CREDIT CARD PROCESSING

Finding the right credit card processing service is crucial to any e-commerce operation. But with a myriad of payment options hitting the market, deciding which service will serve you best is difficult. With the constant changes and market evolving, for merchants, fair-minded processors are emerging that offer transparency, fair fees, and good customer service. This is true especially for online e-tailers, but also for small brick-and-mortar operations. There are Point-of-Sale (POS) systems, such as Square Point of Sale, and subscription services such as Helcim, and even retailers such as Sam’s Club Business Payment Solutions that have joined this business sector. According to PC Magazine, The Best Credit Card Processing Services for 2019 are as follow:

      1. Square Point of Sale
      2. Payline Data
      3. Intuit QuickBooks Payments
      4. Helcim
      5. Cayan
      6. Payment Depot
      7. Credit Card Processing.com
      8. Flagship Merchant Services
      9. National Bankcard
      10. Sam’s Club Merchant Services

Many considerations will go into the decision to choose a credit card processing system such as equipment leases, pricing models, fees, and cost to mention a few. Payment processing isn’t a one-size-fits-all service. However, for small business, four companies stand out and they are Square, Clover, Intuit QuickBooks POS, and Authorize.Net. Furthermore, several criteria’s can be considered when evaluating a credit card processing company:

      • Pricing Model: Tiered Pricing, Interchange Plus, or Flat Rate
      • Transaction/swipe rates
      • Pricing transparency
      • Contracts and service terms
      • Automatic Renewals (contract review)
      • Early Termination Fees
      • Types of processing offered
      • Free or Leased equipment
      • Fraud and Security
      • Merchant services
      • Equipment, setup and other costs
      • Ease of setup and use
      • Time to clear account and funding options
      • Types of payments accepted
      • EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) / NFC (Near-Field Communications) capability – technology that allows data to be read by compatible machines without contact
      • Customization options
      • Third-party integrations
      • Reporting and analytics
      • Service limitations
      • Customer service

Payment Gateways

According to G2 blog Best Payment Processing Software, payment gateways automates the payment transaction between shopper and merchant, securely transmitting transaction information to banks. E-commerce businesses depend on payment gateways to protect customer information via encryption and ensure their information is passed securely, from customer to merchant to the payment processor. Payment gateways integrate with other e-commerce tools, including subscription management software and payment processing software in the case of recurring payments, and allow merchants to accept credit card or other forms of electronic payments for transactions. Several factors need to be considered:

      • Accept payment from credit cards, checks, or other forms of online payment
      • Connect the e-commerce website to a payment processor that processes online transactions
      • Encrypt sensitive information via a virtual terminal
      • Securely transmit payment information to payment processors

According to G2, the highest rated The Top 20 Payment Gateways from a list 217 vendors are as follow:

      1. PayPal
      2. Apple Pay
      3. Payoneer
      4. Stripe Connect
      5. Bolt
      6. EBizCharge
      7. SquareUp Payment Method
      8. Thryv
      9. MyVirtualMerchant
      10. SagePay
      11. BlueSnap
      12. Intuit GoPayment
      13. Skrill
      14. Dwolla
      15. Zoho Checkout
      16. net
      17. WePay
      18. Digital River MyCommerce
      19. PaySimple
      20. Adyen

MOBILE PAYMENTS

A mobile payment is a money payment made for a product or service through a portable electronic device such as a tablet or cell phone. Mobile payment technology can also be used to send money to friends or family members, such as with the applications PayPal and Venmo. Many banks have recently adopted technology into their banking apps that allow customers to send money instantly to friends and family members directly from their bank accounts. Mobile payments are also made on site at stores by scanning a barcode on an app on your phone, accepting payments from convenience stores to large, multi-national retailers. (Investopedia)

A clear distinction between mobile payments and credit cards processing is that mobile payments work much the same as credit cards, without needing to reach for your wallet or purse.

According to PC Magazine, The Best Mobile Payment Apps are as follow:

      1. Venmo
      2. Samsung Pay
      3. PayPal
      4. Xoom (a PayPal service)
      5. Zelle
      6. Apple Pay
      7. Circle Pay
      8. Google Pay
      9. Google Pay Send
      10. Square Cash App

Mobile Payments Security

The apps and services that support in-store payments all use anonymized tokens, encrypted versions of your credit card number. The actual number isn’t transferred, so it’s actually safer than handing over your plastic. All of the services due to transmitting credit card information, must comply with the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) the same standard used with analog payment cards. That includes things like implementing newer transport security than Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and early Transport Layer Security (TLS).

MERCHANT SERVICES

Merchant services is a category of financial services in the United States that is used by businesses. Merchant services are authorized financial services that allow a business to accept credit card or bank debit card transactions using online ordering or point of sales systems. To use merchant services, a US-business must obtain a merchant account to accept customer credit card and electronic payments through an electronic commerce Web site. A commonly associated term is Merchant Service Provider (MSP) the name used to describe a company or organization that will provide transaction processing solutions to merchants. (Webopedia)

According to FitSmallBusiness,com (Meaghan Brophy), 10 Best Merchant Services Providers for Small Business 2019 are as follow:

      • Square – (Best overall) Small businesses with low average transactions that want flat-rate processing
      • PayPal – Businesses with low average transactions that want to accept PayPal payments
      • Dharma – Businesses with average transactions over $20 and monthly sales between $10,000 – $30,000
      • Payment Depot – Businesses processing over $30,000 per month
      • Fattmerchant – Growing businesses processing over $10,000 per month
      • QuickBooks Payments – Businesses that use QuickBooks
      • Chase Merchant Services – Businesses of all sizes that want to work with a traditional bank
      • PaymentCloud – High-risk businesses, including topical CBD retailers
      • Helcim – Businesses processing over $20,000 per month that want traditional merchant services with ecommerce integration
      • TSYS – Enterprise businesses that want an established processor

The Payment Ecosystem consists of a maze of major companies that fall into several categories:

      1. Processors / Acquirers that underwrite and own the merchant account and provide hardware such as First American Payment Systems, Vantiv, Citi, First Data, Wells Fargo, TSYS, Fis, and Barclays
      2. Issuers, the banks that provide the credit cards to cardholders such as Bank of America, Citibank, HSBC, CHASE, American Express, and Barclays
      3. Gateways that authorize online credit card payments such as Network Merchants Inc (NMI), BluePay, Stripe, WePay, Sage Pay, Authorize,Net, PayPal, Klarna, OPTIMAL, and Braintree
      4. Independent Sales Organization (ISOs) / Member Service Provider (MSPs) that partner with processors to open merchant accounts & manage support such as PayScape, The Transaction Group, OpenEdge, EVERLINK, VERSAPAY, PowerPay, Merchant Warehouse, and Square, and 5) Card Networks to include, American Express, VISA, JCB, DISCOVER, MasterCard, Chase Sapphire

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