed” of charges and payments creates an effect that borderlines being a form of social media. 

 

A person’s Venmo balance accumulates over time as their friends transfer money to them on the app. When somebody makes a payment, their balance is first charged, and if their balance is 0, then their credit card is charged for processing the payment. Users can also withdraw their Venmo balance and deposit their funds onto their credit card or into their bank account, with a processing time between 1 to 3 business days.

 

With its user-friendly interface, its instant processing, its ease of use, and the social aspect of the app, Venmo is quickly becoming more and more popular and its use is becoming more and more widespread. Clever captions fill the homepage, and friends and classmates are able to charge each other and pay each other back instantly with just the click of a button. 

Debit cards are a popular way to spend money in lieu of cash.  A debit card has direct access to your bank account and usually has spending limits and with draw limits at ATM’s of $300 per day.

But, the problem with debit cards is, even though in most cases, they are protected against fraud by your bank.  If you are using an EMV enabled debit card, you have more protection against fraud.  If your account is breached and money is taken from your account, that is your money.  It could take weeks or months to reclaim the money and have it put into your account.

If you use a debit card there are several things you should watch out for to keep your account safe.

  1. Bank Atm’s in lobbies after hours are not safe, do not use them. Thieves have been known to install skimming devices on the door locks where you insert your card to unlock the doors for access.  If you must use an ATM like this, insert a credit card to unlock the door, so there is no opportunity for people to access your bank account.
  2. Off brand ATM’s are very popular, in convenience stores, public event centers, etc. They are also a prime target for skimming devices that can steal your cards info and drain your bank account. Avoid them at all costs.
  3. Do not link your savings account to your debit card for an emergency. A single fraud incident could drain your savings as well as your checking account.
  4. Pre-paid cards should be used for online transactions. If you insist on using a debit card for online transactions, go purchase a reloadable debit card for online transactions.
  5. Change your pin code every month
  6. Never put your pin in your phone. More and more, our phones hold all of our personal information.  If you lose your phone, your identity is at risk.
  7. Your bank will offer you text and email alerts that will let you know if something strange is going on. Set them up with the bank.

Using all of these steps will not completely protect you from all fraud, but will give you a head start to protecting yourself from card fraud and identity theft.