Still Confused About Merchant Services? Here Are the Basics

Every year thousands of businesses are opened by entrepreneurs who are skilled at delivering a product or service, but may not know as much about running a business.

For instance, if you are selling something you know that you’ll need to accept purchases from those who pay with a credit or debit card, as well as many of the new online wallet apps like Apple Pay and Google Pay. But how does all that stuff actually work?

We get it. That’s why, at Cliq, we always start with the basics when meeting with a potential new client.  We know you will now have to work with equipment and systems that you’ve never used before, and that the prospect can be intimidating.

Here is an overview of what merchant processing services are, and what they do.

Start here: merchant services are not one solution but a broad range of financial solutions used by businesses to handle monetary transactions. Companies generally use one provider for whichever solutions they need. These are the most common:

Credit and Debit Card Processing

You’ve used these terminals at thousands of stores so you know how they work. They are usually referred to as Point of sale (POS) systems. Prior to the creation of debit cards, businesses relied on dedicated credit card terminals, as that was the only option for payment outside of cash. Now, with debit cards, gift cards and other payment methods, POS systems were designed to handle several types of transactions through one terminal.

Payment Gateways

What if you sell online as well as in a physical location? A payment gateway is software installed on your company’s website or e-commerce store that allows for online transaction processing.

Check Guarantee and Conversion Services

While paying by check has largely fallen out of favor as a payment method, it still pops up from time to time, and you don’t want to turn away those customers. The solution here is Automatic Clearing House (ACH) check processing. This system will electronically deposit checks into your bank account, while providing the authorization that the check can be accepted.

Mobile Services

Perhaps you don’t have a physical business but you still need a way to accept payment for purchases outside of your website. With mobile payment processing you can take your business wherever you go.

What Do All These Services Cost?

Depending on how you wish to acquire the merchant processing services you need, there will be processing fees, and there may be monthly fees as well. They are determined by what the provider charges and which services are selected.

Cost is an important factor in selecting a provider of payment processing services – but it should not be the only one. The time it takes to process payments should be considered, as well as how well each company provides security for each transaction.

Finally, as you’ll be processing payments every day – perhaps hundreds or thousands of transactions – you should work with a company that also delivers great customer service and support.

We hope, when it comes time make that decision, that you will give Cliq a chance to earn your business. We are eager to meet with you let you know how our team can help simplify payment procedures for your business, all while providing excellent service to your customers.

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