Christian Credit Card Merchant Services
A Christian credit card merchant service allows a business to offer consumers immediate bank transactions that are reliable and encrypted to prevent any security breach. "The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour" (Proverbs 21:25). Business owners shouldn't be lazy, but work to determine what their customers need and what is most useful. These services tend to be very convenient by allowing cashless transactions. The merchant, perhaps using an account provider, maintains an account at a financial institution and is willing to pay extra and wait 2-3 days for payment to reach his business account. Credit card merchant services are one of the conveniences a business can offer customers who are less likely to carry cash and more likely to spend liberally with a card. More and more, these services include Internet transactions through a secure payment gateway as well. All of this for about a $100 processing fee or an agreement to purchase proprietary software or equipment or pay higher transaction fees, just so that a customer can have an added convenience and a monthly record of expenditures on their account statement. This way, each "charge" transaction seem easy and instantaneous, but credit card merchant service is actually very involved.
Shoppers can go to the check out counter or web shopping cart with "plastic" instead of cash because of credit card merchant services. At a business, the merchant provides a device for shoppers to enter all relevant account information (number, expiration date, amount of purchase). On the Internet, a specialized form connects to the website host's secure server, and information from both transactions flows to the merchant's processing bank. Consumers may be unaware that the credit card merchant service charges a fee for each transaction, paid by the business who passes the cost on to customers in higher prices, just to make sure the card is valid and that funds are available to pay the bill. If all is well, the service provides an authorization code back to the processor, sends permission through encryption, and the transaction order is fulfilled. That is when the customer gets a receipt.
To offer customers this convenience, most business owners are familiar with credit card merchant services allowing them to process the payment from a counter terminal, an internet virtual terminal, or by phone. It only takes 24 hours to a few weeks to set up an account; the longer time is needed for international accounts. Every month, the business is billed a processing fee unless sales are over a certain a few thousand dollars. Businesses will pay more for all transactions that are over the Internet, phone, or through the mail because it is less secure than a face-to-face transaction where ID can be seen. Behind the scenes, credit card merchant services provide every business owner with the capability of expanding sales, but the reverse is true as well. A business without a credit card merchant service is almost outdated.
A credit card merchant is able to expand their client base by offering customers a more convenient and more secure purchasing option through credit cards. Those who are interested in accepting this payment method might be turned off by the fees that processing services take out of profits; however, the amount saved in more efficient processing and collections often makes the switch more advantageous. To begin accepting Visa and other cards, merchants must purchase a standard machine or virtual terminal over the Internet. Then it is necessary to sign with transaction providers who will process transactions for credit card merchants.
Becoming a business which accepts this payment method typically results in a much faster turnaround on customer payment and invoicing. For credit card merchants, a credit card transaction is processed and deposited into their bank account in less than a week as opposed to invoicing customers which can yield 30-60 day payment turnaround times. Those who are planning to expand their business operations to the Internet may find that accepting this payment method is an absolute necessity. They can accept cards over the Internet without becoming a credit card merchant themselves via third parties like PayPal. These third parties accept the payments on the business's behalf, but the business owners lose out on the expedited processing time. Plus, these third parties typically have slightly higher fees.
To find a transaction provider who will handle the processing of such payments, business owners should first check with the bank they already do business with. Most banks offer credit card merchant account services. Banks can be stingy regarding whom they approve for such services, so another option is a third party processor or independent sales organization. Both are less stringent than banks in approving applicants. Also, some financial services providers like American Express and Discover allow business owners to apply for payment services directly with them. Others, like MasterCard and Visa do not. Finally, owners should check with the local business association. Small businesses can often obtain credit card merchants processing at discount rates by going through a small business or trade organization.
Charging purchases can not only ease collections headaches but also gives business owners additional credibility in the eyes of clientele. Credit card merchants are able to expand their customer base by offering to accept a more convenient and secure payment method. Becoming a credit card merchant can help anyone move a business to the next level, whether it is through Internet offerings or general customer base expansion. However, they still need to put God at the forefront if they want to be successful. "Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase" (Proverbs 3:9).
Christian credit Card Merchant AccountsA credit card merchant account can be a valuable resource to business owners seeking to increase their revenue by accepting charge cards in exchange for their product or service. Credit card merchant accounts are available to any business that is willing to pay the initiation fees, the transaction fees, and a percentage of sales to the credit card company. While many businesses hesitate to pay these fees, especially small businesses, the revenue brought in by the acceptance of this form of payment far outweigh the small fees associated with setting up this service.
There is a two step process for the set up of this service for use at a business. First the service must be authorized with the credit card company so a confirmation number can be received. This confirmation number provides credit card merchant accounts with a limited guarantee that the funds requested will be available when all deposits have been completed. The confirmation is an instant approval. The business owner can be satisfied knowing that there is available balance on the customer's charge account that can sufficiently cover the amount of credit requested.
The second step for an owner of the service is to submit the information from each individual customer to their financial institution for deposit. This can be done daily or weekly. If the information is never submitted to the financial institution, then they will not receive the deposit. The pre approval confirmation is only a pre approval; final approval takes place at the credit card merchant accounts financial institution during the depositing of funds. The most effective way to keep track of all credit card merchant account information is the purchase and use of a card processing terminal. These machines vary in price from $300-$1000 and hold important information that can easily be extrapolated and turned into the business owner's financial institution for final approval.
There are many fees associated with the set up of this service. They include; initial application fees ($95-$185); industry fees (1.85%-1.95%); transaction fees ($0.22-$0.30), and statement fees ($12-$14/month). In addition to the mandatory fees, all American Express credit card merchant accounts charge a $25-$50 set up fee. To begin a credit card merchant account is costly and proper research should be conducted to conclude that the extra costs associated with such a service are necessary to bring in more revenue. Once the necessity of using this service has been confirmed, the business owner can relax knowing that they can finally sell their product or service to all consumers and thereby fulfill a service to customers who haven't cash to purchase items at a given time. "Not slothful in business:...distributing to the necessity of saints" (Romans 12:11,13).
Credit card machine terminals are a common piece of equipment in nearly every retail store and restaurant. While some business owners might be put off from using them because of the percentage that the merchant providers add to each sale, the cost of using ATMs (automated teller machines) is usually made up by more efficient and secure collections. ATMs are a relatively inexpensive purchase that can have a tremendous impact on a person's business and its efficiency. Whether an entrepreneur is looking to purchase his first credit card machine or whether he is thinking of increasing the number of ATMs, their efficiency is an important factor to consider.
When shopping for ATMs, a businessman has several choices. The basic credit card machine terminal has a magnetic strip reader, a keypad to manually input information, a small display, and a built in or attached printer for receipts. The owner can also opt for wireless ATMs, which offer businesses with temporary locations or mobile businesses, such taxi services, a distinct advantage over wired credit card machines.
In addition to accepting major credit cards, a prospective owner will probably want to choose one that can also accept debit cards, which requires users to input a PIN number. If the owner wants the ATM to accept and issue gift cards, he must make sure that he evaluates this feature when comparing pieces of equipment. Newer equipment will be equipped with enhanced security devices. Some come with the address verification system (AVS), which requires customers to type in their standard billing zip code as part of the approval process. AVS can significantly reduce your losses due to fraud so look for credit card machines with this feature.
Once the buyer has determined what features needed, he can begin shopping. Generally, any credit card machine terminal can be used with any merchant account provider, so don't limit shopping to the provider who handles the equipment's processing. Also, if an businessman buys equipment from a local provider, the provider is likely to have provide access to training on how to use and set up the unit. Reliability for credit card machines is very high, but make the buyer should make sure the purchase if from a provider offering a one year warranty just in case he receives a faulty unit.
The wise Christian buyer will carefully evaluate all purchasing options to make the right choice for current and future business plans. Credit card machines can ease collection hassles and enable the business to expand its customer base by providing a more convenient method of payment. A wise businessman keeps his business's needs in mind when evaluating different units. But no businessman should take any new financial step without conferring with the greatest Counselor, our Lord. Psalm 19:7 says, "The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple." Every financial decision should be bathed in prayer and not undertaken until we are sure that it is in God's will.