Merchant Account Card Processing for Secure, Reliable Transactions

merchant card processingOpening a card processing merchant account to accept bank card payments is a necessity in today’s credit-driven society. Whether it’s an online website, a service company or traditional brick-and-mortar retail store, a merchant account is where funds will be deposited once credit or debit card processing fees are assessed.

While the merchant card processing cycle is the same for debit or credit cards, the method by which the customer pays varies depending on the type of business. If you operate an online-only business, then the shopping cart is connected to or integrated with a Payment Gateway. For the brick-and-mortar retail merchant, customers swipe their card through a magnetic card reader or POS Terminal. For the service company on the go, wireless merchant card processors are a convenient and secure way to accept payment for deposit into your mobile merchant service account.

While the equipment that companies use may differ depending on business setting, the card processing cycle for any major bank card is the same. The cycle for payment processors includes seven steps before the money from the transaction is deposited into your small business merchant account. These steps include:

  1. Authorization. This step involves requesting authorization from the bank or company that issued the customer’s credit card.
  2. Merchant Balancing. Also known as “batching out,” this step is the process of totaling the transactions and balances by card type.
  3. Capture. During this step in the process, payment is requested from the issuing bank or card issuer.
  4. Clearing. Compliance checks and risk management procedures are performed and transmitted to Visa/MasterCard or the card issuer.
  5. Interchange (V/MC Only). The V/MC associations or merchant card processing companies sort and transmit transactions to the appropriate issue banks for settlement.
  6. Settlement. During this step, the issuing bank determines merchant card processing fees and deductions and routes the net funds to V/MC associations.
  7. Merchant ACH. After any fees are assessed, the acquiring bank or card issuer deposits funds into the merchant processing account.

While this may seem like a lengthy process, rest assured that funds will be deposited into your merchant account within three business days.

Ready to open a business account capable of merchant account card processing? We’re here to help. Contact us for more information.