Credit card processing for nationwide department stores changed the face of credit in this country for consumers. Customers of these large department store chains, located in most communities, carried a store credit card. At first, a “closed loop” system was used. A bank backed store cards, and when a customer used a store credit card, the bank paid the store and collected payment from the customer. Originally, the balance was due at the end of every month. Some of the better known cards in the pocket of most people were major department stores and oil company cards. It wasn’t unusual for a consumer to carry five or six store cards. That seems cumbersome today, but the advantages of carrying a small card instead of cash, having time to pay the charge and the security of a card over cash easily won out.
One Credit Card Fits All Processing for Nationwide Department Stores
When banks went to an “open loop” system whereby they could all issue and pay Visa and Mastercard credit cards, consumers welcomed a one-credit-card lifestyle (or sometimes a two-credit-cards lifestyle). Consumers wanted to use one card everywhere, and, gradually, department stores began accepting them. It wasn’t rocket science; accept major credit cards and sell more products to more people. Practically all major department stores have adopted the practice as an essential service. Many people stick with one credit card. However, many people now carry two or more. They may get cash back on their Mastercard or miles on their Visa. In order to provide excellent customer service and convenience, department stores will usually accept Mastercard and Visa. Many will also accept Discover and American Express, although these are not as ubiquitous. To this day, department stores nationwide still offer their store cards.
Merchant Service Providers Processing Credit Cards for Nationwide Department Stores are not Equal
Any chain of department stores will want to shop for a merchant service to process credit cards. Since most brick and mortar stores also have an online presence it’s important to seek out a merchant service that will provide point of sale terminals for face to face transactions and a payment gateway for online sales. Not all merchant services are created equal. Look for one that offers free software, low fees, and 24/7/365 service by a live person. When a credit card is processed, it’s approved or declined within seconds. Some merchants can have the money in your business banking account within no more than three days while others can take weeks, so look for one that deposits your money promptly. Beware of unreasonable limits placed by merchant services. Your allowed limit should move up as rapidly as your volume. Don’t despair when you see traditional department stores that have been around for 100 years falling out of favor. They’re making room for the contemporary department store better suited to today’s consumer.
For more information on credit card merchant service providers for nationwide department stores, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.