If you are wondering how credit card processing works, this guide will provide you with an understanding of how credit card processing actually works through the magnetic stripe on your customer’s payment cards. This guide also covers the different types of credit card processing services including merchant account providers and their corresponding fees & rates.
In order to run a credit card through a traditional credit card processing machine, the magnetic stripe on the back of the card must be swiped through the machine. The machine will read the information on the magnetic stripe and send it off to the credit card company for authorization. If everything is okay, the credit card company will approve the transaction and the credit card processing machine will complete the transaction.
A traditional credit card processing machine has two parts, which includes an electronic keypad and an imprint or receipt printer. These machines are able to read the information on the customer’s payment cards through the magnetic stripe (credit card swipe). The magnetic stripe contains all of the information that is needed to complete the transaction, including the credit card number, the expiration date, and the CVV.
Merchant account providers are responsible for authorizing and completing credit card transactions on behalf of their clients (the merchants). When a customer wants to make a purchase, the merchant will key in the customer’s credit card information into the merchant account provider’s electronic keypad. The merchant account provider will then send this information off to the credit card company for authorization. If everything is okay, the credit card company will approve the transaction and the merchant account provider will complete the purchase.
- Gateway fees: Gateway fees are paid to a company that provides credit card processing services to an online merchant. The payment processor routes Internet transactions through secure servers and links to other financial institutions for clearing and settlement.
- Interchange fees: Interchange fees are paid to the financial institutions (bank) by a merchant account provider. For example, PayPal is responsible for paying interchange fees to Braintree (Paypal’s subsidiary).
- Processing costs: Processing costs is what merchants pay their credit card processing companies (merchant account providers). It’s the fee that covers the cost of card acceptance, including authorization, settlement, and chargeback management.
There are several things that merchants can do to reduce their processing costs. One way is to offer customers the option to pay with a debit card or cash. Another way is to use a payment gateway that offers lower rates for qualified transactions. Additionally, merchants should ensure that they are using a reputable merchant account provider with low processing rates. Finally, using an automated clearing house (ACH) can also help reduce processing costs.
An ACH is an electronic funds transfer system that allows businesses to make or receive payments electronically. This system is used to move money between businesses and consumers, as well as between banks. ACH transactions are usually cheaper and faster than traditional wire transfers.
Some benefits of using an ACH include lower processing costs, faster transaction times, and increased security. ACH payments are typically processed with no fees attached to them, while traditional wire transfers can have extremely high fees attached. Additionally, some merchant account providers offer free ACH transactions and discounts on the processing costs for the transaction. Finally, by using an ACH instead of a credit card swipe machine (credit card machine), merchants will benefit from increased security. This is because the customer’s information will not be stored on the merchant’s computer, which minimizes the risk of a data breach.