Many businesses could benefit from a software-based solution to taking payments whether a traditional shop with customers coming to purchase direct, or a business dealing with phone, mail order and internet sales.
One of the major benefits of using a credit card software processing package is its simplicity. The downloadable software, once installed on your PC, will handle all of the credit card processing for you and will even deposit the proceeds straight into your merchant account. No additional hardware is required in order to carry out transactions using this software, although for ease of use it is recommended to use a USB based credit card swiper to make the whole process faster and simpler. If you are dealing in mainly phone based or mail order sales, though, this will not be necessary. The card swiper will usually make the processing fee for the transaction lower as your business would qualify for card present rates, which represent a lesser risk of card fraud.
Card processing software uses a number of methods to try to combat fraud including the use of 128-bit encryption services and secure http portals. These security methods will ensure that if any data is compromised and accessed by hackers or any other unwanted parties, it will be unreadable and will represent no safety risk to the business or the customer.
The methods in which credit card sales are reconciled – allowing the proceeds from each sale to be paid into your merchant account – have changed remarkably since the introduction of the credit card in the early part of the twentieth century. For a long period of time the information was sent by post or over the phone to the card holders and it took much longer for the money to be placed in the correct accounts. Modern technology has simplified and quickened the process. With many point of sale terminals connected to the internet, a credit card purchase can be authorized in mere seconds. When a transaction takes place the information is passed on to the credit card handling company or the acquirer. The acquirer contacts the card issuer asking for authorization, which is either granted or declined. If the transaction is declined for reasons such as insufficient funds available, or if fraudulent activity is suspected, the sale will be terminated at this point with a message being sent via the acquirer to the point of sale. If the transaction is authorized the money will be taken almost immediately and deposited into the merchant account of the retailer, minus a processing fee. The acquirer will then be notified and the sale will be completed at the client end. This whole process takes a matter of seconds and is probably all you will think about the next time you either take a payment or purchase something using your credit card.