Friday, June 10, 2011

The Future of Credit Card Processing is Mobility

Processing transactions electronically is not just for online and traditional businesses anymore. There is a new movement in technology that now allows retailers the ability to process electronic payments on the go. Mobile merchant accounts are now providing an increased convenience for consumers and higher sales for businesses that incorporate such mobility. Such technology has now introduced devices such as the Square, which allows a merchant to process payments directly through an iPhone or iPad. There are several advantages for mobile merchant accounts. First, a device such as the Square does not require any merchant account setup. Another advantage for the mobile merchant is that utilizing mobile merchant accounts will ultimately replace the need for credit card terminals.

Before a business can accept credit cards, your business must be licensed through the appropriate agencies. Transferring payments on the go is particularly proposed for small businesses. Mobile payments are moveable, flexible and have radically lower setup costs than more traditional merchant account services. Once your business is established and licensed, establishing a merchant account, payment gateway, and a mobile device will be required to accept credit card payments.

A merchant account is a type of bank account that allows businesses to accept payments by debit or credit cards. A merchant account also serves as an agreement between a retailer, a merchant bank and payment processor for the settlement of credit card and/or debit card transactions. This type of account provides convenience for your customers and allows your business to accept electronic transactions from the either a brick and mortar storefront or e-business. Moreover, offers credit card transactions from your mobile phone or tablet. Merchant service providers are in abundance, and it will take some research to determine which company best suits your business needs. Another option is to apply for an account through your bank; however, this isn’t always the most cost-effective method.

Merchant accounts can be provided by a mobile credit card processing service and process your electronic transactions. With some banks, they will actually outsource the electronic processing. Extra fees will apply to merchant accounts for each transaction, thus you will want to research these companies and do the math to find the best rates that meet your specific business demands. Once this established, setting up a payment gateway follows.

A payment gateway is an e-commerce application service provider service that authorizes payments for e-businesses, online retailers, or traditional brick and mortar companies. It is the equivalent of a physical point of sale terminal located in most retail outlets. Payment gateways protect credit card details by encrypting sensitive data, such as credit card numbers, to make certain that information is transferred securely between the customer and the merchant and also between merchant and the payment processor. Every retailer requires a merchant account, however, only e-commerce and mobile commerce businesses have to establish a payment gateway. Today’s standard is that mobile electronic transaction services employ an integrated payment gateway or are partnered with online payment gateway companies such as or the very popular PayPal. This demonstrates how electronic transactions have become a transparent part of online transactions.

There are several advantages to utilizing mobile electronic payments. First, if you already have a smartphone or tablet, you already have most the equipment in the palm of your hand. If not, these devices are so common, that you can purchase a smartphone or ipad at low costs. There are also Mobile Commerce solutions that are compatible with almost any phone that has web and Java ME applications. Also, not all mCommerce services require Java to be functional. Secondly, incorporating your business mobile phone for processing credit cards is countless. The savings in equipment and instant credit card processing alone should give you reason for optimism. Thirdly, no matter if you’re working an event at the fair or a trade show, all your transactions can be processed instantly from the palm of your hand.

Another savings is that a portable card reader is no longer required. Just key-in the credit card numbers. Transactions are immediate and you can get the advantage of lower transaction fees since the verification of the card is instant. With the combination of Bluetooth card readers for swiping credit cards and Bluetooth printers for printing receipts, your business is more portable than the terminals of the past. Not to mention the fact that you are saving your money by reducing costs.

Establish a mobile merchant account that allows your business to accept credit cards on the go. It is the future of credit card processing and the future is now.

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