• What is a Merchant Account ?

    What is a Merchant Account? Are you a retail merchant selling your products in a physical store or on-line? Do you run a food service operation? Do you offer a repair service? Whatever your business, you’ll need to be prepared when your customer asks you that all-important question: “Do you take credit cards?” A merchant…

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  • Can I Accept Foreign Issued Credit Cards?

    Can I Accept Foreign Issued Credit Cards? In short, yes. Once you have a merchant account, you can process credit cards from just about any issuing bank, regardless of where it is located. Now for the long version. . . Unless you have a business in a tourist area or operate an ecommerce business, chances…

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  • How Can I Accept American Express?

    How Can I Accept American Express Cards? Each merchant account provider has what they call a default set of credit card brands they process. Most providers process Visa and MasterCard transactions, and many can also process Discover Card transactions. But it’s not common to find a merchant account provider who includes American Express transactions as…

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  • What is Batch Processing?

    What Is Batch Processing? Batch processing is a method used to process a day’s worth of credit card transaction all at once. The term batch processing, or batching out, actually originated long before credit card processing terminals, processing software, or electronic payment gateways were ever conceived. Back in the days when computers used punched cards…

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  • What Is MDR?

    What is a Merchant Discount Rate (MDR)? Processing credit cards is a service, and, like any service, there is a cost involved. When asking what is MDR consider the fee charged by the bank that manages your merchant account to process your credit card transactions. Your merchant discount rate is a fixed percentage based on…

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  • What Is an Online Payment Gateway?

    What Is An On-Line Payment Gateway? When asking what is an online payment gateway, think of it as a virtual service used to process credit cards for your business through an internet connection rather than a traditional phone line dial-up system. It acts as the electronic communications link between your ecommerce business, your bank and…

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  • What Is Required To Get A Merchant Account?

    What Is Required To Get A Merchant Account? You’re almost ready for the grand opening of your new business. All that’s left is to find a way to accept credit card payments. You did your homework, you found out what is required to get a merchant account that seems to fit your needs, and you…

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  • What Does Bundled Fees Mean?

    What Does Bundled Fees Mean? The term bundled fees for credit card processing seems rather self-explanatory. When answering the question what does bundled fees mean, you should consider separating out all the fees that make up the cost of credit card processing, the processor charges one rate that covers all the fees. How do processors…

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  • What Is An Assessment Fee?

    What Is An Assessment Fee? There are a number of fees that determine your total credit card processing costs. The answer to what is an assessment fee is related to the charge against your monthly sales volume. Visa, MasterCard and Discover each have set a small, flat-rate percentage that is charged against the total of…

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  • How Do I Accept Credit Cards For My Business?

    How Do I Accept Credit Cards For My Business? To understand how do I accept credit cards for my business as payment for merchandise or services, the requirements are that, as a business owner, you will need: A merchant account Processing Equipment With these basics you will be set to process credit cards. Sounds simply,…

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  • What Is The Wholesale Rate For Credit Card Processing?

    What Is The Wholesale Rate For Credit Card Processing? Using the term “wholesale” when referring to credit card processing rates can be confusing, that’s why understanding what is the wholesale rate for credit card processing is so important. Usually when we think about buying wholesale, what comes to mind is buying in bulk to resell,…

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  • Why Are Debit Card Rates Cheaper Than Credit Card Rates?

    Why Are Debit Card Rates Cheaper Than Credit Card Rates? To process credit and debit cards, a merchant must establish a merchant account with a financial institution or third-party processor. In order to understand why are debit card rates cheaper than credit card rates, you should know that there are processing fees associated with each…

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  • Processor Compatibility

    Is My Terminal Compatible With Any Processor? The short answer is No, your point-of-sale terminal is not compatible with every processor. Processor compatibility is determined by which terminal will work with their system, so be sure to ask before you contract with a new credit card processing company. The good news is that more and…

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  • What Will It Cost Me To Accept Credit Cards?

    How Much Will It Cost Me To Accept Credit Cards? To understand what will it cost me to accept credit cards, check the credit card processing providers fees. They must charge as dictated by the credit card brands and fees they charge for their services. Let’s start with the fixed charges. Interchange and Assessment Fees…

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  • What Should I Look For In A Credit Card Processor?

    What Should I look For In A Credit Card Processor? When trying to find out what should I look for in a credit card processor, take into consideration that all credit card processing companies perform the same basic service in the credit card processing transaction. Once your buyer swipes his credit card at your POS…

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  • What Are Interchange Fees?

    What Are Interchange Fees? Interchange fees are a part of the cost of doing business. Not the answer you were expecting, is it? But that’s what it boils down to, and as a business owner it’s important to keep this answer in mind as you read further. Basically an interchange fee is the portion of…

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  • What is Chargeback?

    What is Chargeback? In the world of credit card processing, there's one word that strikes fear in the hearts of merchants: chargeback. Okay, so maybe "fear" is a little strong, but certainly confusion surrounds the issue of credit card chargebacks. Whether you're doing business in a physical location, or you sell your merchandise or services…

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  • What is PCI Compliance?

    What is PCI Compliance? Oh no… your company’s website just had an SQL Injection and you don’t have an SSH or an SSL in place! Confused? It means your company’s electronically stored credit card data has been compromised. Credit card information theft and subsequent credit card fraud is on the rise, and your customers depend…

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  • What is Data Breach Insurance?

    What is Data Breach Insurance? Data breach insurance, also known as cyber liability or cyber risk insurance, covers the costs incurred by your business in the event your electronically-stored data is compromised. Cyber hacking is being referred to by the media as a growing threat to any business that electronically transmits and/or stores confidential customer…

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  • What Does EMV Mean?

    What Does EMV Mean? EMV, taken from the initials of the developers Europay, Mastercardand Visa, is a technical standard for processing credit card payments being adopted around the world based on embedded-chip technology verses the old credit card magnetic stripe. Compliance with this standard ensures merchant credit card terminals are universally compatible with credit cards…

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  • What is NFC-Enabled Terminal?

    What Is An NFC-Enabled Terminal? To understand what an NFC-enabled terminal is, you first have to know what NFC technology is. NFC,which stands for Near Field Communications, is a secure,short-range wireless communication technology that lets two devices,that are both NFC enabled, exchange information. Think of NFC as a kind of radio frequency with 2 basic…

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  • How Do I Get a Mobile Card Reader?

    How Do I Get a Mobile Card Reader? If you remember using those bulky manual credit card imprint machines, chances are you were operating a business long before smartphones came on the scene. At one time, running a paper imprint of a credit card was the only way to accept credit card payments in the…

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  • How Long Does It Take To Receive My Money?

    How Long Does It Take To Receive My Money For Credit Card Transactions? Your credit card processor will be able to give you an answer to the question how long does it take to receive my money from a credit card transaction. The usual answer is “within 24 to 48 hours”. That timeframe can be…

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  • What is a Virtual Terminal?

    What Is A Virtual Terminal? A virtual payment terminal is the software equivalent of an actual credit card processing terminal. It’s an on-line form used to manually input credit card data for processing. Since this “terminal”, or input point, is accessed on-line, you can process credit card payments anywhere, anytime, from a computer or mobile…

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  • What Is An Acquiring Bank?

    What Is An Acquiring Bank? An acquiring bank, sometimes referred to as the processing bank, is one of the key players among the team that works to get you the funds from a credit card transaction. And what is their role? To understand what an acquiring bank is, you should know that it acts as…

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  • What is AVS?

    What is AVS? AVS stands for Address Verification System, an added level of credit card security provided by credit card issuers to detect suspicious credit card usage. Simply put, it’s a way for business owners to check if the person presenting a credit card as payment for your merchandise or services is actually the authorized…

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  • How Do I Understand The Interchange Fee Schedule For Visa ?

    How Do I Understand The Interchange Fee Schedule for Visa? When answering how do I understand the interchange fee schedule for visa, you should know that interchange fees are established by the individual credit card brands. These rates are the same for all merchants. Most providers pass these rates on to the merchant at no…

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  • What is a Cross Border Fee?

    What Is A Cross Border Fee? A cross border fee is the fee charged to a merchant when a customer uses a credit card as payment for purchases or services from an issuing bank not located in the same country as the merchant’s processing account. Let’s see if we can make that a little easier…

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  • What is a NABU Or APF Fee?

    What is a NABU or APF fee? Every industry has its share of acronyms. But in 2009, the credit card processing industry was hit with two unwelcome additions to their alphabet soup of abbreviations. On April 18, 2009, MasterCard implemented a new fee, the Network Access and Brand Usage fee (NABU). And following right on…

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  • What is an On-line Shopping Cart?

    What is an On-Line Shopping Cart? At its basic level, an on-line shopping cart is pretty self-explanatory: it’s the virtual version of the standard-issue metal grocery store shopping cart, that’s used by your on-line customers to “hold” their selected items until they’re ready to check out. But that’s where any similarity ends. An on-line shopping…

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  • Why Does American Express Cost So Much?

    Why Does American Express Cost So Much? Before we answer the question, let’s flesh it out a bit. The real question here is: Why does it cost merchants more to process American Express credit card transactions than it does to process MasterCard and Visa transactions? The answer is simple. American Express operates on a different…

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  • How Do I Get Out Of My Merchant Account Agreement?

    How Do I Get Out Of My Merchant Account Agreement? Your best solution is going to be to select a merchant account provider that does not require you to sign a contract. However, if you already have a contract with a merchant account provider follow these steps: 1. Read your contract. It will clearly state…

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  • How Much Does PayPal Charge To Process Credit Card Sales?

    How Much Does PayPal Charge To Process Credit Card Sales? PayPal is a full-service, internet merchant account service specifically designed to allow you to process credit card payments on-line. Like any merchant account, PayPal does charge a fee to the seller for this service. But most businesses owners will agree that these fees are actually…

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  • Why Do Processing Companies Charge Early Termination Fees (ETF)?

    Why Do Credit Card Processing Companies Charge Early Termination Fees (ETF)? There are a number of reasons given as to why credit card processing companies assess a fee if you choose to terminate your contract before it expires. This fee is referred to as an Early Termination Fee (ETF) and may be used: 1. To…

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  • What Is A Merchant Category Code (MCC)?

    What Is A Merchant Category Code (MCC)? A merchant category code, or MCC, is a four-digit number assigned to your business that defines what products or services you offer. If you do not already have a number assigned to your business, you will be assigned one by the credit card associations when you’re approved for…

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  • What Is A Merchant Reserve?

    What Is A Merchant Reserve? By definition, a reserve is an amount of something set aside to meet some expected or unexpected future need for it. In the credit card processing industry, that unexpected need comes in the form of chargebacks, returns, and processing fees that become the responsibility of the credit card processor if…

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  • What Is An Issuing Bank?

    What Is An Issuing Bank? Basically, an issuing bank is a bank that issues consumer credit cards. These banks are members of credit card associations, such as MasterCard and Visa. Credit cards are not issued directly from the credit card associations. They are issued through these member banks, known as issuing banks. But that’s just…

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  • What Is The Best Credit Card Processor For A Small Business?

    What Is The Best Credit Card Processor For A Small Business? Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the best small business credit card processor of all? It would be nice if it were that simple… Choosing a credit card processing company can be confusing at best, but it can become very costly if you don’t…

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  • What Are Decline Codes?

    What Are Decline Codes? A decline code is just that: the response you get when your customer’s issuing bank turns down a payment transaction. The most widely used decline code is 05, though sometimes is appears with a letter or more zeros in front of the 5. Code 05 is the generic bank decline code…

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  • How Can I Accept Gifts Cards For My Business?

    How Can I Accept Gifts Cards For My Business? It’s simple really. As long as you have a merchant account, you can accept gift cards from your Point-Of-Service terminal, or through most ecommerce processing programs. But before we cover the specifics, you have to understand how the different types of gift cards work. There are…

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  • What Is A Billing Descriptor?

    What Is A Billing Descriptor? A billing descriptor is simply the way your business name appears on your customer’s monthly credit card statement. So, you’re probably saying to yourself, “No need to read on…a billing descriptor is just the name of my company. What else do I need to know?” Actually, there’s a lot more…

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  • What Is Interchange Plus Pricing?

    What Is Interchange Plus Pricing? Interchange plus pricing is a credit card transaction pricing structure that includes a fixed markup by the credit card processor added to the interchange fees charged by the credit card brand associations. Let’s break interchange plus pricing down to its two main components: Interchange Rates and the “Plus”. Interchange Fees…

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  • How Do I Understand The Interchange Fee Schedule for MasterCard?

    How Do I Understand The Interchange Fee Schedule for MasterCard? MasterCard’s interchange fee is the fee paid by your bank to your customer’s bank for their part in the process of transacting a credit card payment. Each credit card brand sets their own interchange and this fixed amount is paid by your credit card processor…

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  • What Is The Difference Between Debit Cards and Credit Cards?

    What Is The Difference Between Debit Cards and Credit Cards? For the merchant, it boils down to two things: 1. The cards are processed differently. 2. They have different fees. Based on just these two points, the winner would be debit cards, because the overall fee for a simple, debit card transaction is less than…

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  • What Is A Tiered Pricing Structure?

    What Is A Tiered Pricing Structure? Tiered pricing structure, sometimes referred to as bundled pricing, is a type of rate structure used by credit card processors. A tiered pricing structure usually has three levels of transactions: qualified, mid-qualified and non-qualified transactions and each processor set their own fees for each level. These fees are in…

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  • What Is A Qualified Processing Rate?

    What Is A Qualified Processing Rate? A qualified processing rate, sometimes referred to as the swipe rate, is one classification of rates a merchant is charged to process a credit card transaction. This rate is part of a three-tiered fee model most offered by the credit card processing industry. The other rates are referred to…

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  • What Happens If I’m Not EMV Ready By The October Deadline?

    What Happens If I’m Not EMV Ready By The October Deadline? Starting October 1, 2015, liability for any fraudulent credit card charges default to the party in the payment process that is the least EMV compliant. Presently, if you process a payment on a fraudulent card, the bank absorbs the cost. But once the deadline…

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