SEO Design Chicago helps businesses add credit card processing services to their websites. We help small businesses find the best credit card processing service for their website. We know that finding the right credit card processing service is essential for any small business or e-commerce website. If you need help adding credit card processing to your business or website, contact us at SEO Design Chicago today!
What is a Credit Card Processing Service?
Did you know that despite the rise in other kinds of payment methods, like Google Wallet and Apple Pay, credit cards are still the most-used payment option in the United States? If you are a business, whether online or storefront, chances are you accept credit cards. (These days, who doesn’t?) If you take credit card payments from customers, it requires your business to route the payment through a credit card processing service.
Unfortunately, as this industry has grown, so have fraudulent practices and hidden fees and other kinds of limitations. Small businesses, startups, and e-commerce websites are often the targets of these awful practices. That’s where SEO Design Chicago comes in. We can help you choose the right credit card processing service for your business to ensure your business can take payments efficiently and save money.
Startup Costs, Fees, and Equipment
As your business starts out with a credit card processing service, it will be necessary to also navigate the startup costs, fees, and equipment your business will need, too. SEO Design Chicago can help you choose the best credit card processing service for your business. One service that might be best for a coffee shop that swipes credit cards hundreds of times per day might not be best for a larger-ticket business that only handles a few large transactions each month, like a car dealership or a piano shop.
For example, if your business has a storefront, you will need point-of-system terminals, tablet and other mobile credit card readers, and swipe and dip card readers (or some combination of all of these!) If you are an e-commerce business, you might consider a virtual terminal, too.
Payment Gateways 101: What to Know Before Choosing a Payment Provider
Before choosing a payment provider, you need to know all about payment gateways so you can make an informed decision. When it comes to processing a credit card transaction, there are three entities: you (the business owner), your customer, and the technology that connects you two, the payment gateway.
In order to accept credit card payments, you need to partner with a merchant bank who accepts payments for you and deposits them into your merchant account. Your customer needs a credit or debit card from an issuing bank. In between you two is the payment gateway, which is the software that links your store to the credit card processing network. You also need a payment processor, which handles all the hard parts in between: moving the transaction through the processing network, sending you a billing statement, and working with your bank.
How Payment Transactions are Processed
So, how exactly are payment transactions processed? As a business owner, you should know exactly how money moves between your customer and your company. We’ll answer all of your questions about credit card processing in this section.
What Does it Mean When a Credit Card Payment is Processing?
There are two different phases of payment processing: the authorization, which is the approving of the sale, and the settlement, which is getting the money into your account. Here are the steps of what is happening when a credit card payment is processing:
- Your customer purchases a product on your website with their credit or debit card.
- Their credit card information travels through a payment gateway. The gateway encrypts the data and keeps it safe before sending it to a payment processor.
- The payment processor sends a request to the customer’s issuing bank, asking for the money to pay for the product they purchased.
- The issuing bank will respond with approval or denial for the charge.
- If the charge is approved, the payment processor will tell you the transaction was accepted and tell your merchant bank to credit your account with the amount of the purchase.
How Long Do Credit Cards Take to Process?
The time that it takes for a credit card payment to process can depend on a few factors, like what bank your merchant account is with. Typically, however, a payment can take anywhere between 24 hours to three days to process. The steps listed above that are involved in credit card processing can take some time!
How Do You Process a Credit Card for Free?
Perhaps you are wondering if there is a way you can process a credit card for free, and hopefully save your business some money. There are some zero-fee processing services available. However, these services are not truly “free.” Instead, the fees are simply passed on to your customers. This means that your customer will be charged more in order to do business with you. If you want to keep your customers happy and loyal, zero-fee processing services are not the solution for your business.
How to Protect Your E-Commerce Store from Payment Fraud
We know that as a small e-commerce business, it’s important for you to protect yourself and your business. Here are some steps you can take to prevent you and your business from payment fraud.
Monitor Transactions Every Day
Make it a daily habit to check over your accounts and transactions. No one knows your business like you do! Keep an eye out for anything that looks suspicious or wrong.
Depending on what you sell, it might be a good idea to set limits for the number of purchases or total amount your business will accept from one account in a single day. While this might seem like it will limit your revenue, it also can limit the amount of fraud your business is susceptible to online.
Use the Address Verification System
You might consider utilizing an address verification system to keep yourself safe. An address verification system compares the numeric parts of the billing address stored on a credit card to the address on file at the credit card company.
Require the Card Verification Value (CVV)
Everyone knows about the three or four-digit security code on the backside of their credit card. However, what you might not know is that it is unlawful for businesses to store CVVs along with customers’ names and credit card numbers. That’s why these security codes are so effective.
How to Prevent, Dispute, and Reconcile Chargebacks for Online Businesses
Luckily, most of the time, transactions happen smoothly. However, what do you do when you receive a chargeback? A chargeback is what happens when a customer files a dispute and asks their credit card company to reverse the transaction. Here are some tips for how to prevent and avoid chargebacks for your online business.
Provide Contact Information
If a customer can contact you directly regarding their issue with their purchase, they are less likely to resort to a dispute or a chargeback. Make sure to provide an email address and phone number where you can be contacted several places on your website.
Be sure to respond quickly, politely, and professionally to any messages you do receive from customers who are not satisfied with their products or services.
Suggest Dispute Resolution
If a customer is still insistent that they will file a chargeback with their credit card company, try to resolve the issue between you two first. Some processors, like PayPal, have a resolution center for buyers to open a dispute. This helps you and the customer work together to find a resolution.
Clearly State Your Return Policy
It’s important to make sure your return policy is easy to find and understand on your website. You don’t want your customers to say they couldn’t find your policy anywhere.
International E-Commerce: 3 Steps to Global Expansion
Are you ready to take your e-commerce store international? There are three steps every business can take to expand internationally:
Find Your Target Market
The first step of learning who your international market customers are, where they live, what products they are interested in and how they shop.
Consider Different International Payment Methods
When you decide to take your business international, you will need to decide how you’ll accept payments from your international customers. Generally, people prefer paying for purchases in a familiar currency. Some global payment providers let you list your products’ prices in a variety of different currencies. It’s also important to choose a payment provider with a reputation for good security.
Plan Your Market Entry
Last, you will need to make a plan for your market entry. You can either start small on an existing marketplace, or set up a local web presence in countries where your target market resides.
SEO Design Chicago can help you with all these steps to expand your business to other countries today!
Which Credit Card Processing is Cheapest for Small Business?
Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast answer for which credit card processing service will be the cheapest for your small business. There are certain options that we recommend for our clients, like Stripe, PayPal, Authorize.Net, Flagship Merchant Services, and Intuit Quickbooks. However, the cheapest and best service for one business might not be the best for another.
The credit card processing price depends on several factors, including:
- The card network;
- Your processing volume;
- Your transaction values;
- The type of business you have;
- Whether the card is keyed or swiped in; and
- Your credit card processor or merchant services provider.
Generally, your credit card processing costs will range from 1.5% to 2.9% for swiped cards, and 3.5% for keyed-in transactions.
For help determining which credit card processing service is right for your business, contact SEO Design Chicago today! Our experts can help you determine which is best for you and help you seamlessly integrate the payment process into your website, as well as help you if and when any problems arise.
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