Different Types Of Merchant Services

No matter what size your business currently is, or if you operate at a physical location or solely online, there are many benefits that you can take advantage of if you hire the best bank merchant service providers to allow you to accept credit cards as a major form of payment. Not only will you be offering your customers a very convenient method of payment, but you will also be attracting a new clientele segment to your business, which is clearly a win/win situation.


Think about the last time that you used a check or cash to pay for either major or minor purchases. You probably prefer to pay with a credit or debit card because it is much more convenient and the charge typically goes through immediately, whereas checks can take quite some time to cash and be withdrawn from your bank account. For these reasons as well as many others, most customers prefer to pay for services and products with a credit card instead of with cash or check. If your business isn’t currently set up with the best bank merchant service and can’t take credit card payments, you are probably discouraging a lot of customers from purchasing products from you. To assist you in choosing the right bank merchant service companies to work with, here are a few of the different types of bank merchant service companies that you can choose from.


Your Bank


When you are looking for the best bank merchant service companies to work with, you probably don’t need to look any further than your own bank that you regularly do business with. Even though banks typically farm out this work to a third party, it can still be convenient to go through your bank instead of trying to decide what other merchant service company you would like to work with. When you set up a general business account with your bank it is a good idea to ask them if they provide merchant services as well.


Independent Sales Organizations


Independent Sales Organizations, or ISOs, represent banks as bank merchant service providers. Each ISO sets up an agreement with the bank that they are representing, and they act as a sort of “middle man” between the bank and the merchants that sign up for bank merchant service. They are usually given clearance to mark up bank merchant service fees when they sign up different merchant accounts so that they can make a profit. ISOs are very popular bank merchant service providers and are commonly used.


Registered Credit Card Broker


Registered credit card brokers are also sometimes known as independent sales organizations, but they typically represent several different ISO processors at once. Much like banks, registered credit card brokers don’t process the actual transactions, but instead set up accounts with merchant services that will take care of the transaction processing for them. For a small to medium-sized business that wants more personalized service, a registered credit card broker may be a good choice.


Credit Card Associations


Each different brand of credit card (such as MasterCard, Visa, American Express, etc) handles their credit card merchant accounts in a different way. Some won’t offer you credit card processing services unless you have already set up an account with some intermediary organization first. Other credit card associations are happy to work with you to directly set up merchant accounts, so choose the credit card association that will try to work with your needs.

merchant accounts

Various sorts Of Merchant Services


Merchant Account Ecommerce Services That Will Simplify Checkout And Increase Profits

Online shopping is more popular than ever. According to estimates from the Department of Commerce, online purchases account for close to 5 percent of the nation’s total retail purchases. While this may not seem like a lot, that translates to $53.1 billion in sales—and that’s just for the first quarter of 2012 when sales are typically down. The numbers consistently increased during the second and third quarters 0f 2012, generating $54 billion and $57 billion respectively in revenue. During the fourth quarter when Americans are feverishly comparing prices and completing their holiday shopping online, the numbers are expected to increase even more.


There are a number of reasons why consumers are turning to the internet to purchase goods and services. For starters, it is convenient. People can shop any time—day or night—from the comfort of their own home. Product availability is often better with more styles, sizes and models to choose from. It is also more convenient to do comparison shopping online rather than driving all over town. You might be surprised to learn that consumers don’t automatically purchase the item with the lowest advertised price, however. There are a number of other factors that affect their decision, including:


•             Quality and value

•             Ease of site navigation

•             Shipping charges

•             Customer service

•             Simplicity of checkout


While the first few items on the list are up to each individual business to establish, there are a number of merchant account ecommerce services that can help you improve the ease of checkout on your site and increase your sales.


Establish Trust


Shopping online can be risky. When consumers see that your business accepts all the major credit cards, however, it will establish trust in their minds. Instead of sending your customers to a third party site to complete the checkout process, choosing the best merchant account ecommerce will allow you to display the logos of MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express on your site. They will feel better about the security of your website and will be more likely to make a purchase.


Furthermore, shopping with a credit card online provides customers with better security. They know that they can easily obtain a refund or chargeback if there is a problem with the products they are purchasing. This process can be more difficult when using third party providers.


Show Total Cost


One of the most important things you can do to simplify the checkout process is to allow the customer to review their purchase and see what the total cost of that purchase will be simply by looking at their shopping cart. The total cost should also include the option to calculate what the shipping charges will be. Again, they will not be able to do this if you are sending them to another site to complete the payment process.


Gift Card Programs


One of the best merchant account ecommerce services offered is the administration of gift card programs.  Selling gift cards on your site is a great way to increase your customer base and build customer loyalty. Your regular customers will often buy gift cards and give them to their friends and family. In order to redeem the card, the recipient will have to visit your website or retail establishment; some new customers will feel more comfortable and secure making a purchase using a gift card rather than their own credit card, even if you do have the logos of major credit card companies displayed. In the meantime, you will earn interest during the gift card float. Many businesses also see profits from slippage, which refers to an unspent balance on the card. In order to reap the many benefits of gift cards, you will need to first set up an ecommerce merchant services account.


Customer Loyalty Cards


Similarly, another one of the best merchant account ecommerce solutions to make the checkout process easier is the use of customer loyalty cards. This allows you to track sales and the buying patterns of particular consumers. In exchange, you can offer them exclusive discounts and incentives based on their purchase history. All they have to do is enter in their loyalty number when checking out. To make the process even easier, you may want to consider offering consumers the option of establishing an account or checking out as a guest. The benefit of checking out using an account is that the customer can save information such as their address, customer loyalty number and credit card information. This will make quick work of the checkout process and give them an incentive to make future purchases on your website.


Opt-In E-mail Programs


Savvy marketers know that it costs less to retain an existing customer than it does to attract a new one.  For this reason, opt-in e-mail programs are very popular. With a merchant account for ecommerce, the company will help you capture customer information and use it for marketing purposes. You can quickly and easily notify your existing customer base of upcoming sales, promotions and events.  One word of advice when adding this merchant account ecommerce service to your checkout page: make sure the customer truly chooses to opt-in.  In a recent survey completed by Consumer Reports, one of the things that distinguished a good retailer from a mediocre retailer was whether or not the opt-in box was automatically checked. Customers considered it rude if they had to opt out rather than opt in.


Payment Options


Providing your customers with a number of payment options provides them with the ability to select the payment option best fit for them rather than restricting them. By providing them with credit card, debit card, eCheck, and ACH payment processing solutions you can maximize the opportunity to convert visitors into paying customers.


Save Items In Shopping Cart


One last thing that you can do to make the checkout process easier is to enable your site to save items in the shopping cart. Many companies that offer merchant account ecommerce services have customizable shopping carts that link directly to your merchant account. Through the use of cookies, they can enable the shopping cart to save items that customers have chosen but not yet purchased. Some can also set up an automated e-mail to remind customers to come back and complete their purchase, often including an added incentive to convert sales. When the customer returns to the site, they will not have to search for their items again; instead, they can simply enter payment information and check out.

ACH payment processing

Merchant A/C E-commerce Services which Will Simplify Checkout & Increase Profits


Understanding The Fee Structure For A Merchant Account

A merchant account payment is the checkout method used for validating a credit card for an online purchase.  This is an agreement between the online business owner as the acceptor and the merchant acquiring bank, which clears each credit card transaction with MasterCard, Visa, etc.  It is a key part of the online purchasing process, and must be completely streamlined and reliable in order to take each customer smoothly through the payment process.  The online business owner can also acquire merchant account payment services through an independent sales organization (ISO) or a merchant service provider (MSP) which are sponsored by member banks as third party providers.


Incorporating Merchant Services Into A Website


The portion of the checkout process where the customer submits his billing information is integrated into the business website software through an application programming interface (API) provided by the merchant account payment companies.  The API is made as simple as possible in order to encourage its use and minimize the burden on the merchant, but a moderate knowledge of web programming is still required.


The checkout process may instead involve the implementation of a payment gateway service into the equation as well.


Understanding Fee Schedules


To choose among the best merchant account payment companies, a merchant should carefully analyze the fee schedules.  These schedules differ significantly between the various merchant account providers, and the choice of provider will have a distinct effect on the net profits of the business.


To understand the philosophy behind the fee schedules, it’s important to understand that the merchant and the company providing the merchant services are on opposite sides of the table as far as fees are concerned.  The merchant would like to minimize the fees to maximize his ROI and the services firm would like to maximize the fees in order to bolster their revenues.  The basis of the fees are the transaction costs the member bank incurs, starting with the transaction costs mandated by the credit card companies, with a margin for profit added.


Understanding Your Business Risk Factor: Chargebacks


A second major component is the risk of fraud involved with receiving credit card payments.  On the fee schedule, this risk can be offset by an additional increase in fees.  Alternatively, member banks and third party ISO/MSPs may even choose to refuse to do business with certain companies having a high risk.


Each company hoping to contract merchant services must understand the risk he presents to his provider.  This risk comes in the form of a consumer protection method known as the chargeback.  This is distinctly different than the standard RMA process that a customer may use to notify the merchant of a problem and request a refund.  With a chargeback, the customer contacts the bank that issued his credit card, which in turn unilaterally enforces a return of funds without any say by the merchant at all.  With ethical use, the chargeback is only utilized as a last resort, after all negotiations with the merchant have failed.  At that point, the bank simply steps in and makes a command decision in favor of the customer.  In practice, unscrupulous customers take possession of the purchased item, and then perform a chargeback in order to get the item or service for free.


How To Analyze Your Company’s Susceptibility To Chargebacks


A high frequency of chargebacks generally happens to a company which offers a particular type of item.  For instance, chargebacks are a notorious hazard for companies that sell software.  After the software is installed, the customer can initiate a chargeback, and since there is no item to return and no method to verify that the software was uninstalled, the customer gains the product benefit for free and the merchant is defrauded.  This is particularly true for software that appeals to the teenage segment, and chargebacks occur with the pretext that a child stole a parent’s credit card.  For these reasons, a merchant must analyze his product and his customer demographics, and determine whether he is in a high risk category for fraudulent chargebacks.  Some companies have modified their business products and structure completely in order to protect their ability to qualify for the best merchant account payment services.


Perform A Detailed Fee Analysis To Finalize Your Choice Of Provider


Once payment gateway providers have dealt with their risk, and have determined several likely candidates to provide their services, the next step is to find the best merchant account payment firm in order to minimize fees.


To do an appropriate comparison, a good strategy for a merchant is to start with a spreadsheet containing their projected monthly revenues and expenses.  Although this sheet can be used as is with minor modifications, some businesses perform a more rigorous analysis by using the numbers that bracket the expected performance rather than representing the average.  In other words, there should be two sets of numbers for both sales and number of units sold: one representing a very conservative projection with somewhat pessimistic low values for sales and price, and the second representing an aggressive projection with optimistic values.  This analysis uncovers unexpected fee incurrence for merchant service providers.  Once your spreadsheet is setup in this way, you are ready to enter the numbers from each of your candidate’s fee schedules.


Terms Of Merchant Services


As you research your data, there are a few important terms that relate to merchant services.  First, there are three tiers of rate qualification: qualified, mid-qualified, and non-qualified.  Online merchants will not be rated as qualified, since the credit cards are not scanned physically.  Online portals are generally classified as mid-qualified meaning that the customers entered their credit card information manually.  The lesser rating allows for the possibility of typographical errors, or that the credit card is not physically with the customer.  Other merchants are rated non-qualified, often when their customers use corporate credit cards.  Each merchant services provider has their specific requirements for each classification and the associated fees.  These are the lowest for qualified customers.  Another important term is the basis point, which is 1/100 of a percentage point, and accounts for the lion’s share of the processing fee.  This fee combines with all the other fees and charges to form the total discount rate for the merchant.  The largest of these additional fees is the interchange, the transaction fees charged by the credit card companies.  This fee varies according to the particular credit card as well as the price and nature of the transaction.




Making a good choice for your merchant services firm involves learning the lingo, and incorporating the information from the fee schedules you’re your own company’s financials.  This will allow you to minimize fees for your company’s business process, and provide the smoothest payment gateway experience possible for your customers.

payment gateway providers

Understanding Feed Structure of A Merchant Account


Finding Quality Credit Card Processing Equipment

When setting up a business, there is often a checklist of tasks to complete before opening the store.  One such task is finding a business credit card machine, and setting up the merchant card services.  It is extremely important that your customers are given the option to pay with their credit or debit cards on the first day of business in order to capture as many sales as possible.  Having a reliable credit card machine and processing service is a crucial element involved in running a successful business.  By following a few simple steps, you can choose the best credit card processing equipment and service for your business.


Do Your Research


The first step in purchasing credit card machines is to determine which machines will give your business the capabilities that you desire.  Researching the various types of credit card terminals, and other necessary equipment is vital in understanding what you will need to help your business run smoothly.  Take note of the specific features that you would like to implement in your business.


Check the Ratings


Now that you know the best business credit card machine for your company, you can research which brands have received the highest ratings.  There are many websites online that will allow you to compare the various features of credit card terminals, as well as merchant service providers.  They will also provide ratings and reviews by industry experts, and business professionals.  This is where you can usually find the best business credit card machine ratings.  While many of these websites are created by third parties that have researched the companies and provide a non-biased review of their services, other websites are designed by merchant service providers themselves.


Another great way to find out which credit card terminals provide the features and services that you need is by asking local businesses that are comparable to yours.  If you are a small business owner, inquire with some other small business owners in your area to see which terminals they are using.  Ask them if they have any suggestions on how the different credit card terminals work.  Word of mouth can be one of the most helpful ways to find out which machines are high-quality and will work well in your industry.  The best business credit card machine reviews often come from industry colleagues and peers.


Find a Merchant Service Provider


Finding a merchant service provider that will give you access to the equipment and services that you need is simple.  By going online, you can find a wealth of information on service providers, including what each provider can offer your business and the types of equipment that they provide.  Whether you lease your credit card terminals or purchase them, a merchant service provider can help you get what you need to get started.  Here are some other features to look for when choosing a merchant service provider:


•             Look for the rates that are offered through each company.  Merchant service providers may require a monthly service fee, as well as a discount rate, transaction fee, statement fee, and a setup fee.

•             Inquire about their policies on transaction and monthly transaction processing limits.

•             Make sure that they are able to accept all of the credit card types that you want in your stores.  Different credit card types might have different fees and restrictions associated with them.

•             Be sure that you have round the clock access to funding deposits, chargeback reports, monthly statements, and settlement reports.

•             Determine whether or not the shopping cart being offered is compatible with your software.

•             Check into the fraud detection and security measures the company has in place.

•             Make sure that the company offers all of the features and services that you want to offer your customers, such as automatic recurring billing, and eCheck.

•             Be sure that they provide the credit card machines and other equipment that you have decided will be best for your business.


Fill Out an Application


You may want to fill out applications for several different merchant service providers in order to get a customized evaluation of what your rates will be with each company.  This will enable you to select the company that has the lowest rates available, while still providing the services you need.    Before you fill out your application online, make sure that the website you are using is secure.  You don’t want anyone to intercept your personal and financial information.  When filling out your application, make sure that you have the following information available:


•             General business information, such as address, type of business, phone, website, and owner information may be required.  Also, make sure that you have your business’s federal tax ID number on hand.

•             Since information specific to your business is used to determine what fees and discount rates will be applied to your service, specific information about your business may be required.  This includes the average dollar amount of your transactions, the volume of transactions that you have on a daily basis, and the estimated sales volume per month.

•             A credit check will be run on your business to determine whether or not you have a good payment history with your creditors.  Before you submit your applications, obtain a copy of your credit report, and review it carefully to ensure that everything is correct.

•             Your businesses financial information may be required, such as a routing number, and bank account number.


High Risk Merchants


A number of businesses are considered high-risk merchants, and may have a more difficult time getting approved for a merchant service account.  These industries include telemarketing, companion services, online dating, travel, pharmacy, timeshare companies, and high volume businesses just to name a few.  There are many situations which can categorize a business as high risk; however, it doesn’t mean that they cannot find a quality merchant service provider.  There are credit card processing companies that cater to high-risk clientele, and can help them receive the service that they need.


Whether you are in the restaurant industry, or the fuel industry, credit card terminals are necessary to allow your customers the option of electronic payment.  Providing exceptional customer service and giving your customers fast and accurate payment options is the perfect way to grow your business.

credit card processing

Finding the Quality Credit Card for Processing Equipment


Types of Payment Processing Services

The key to understanding payment processing lies in understanding the entire purpose of what payment processing does. Within business transactions there are often times cases where money must exchange hands. Whether the business is providing goods or services to consumers or to other businesses it is important to charge the client money for their use of the goods or services. The United States Dollar is the official currency used in the United States for the acceptance of payment. Payment processing addresses a need for being able to accept payments without having to actually accept physical money.


In our digital age there are very few times where actual cash exchanges hands. With bank accounts, online payment services, and the use of credit and debit cards these alternative methods of payment have actually become a commonplace occurrence. As a result, it is essential for anyone running or operating a business to understand how payment processing works. Each person will inevitably run into payment processing at one point or another.


Credit Card Processing


Credit card processing is the most commonly used method of accepting and providing payment between merchant and customer. Regardless of whether the customer is an individual or a business there is often a credit card involved in the transaction. A credit card is a plastic identification card provided by a card issuer linked to a line of credit. This line of credit allows for the person using the card to charge an amount to the card through general use under the assumption that they will pay the issuer back for the amount being charged.


In this example money is not exchanging hands between the customer and the merchant directly. Instead two parties are involved in the transaction. The card issuer and the credit card processor. The credit card processor will accept the money from the card issuer and send it to the bank account of the company accepting the payment. In the reverse side, the customer is expected at some point to make payments to pay for the goods or services they have charged to the credit card.


Check Processing


Checks are a more antiquated method of accepting and processing payment regarding the use of a check. A check is a specialized note provided by a bank or financial institution with instructions located on where the funds will come from. The check user will write the information on whom they are making payment to and how much. When the check is distributed to the company, they will sign the check and give it to the check processing company. The check processing company then ensures that the check has been distributed in good faith and then attempts to process the payment on behalf of the customer directly into the bank account of the company.


While this is not a direct transaction, the money directly leaves the bank account of the customer and is in the hands of the payment processor. The payment processor then inserts the payment directly into the bank account of the business providing the goods or services. This is generally a slower process than a credit card being processed since there are certain processes that must be followed, but the funds are transferred in a timely manner.


Automated Clearing House


The automated clearing house, often referred to as ACH processing, is another method of processing payment with the use of a common payment provider and the industry standard automated clearing house. The automated clearing house is a system set in place in the United States to facilitate banks to have a secure method of transferring funds from one bank to another. Through this method there are checks and balances to ensure that all transactions are being submitted to and from the correct parties and that both parties have given their consent to the transaction.


This generally involves the actual bank details and account details for both parties. The customer provides the party accepting the ACH payment whether it is the company directly or the payment processor on behalf of the company. The payment is processed by the payment processor on the ACH and the money is moved directly from one bank account to the other via ACH. The process is more direct than other payment processing methods but could take one to two business days before the process is resolved. It could take longer depending on the situation.




At the end of the day it is important to understand the pros and cons of different types of payment processing solutions. Regardless of which end of the payment process you’re on it is important to understand how many is being moved from one place to another.

ACH processing

Kinds of Payment Processing Services


5 Important Steps To Make Money As A Credit Card Processing Sales Agent

Credit card processing sales agents can make money.  The gig can have lots of perks including working from home, setting your own schedule, and being your own boss.  However, you need to do some research before signing up to be an agent for a credit card processing company.  Always read the fine print.  Remember that your job should pay you.  You should not have to pay your employer.  And, time is money.  The following is a brief step-by-step guide on how to get started on your path to becoming a successful sales agent.


Step 1:  Do some preliminary research


There are many credit card processing sales agent programs to choose from.  First, you need to find out what the best sales agent program would be for you.   Some programs are meant to be a very part-time gig for vendors that frequently use credit card processing programs.  With those, you can realistically make a little cash on the side by referring customers and recommending that other vendors become agents as well.   There are other sales agent programs that are designed to be a full-time, commission based job.  These programs would often involve canvassing, cold calling, and hard-core sales.  Although they require a larger time commitment, you have the possibility of earning a salary equivalent to that of a full-time job without having to deal with many of the things people dislike about full-time work (e.g. commuting, overbearing bosses, and schedule conflicts).  Do a web search for “best credit card processing agent program,” and go from there.


Step 2: Ask yourself if this is the right choice for you


Some people are natural at sales.  They not only feel comfortable talking to strangers, but they can talk to people that they have never met before as if they are best friends. They have a certain knack for saying the right thing at the right time and closing the sale.  When thinking about investing your time in a commission-based job, there are some questions you should ask yourself.


•             Do I like going to parties where I know almost no one else there?

•             Can I handle rejection without being crushed?

•             Am I a naturally driven person who likes to win?

•             Do I make friends easily?

•             Can I work well and put in the necessary hours with no supervision?


If you answered yes to most of these questions, becoming a sales agent might be a good career path for you.  If not, no worries.  Perhaps you just need to take your career in a different direction.  A career in sales is not for everyone.


Step 3:  Search for the right ACH processing company for you


After you have conducted a web search for the best agent program and decided that dedicating time to a career or part-time gig in sales in right for you, it is time to look closer at the top 3 payment processing companies that could be best.  Call a representative from each ACH processor to get a feel for how they operate and have a chance to ask questions.  Be sure to ask about sales quotas, estimated time commitments, and payment schedules and procedures.  The representative should be able to answer any questions that you have in a straightforward manner.  Be cautious if you get answers do not address your questions.  A reputable company should have nothing to hide about their sales agent programs.


You want to find a company that has a system for organization, does not ask you to cover out-of-pocket expenses directly related to the position as a sales agent, and has a clear and organized method of payment.  Some companies have a significant lag time between when you close a sale and when you receive your commission.  There is nothing overtly wrong with this system as long as it works for you.  Do not be hesitant to ask about payment procedures.  You need to be diligent and cognizant about choosing the company that offers the best sales agent program for you, especially if you have plans to make your earnings as a sales agent a significant part of your livelihood.


Step 4: Sign up and get started


Once you have chosen the company and sales agent program that is right for you, sign up and get started.  Like any job, there can be a learning curve.  Do not despair if you are not closing enough sales your first week.  Think about what you are doing that works and what does not.  In other words, learn from your mistakes as well as your successes.  Try to assess your performance across various aspects of the job.  Are you putting in enough time and effort while working independently?  What method of acquiring new customers works best?  Can you pinpoint anything you have said or done that has closed a sale or driven a potential customer away?  When you are acting as your own boss, you have to review your performance on your own.  Be candid with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses, and work to better your performance.


Step 5: Assess your decisions


A few months after you signed up to be a sales agent, think about whether or not your decisions are working for you.  First, ask yourself if you enjoy being a sales agent.  Most people can only do something they dislike for so long.  Typically, people that do not like their jobs are not particularly successful in them.  This can be a big problem when you are paid on commission.  Second, ask yourself if the sales agent program that you signed up for is right for you.  What do you like and dislike about the company and agent program you signed up for?  Do you think you could be more successful in a different sales agent program?


Sometimes it is important to think about what is best for yourself.  You deserve to find the right career path.  There are no one-size-fits all sales agent programs, just like not everyone is meant to have a career in sales.  There are a variety of jobs that can fit with your wants and lifestyle.  However, you absolutely have to put in the work, be honest and introspective, and complete ample research upfront to find the best fit for you.


 ACH processor

Five Important Steps To earn Money As A Credit Card Processing Sales Agent

An Introduction To Merchant Services

Every business relies on a number of different professional agencies, each of which provides any given business with a menu of necessary services.  Naturally, these agencies include plumbers, electricians, and the like as well as agencies such as banks, accountancy firms, marketing agencies, and law offices.  Even when a business has in-house accountants, marketers, and lawyers it is sometimes necessary to engage the services of an outside organization.


When you choose to meet your organization’s needs through the engagement of an outside agency, there are many questions that inevitably come up.  Many of the most common services are sometimes the least understood.  This is perhaps especially true of merchant services quickbooks and other specialized financial services provided by your bank.  Financial services are necessary for the smooth operation of your business and are available from the bank you hold a merchant account with.  To understand the value this bank account, here is some information about the most common merchant services and how they can go to work for you.


What are Merchant Services?


In brief, merchant services are particular services offered by banks to their commercial customers.  These services are directly related to doing business; each service helps an organization take care of the many diverse financial needs they have from day to day.  Everything from merchant services quickbooks integration to loans and advances may be offered by your bank.  Understanding these services a little better will help you get the most out of these services.  Knowing what your bank is doing for you enables you to work together to achieve greater results.


Common Merchant Services


You’ll find that the best merchant services quickbooks will fit into the operation of just about any business.  The most common merchant services that a bank offers their commercial clients are related to the acceptance and processing the many forms of payment a business can choose to accept.  Such services include:


•             Credit and debit card processing

•             Check conversion and guarantee (and automated clearing house services where offered)

•             Provision of payment gateway services (required for credit card acceptance)

•             Merchant cash advances

•             Point of sale system management and assistance


More About Merchant Cash Advances


A merchant cash advance is a service used by many business owners.  Large and small organizations can benefit from having some extra funds; this is especially true of startups and other small businesses.  To get a cash advance, a merchant customer must meet with their banker to discuss how much the advance will be.  In this sense it is similar to a loan but instead of making monthly payments on the principle and interest, the merchant agrees to give the bank a certain percentage of their credit card sales.  This method of repayment is easier for many merchant account holders because the entire process is completely automated.  There’s no need for them to keep track of any paperwork or loan account information.


Since the cash advance will be repaid with a certain percentage of money earned by the business, the term ‘withholding’ is used.  There are three types of withholding generally associated with merchant cash advance services.  These are split, ACH, and trust bank account withholdings (sometimes referred to as lock box withholdings).  Split withholdings are the most common.  When a credit card payment is made, the agreed-upon percentage (usually between 10% – 22%) is automatically set aside by the credit card processing company.  The transaction then proceeds as usual.  In a lock box withholding, the total from all credit card sales is placed into a separate bank account by the finance company that made the advance; the agree-upon percentage is deducted and then the remaining money is wired to the merchant’s own bank account.  This is method of withholding is less popular because there is a delay of one business day before the deduction and transfer occurs.


Other Valuable Merchant Services


While most businesses are likely to need a number of the common merchant services made available by their bank, certain businesses will have need of more specialized services, such as the best merchant services quickbooks integration.  These can include:


•             Loyalty card programs

•             Gift card issue and acceptance

•             Direct mail and email marketing

•             Age verification for the sale of age-restricted goods (alcohol, tobacco products, etc.)

•             Acceptance of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards (used by people enrolled in supplementary nutrition programs, income assistance, and related programs)


More About Loyalty Card Programs


Loyalty cards came into common use more than a decade ago.  These free plastic cards are made available to customers who offer basic contact information (usually their name, telephone number, and mailing address) during the registration process.  Two versions of the loyalty card are then issued, one that is the size of a credit card, the other that’s small enough to slip on a key ring.  The customer’s card has a barcode on it that is entirely unique.  During checkout, the customer presents their loyalty card which entitles them to additional savings, points that go towards a bonus program, and other shopping incentives.  The barcode is scanned and the transaction begins.


Certain store credit cards can also be considered a type of loyalty card.  Those these cards function exactly like a standard credit card, the incentives offered by that credit card directly relate to the store that issued it.  These incentives are similar to those offered by standard loyalty card programs and include enrollment on a members-only coupon mailing list, access to special products, seasonal discounts, and other perks.


Loyalty programs are popular among many merchants because they do away with older incentive programs that required customers to collect punches, ink stamps, or adhesive stamps on a small paper card.  Customers struggled to keep track of these cards, many of which did not include the terms of service; this led to misunderstandings and conflicts with merchants.  Merchants didn’t like these cards because they were difficult to manage and expensive to upkeep.  New electronic loyalty cards work much better.  The plastic cards are durable and, if lost, a replacement one can be issued and connected to the customer’s existing account.  If a customer left their loyalty card behind, their account can be looked up by telephone number.  There are many benefits to initiating a loyalty card program and your bank can help you with the set up.


Beyond Checking and Savings


Your relationship with your preferred merchant bank goes far beyond access to conventional checking and savings account.  The best merchant services quickbooks can serve just about any business; even the less common merchant services can benefit many businesses at work today.  To learn more about these and other valuable services, simply speak with a representative from your financial institution.

merchant services

Introduction To Merchant Services