How To Accept Card Payments
Each year, there are fewer shoppers using cash to pay for products or services. It’s important that your business is in a position to take payments via card, whether that be in a physical shop or an online store.
Let’s see an overview of how credit card processing works and how businesses can accept these payments both in-store and online.
The Payment Process
Accepting electronic payments like debit and credit cards is inherently risky. Firstly, these cards can be stolen or counterfeit, exposing the business to liability and chargebacks.
Because of this risk and the technology needed to verify these payments, card and contactless payments follow a number of steps before funds can be released. This process is intended to:
- Verify the validity of the card. Oftentimes, this ensures that the card hasn’t been registered as stolen.
- Protect the cardholder’s data - data is encrypted at the POS.
- Verify that there are sufficient funds within the account
- Transfer the funds to the merchant, which will subsequently be passed back to the business
The process of getting the funds to the merchant is as follows:
- The cardholder inserts their credit card into a terminal, often provided by the payment processor.
- The payment processor checks with the credit card company and cardholder’s bank to ensure the card is authentic and the account has sufficient funds.
- The bank approves the transaction, and the terminal will print/display a success message.
- The payment processor sends the funds to the merchant’s account.
- The funds will take 1-3 business days to clear before the merchant can access them.
The important takeaway from this rundown on payment processing is that a traditional business account cannot be used to accept card payments. A merchant account is required, in association with a payment processor.
Accepting Cards In store
To be able to accept card payments in store, there are a number of physical payment solutions needed. To give you an idea, here are the types we offer:
- EPOS Till System
- Contactless Card Machine
- Countertop Card Machine
These devices will allow you to take payment from the customer, as well carry out more powerful business tasks. For instance, your EPOS system can keep track of your sales and publish reports. You can even manage your inventory through the system.
The process for taking card payments instore is as follows:
- Conduct the sales with the customer, scanning the product’s barcode and ensuring it has registered within the EPOS system
- The EPOS system will connect with the card machine, displaying the correct price to the customer
- The customer will insert their card and the payment process, as documented above, will take place.
- Once the payment has been verified, a receipt will be printed by the terminal for both the customer and for the retailers’ records.
Accepting Cards Online
Accepting card payments online can be quick and easy, if you go about it the right way. If you have an e-commerce website, built on a platform such as Shopify or WooCommerce, you can select from various payment gateways. These gateways are normally partnered with your relevant website provider, so the process to set up relevant accounts is usually painless.
The process for taking card payments online is as follows:
- Choosing of a payment type. There are many ways of payment nowadays including credit, debit, PayPal and American Express. Once the customer has decided it moves onto the next stages.
- This card information is then transferred to payment gateway which then carries over to the payment processor.
- The payment processor then confirms all details are correct and money can be taken out.
- Once verified, the card networks requests authorisation to transact funds from the customers bank to the merchant bank. During the process fraudulent checks will be carried through to ensure there’s no issues.
- Once completed, the money is then transferred over to the merchant back which after a few days will transfer to your personal business bank.
Which Method of Payment Is Suited for Me?
Choosing the right payment scheme can sometimes be a challenge but here are some ways to help narrow it down for you.
Security - Ensuring your payment gateway chooses features such as SSL and 128 Bit encryption. These security options will help ensure that your customers money is as safe as possible.
Hosted or Integrated - Hosted payment gateways are cheaper and simpler to set up. However, it can be complicated in terms of customisations to fit your unique look of your website. In contrast, an integrated payment gateway connects to your ecommerce website to a payment processor and can be customisable.
The Customer Experience and Fees - Too many steps on a confusing webpage will never keep a customer on your site which would decrease sales. Making sure your payment gateway is clear and simple is the best way to ensure transactions get fully completed. Each gateway has a different fee structure so making sure it’s in line with your budget is crucial.
Start Accepting Cards with Reposs
Increase customer satisfaction and save time and money by adopting Reposs' smart EPOS system that offers built-in stock management capabilities, Reposs fraud technology, integrated payments, and advanced reporting.
For any retailer that manages a complex inventory and wishes to take control and benefit from a birds-eye view of their store's individual product performance, Reposs' EPOS system is the answer.