Accepting Credit Card Payments – A Guide For Businesses | Total Processing
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Accepting Credit Card Payments – A Guide For Businesses

With the majority of business transactions now happening online, on the go, and being processed quicker than ever, if you’re not already then you should start accepting credit card payments for your business, whether it’s online or in-store, to keep up-to-date with the latest trends in payment technology.

Accepting credit card payments will enhance your customer’s shopping experience, speed up the transaction process and will enable more opportunities by offering more flexibility to your audience. Discover what’s involved when taking credit card payments with our go-to guide for businesses below.

This go-to guide outlines; why your business should be taking card payments, how to process and take card payments, credit card versus debit card payments, fraud prevention, as well as a glossary of key terms within the card industry. There’s also a wide range of external links in each chapter for some further reading and understanding. So whether you’ve just started accepting credit card payments and need more information or thinking about setting up card payments, then you’ll benefit from this guide.

Processing Credit Card Payments

With everyone now on the go more than ever, not only will you want to start accepting credit cards for your business, you’ll want to accept them both online and in person. To do this, there are two main pieces to the puzzle that are required; a merchant account service and a payment gateway.

A merchant account is a bank account which is used to acquire payments from your clients’ debit and credit cards. The funds are taken from your client’s account and sent directly to your merchant account, where they are held until they are settled into your nominated bank account.

A payment gateway acts as a portal or tunnel between your merchant account and your customer’s bank account. Any business thinking of accepting card payments online will require a portal into every bank in the world in order to retrieve the funds from the cards used by their clients.

Browse through some of the further reading links below for information on payment gateway options and tips, as well as advice on merchant account services.

Glossary – Common Card Industry Terms

To carry out thorough research when it comes to accepting credit card payments for your business, it’s best to familiarise yourself with some of the key terminology used within the card industry.  Below is a small list of the most common and also the most basic terms, so that they’re easier to remember.

Acquirer – A bank that has a business relationship with merchants, retailers and other service providers to process their plastic card transactions.

Authorisation – Authorisations are provided by card issuers and confirm that the card number is valid and that the funds are available at the time of transaction.

Merchant Account – A bank account which is used to acquire payments from your clients’ debit and credit cards.

Payment Gateway – Acts as a portal or tunnel between your merchant account and your customer’s bank account.

Payment Processor – A company (often third party) appointed by a merchant to handle transactions from debit and credit cards for merchant acquiring banks.

Point-of-sale (POS) system – A combination of software and hardware that enables merchants to take transactions. POS systems can come in the traditional format and also a mobile format.

Shopping Cart – Both physical and digital shopping carts are a place where customers can collect their items in one place and then process their shopping cart to the checkout.

UK Cards Glossary

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