Credit Card Payment Systems

Credit card payment systems are changing how America does business here and around the world and the rest of that world is following suit. The companies that offer the processing of credit card processing act as middlemen between merchants who sell goods and services and banks who back the credit card purchases. Until recently, checks and cash ruled the retail world, but it is now charge or plastic (evidence by the trillions of dollars Americans hold in wallet plastic debt) and debit plastic that rule the purchasing world. And these purchases are all run through charge plastic and debit card payment processing services. Merchants and businesses pay the clearing houses for each plastic transaction and in many cases, an additional monthly fee.

Even as few as twenty years ago, many small businesses did not take charge cards and certainly did not take debit plastic. If a person walked into Mom and Pop's Pure Maple Syrup Store, there certainly could be a sign above the cash register touting "No Plastic, Cash Only" as the philosophy behind the store's success. Keeping prices low by not dealing with wallet plastic fees and bounced checks would have been a source of pride. But when Uncle Jim and Aunt Sue's Better Maple Syrup Shoppe opened a mile down the road, that business started taking charge cards and debit plastic and it was off to the races because a whole new breed of customer walked into that establishment. Consequently, Jim and Sue, who weren't really an uncle or an aunt, signed up for one of the credit card payment systems offered on the Internet, and soon joined the service's debit card payment processing optional service. And in a country where charging was easy and paying out of a checking account without paper was really popular, the parking lot of was full and Mom and Pop, twenty three year old newlyweds had a lot of time wiping down the cobwebs in their very lonely store.

So Mom and Pop got busy looking into plastic processing. The two discovered that almost one hundred percent of all businesses can get the services of debit and credit card payment systems, but not all of the businesses will pay the same fees to the processing center. These particular services are very careful about offering the best rates only to low risk merchant accounts. Low risk merchant accounts include would include such businesses as retail establishments offering in-person charge card swipes(like Uncle Jim and Aunt Sue's business), restaurants, hotels and motels and home based businesses. All of these types of commerce have had long track records of not packing up and leaving overnight. They historically receive lower interest rates and lower processing fees for charge and debit transactions. So Mom and Pop had a business that could receive the same low risk merchant account and Aunt Sue and Uncle Jim.

Credit card payment systems also offer services to high risk merchants, but at much higher rates and fees. Trying to figure out who might be a high risk merchant will probably have little to do with a business owner's own credit history, or whether or not the owner has been in jail or some other factor. Instead, the credit card payments systems will look to see if a business might have an easy time of packing up and splitting during the night, somewhat like the famous football team did years ago leaving out of a large northern Ohio city literally at night for an eastern shore city. Common reputations among certain business ventures are quickly formed when trying to assign high risk and low risk status. But to make in the American market, an owner will have to bite the bullet and pay whatever fees are required because the days of cash only certainly have gone the way of black and white television.

Down came the" No Charge Cards" sign and the young couple hired a seventy five year old ex actress to stand outside and wear a "We Take All Plastic" sandwich sign, and soon Mom and Pop's trade was back with a vengeance because they opened up a pancake eatery to showcase their maple syrup. This business savvy couple learned that credit card payment systems and the twin counterpart, debit card payment processing services were critical to twenty first century commerce. There are some very helpful services that come along with these companies. These services offer charge card security checks before the transaction is completed and handle chargeback issues (refunds) for the merchant as well as disputes of payment between customer and merchant. "Heaven and earth shall pass away but my words shall not pass away." (Luke 21:33)

"Ya gotta give 'em what they want" is certainly an American business creed as evidenced by debit card payment processing. It's true for television, grocery stores, autos, sports and just about anything in American life. The United States is not exactly about sitting back and waiting for something better to come along; most of us want the something better now. The Bible teaches that wise people sit back and allow God to do with them what He wills, good or bad, because there is definitely something very good in the future that is well worth waiting for. Perhaps a more biblical view of life would bring more joy. If a business wants to make money, one must use credit card payments systems, but if a person wants real happiness, rest in life's circumstances. There is something a whole lot better coming soon.

Ecommerce information management is an important part of doing business on the Internet, and since there are so many people now engaged in some kind of online business, quite a number of management firms have now been created. A business owner can order software from these companies that will provide assistance and ideas, or call one of the telephone numbers that come up at these websites to get information. Ecommerce information systems will include ways to make a website more attractive to prospective customers that may include new graphics, snappy descriptions of merchandise, and simplicity in the buying process, any and all of which will help get the business transactions done.

Shopping carts are part of the ecommerce information management, and they should fulfill the needs of both the customer and the merchant. The customer wants his purchase to be easy. There shouldn't be too many steps between a decision to buy and the actual purchase of the merchandise. Credit card and other personal information should be secure. Customers need to know their personal information isn't going to be shared with others. Speed and convenience is crucial to getting new customers and keeping customers coming back. Just as a customer doesn't want to be kept waiting in a store while a clerk finishes a personal phone call, customers at online stores want to be taken care of with all the speed possible.

The store owner has his own requirements of the shopping cart he installs on his website as part of his ecommerce information management. Every item in the store should be clearly identified, and the shopping cart program should keep track of every one of those items. It should also keep track of the customers who come into the store to shop. The program should total the merchandise in the buyer's cart, handle local taxes, shipping costs, and any discounts or special offers that are in place. In other words, the shopping cart system should be flawless and secure.

Catalogs are a part of ecommerce information management, just as they are a part of any merchant's selling techniques. Posting catalogs online with photos of the products is an effective selling tool. Just as in a print catalog, all the information on a product is posted for the customer's benefit. Color choices, sizes available, special features of electronic products, or a complete list of services provided are all things a customer needs to know when looking for a product online. Following that, it should be simple to make the purchase and expect delivery within a reasonable time. Good customer relations will result in successful business growth, no matter what kind of business.

Just as a businessman must pay for newspaper or magazine ads, radio or TV spots to advertise his business to the general public, there are costs associated with hosting programs that help business growth online. Ecommerce information systems are available for reasonable monthly rates so that the businessman doesn't have to be doing all these things himself. The merchant needs to be taking care of the supply and demand end of the business by keeping the merchandise on hand as advertised, and shipped to the customers as promised.

When a business is connected to one of the ecommerce information systems, the teamwork between the two determines the success of the partnership. As with any business arrangement, it is wise to check out any company under consideration as an assistant with an Internet company by calling the Better Business Bureau. The old standby, word of mouth recommendations, are always helpful as well. If someone known to a business owner is in a contract with that company, ask how the relationship has been. One can usually get a better picture of how it will be through a client. Trust is the foremost ingredient in any relationship. The trust Christians have in the Lord is above all other. " The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust" (Ruth 2:12).

Ecommerce information management is at the crux of every successful business plan where the Internet is concerned. Part of that information is the number of browsers who visit a website without buying. Knowing there are a great many more visitors than buyers may tell a businessman there are changes that need to be made, whether it's in the design of the website, or in the merchandise being carried. Any business needs to take stock of where it is in the marketplace periodically, and the ecommerce information systems allow quick perception of the business shortcomings that need to be addressed.

Electronic Funds Transfer

Computer-based electronic funds transfer (EFT) has revolutionized the way banks and consumers transact financially. To avoid the security risk of handling millions in cash, financial institutions prefer electronic transactions; and depositors are following suit. Television commercials extolling the virtues of a society which operates solely on credit cards versus cash may be fictional, but not far from reality. As e-commerce and e-banking increase, consumers and corporations are finding that making purchases, paying bills, and making installment payments is much easier and more secure when transacted electronically. From electronic money transfer (EMT) and online banking, to wire transfers and cash advances, savvy spenders have moved away from paper to digital dollars; and it just makes plain sense.

Dealing in cash carries a myriad of problems, security being the foremost concern. Handling large sums of paper money can be dangerous; and thieves are always lurking to relieve the owners of it. Once it's stolen, cash is extremely difficult if not impossible to recover. To alleviate the possibility of stolen paper money or the difficulty in obtaining letters of credit, the London Credit Exchange Company first issued traveler's checks in 1772 to wealthy nobles. The average Joe began using them consistently in the twentieth century. Modern day traveler's checks, purchased at face value at a depositor's local bank, can be used at home and abroad and easily traced and recovered in case of theft or loss. In the 1950s, banks began issuing credit cards to qualifying depositors; and electronic money transfer began to take center stage. Today, card-based electronic funds transfer has become the norm, not only in the world of banking, but also in the lives of the average consumer. Just as electronically transferring funds is a more excellent way of transacting business, so was Jesus Christ sacrificed to afford mankind a more excellent way of obtaining eternal redemption. "For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:13-14)

Individuals routinely use plastic cash instead of paper to pay for everything from toothpaste to technical college. Online, mail order, and telemarketing purchases are easy using e-money; with no fear of losing funds without recourse. Dissatisfied customers can have monies refunded via electronic money transfer and avoid the hassle of waiting weeks for merchants to make good on damaged or inferior products. Businesses have gone paperless with direct deposit employee payroll payments; and monies go directly into employees' checking accounts. Most cash-free consumers prefer making online electronic bill payments or direct debits, especially for big ticket installment accounts, such as automobile, furniture, appliance, education, or home loans.

Electronic funds transfer is not just for bank account holders. Immigrants working in the United States routinely take advantage of electronic money transfer services located in shopping centers to send funds back home. Wire transfers are much safer and quicker than sending cash or checks through the mail which, in some parts of the globe, may never reach its destination. A safe and secure system of legally transporting millions of dollars across state and international boundaries, EMT enables ordinary individuals to bypass the normal red tape associated with handling large sums of cash. Money sent electronically can usually be picked up at a destination city within minutes of wiring. Any consumer over the age of 18 can utilize EFT using several available services which provide wire transfers for a small fee, much less than those offered through domestic and foreign banking networks.

Bank cardholders can complete almost any financial transaction seamlessly via electronic funds transfer. In addition to credit card payments for products and services, cardholders may receive refunds for overpayments or returns transacted with retail merchants or financial institutions. Cardholders may also use EFTs for withdrawing funds at an ATM (automatic teller machine), or to get a cash advance against a major credit card. Deposits to cardholder accounts can be transacted electronically, moving money from card balances to an existing account. Some depositors choose to use EFTs for cashbacks at the point of sale to access a little spending money when making a purchase at the checkout terminal.

Another advantage of using electronic funds transfer is the ease with which accounts can be managed. Instead of trying to balance a regular checking account or keep track of expenditures with pen and paper, smart cardholders can simply make inquiries at an ATM machine using a PIN and plastic. Computer-generated balance sheets accessed online include available funds, a statement of each transaction, card issuer fees, administrative costs, and information on existing linked accounts, such as checking, savings and money markets. One advantage of using EFT inquiries is that there are no embarrassing moments at the cash register; 24/7 access to account balances keeps cardholders abreast of potential overdrafts.

Consumers who want to get in on the electronics money transfer band wagon can apply for a secured or unsecured credit card and begin using electronic money transfer almost immediately. A secured card is backed by a cardholder's bank deposits and limited to available funds on hand. Unsecured cards are limited by the issuer's confidence in the cardholder's ability to repay funds on loan through the issuing bank or company. Both cards are linked to a special savings account, and funds can be accessed, transferred, deposited, or withdrawn electronically. In addition to the convenience of using plastic cash for paying for everything from dinner and dancing to orthodontics and oboes, today's consumer is simply attuned to Internet dynamics. Anyone over the age of thirty may have a problem maneuvering in cyberspace, but youngsters cut their eye teeth on technology. Navigating through a global economy is just a natural progression towards a more excellent way to obtain goods and services.

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