What Equipment do I Need to Open a Merchant Account?

Opening a merchant card service account has little to do with what equipment you have initially, and more to do with what type of business you run, your customer base and your market risk standing. As with any long-term service, you will complete an application form that will include certain relevant information and will be vetted for approval. Some merchant credit card service providers offer you online or telephone application processes to save you time. Once approved, the equipment you need depends on the type of business you have and how you conduct your trade.

What business do you run and what are the options?

Walk-in businesses who offer sales or services face-to-face may be provided with an electronic key-pad terminal that allows you to swipe credit cards. Transactions are immediately approved or declined.

There are two types of credit card currently being issued to cardholders and merchants are advised to make provision to accommodate both. The magnetic strip card has been the norm for years, and the card is swiped through an electronic key-pad terminal. New EMV micro-chipped cards are being rolled out and these card payments are processed via a card reader, or in some instances read over a short distance via Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). EMV micro-chipped cards offer a far greater level of security to cardholders making the sensitive and secure cardholder information less inclined to exposure to fraudsters.

Businesses selling goods online will require software that is installed to the back-end of their website and integrated with the shopping-cart option. This software automatically will take customers to a screen where they insert their card details which is almost instantly processed through a secure payment gateway and immediately approved or declined. The website owner has no direct involvement in the payment process and card payments can be processed 24/7/365.

In addition, online and mail-order sellers generally receive virtual terminal that allows them to accept card payment by physically logging in to the merchant card service provider’s website and inputting card details manually. Transactions are approved or declined immediately. Online card payments are not affected by the new EMV technology at this stage.

Traders who sell their goods from different venues or provide services off-site can accept card payments via any mobile device, be it a mobile phone or tablet. Smart devices will have software installed and other devices will be fitted with a card reader. Card payments must be processed face-to-face and are also immediately approved or declined

The merchant card service provider does it all for you

Once the appropriate card payment processing system has been identified for your business needs, the merchant credit card service provider takes care of providing the devices or installing the software that will allow you to process card payments. It is vital that you choose the right merchant card service provider to ensure the success and growth of your business. When doing your research on which service provider to choose, their keywords are reputation, service, compliance, security and progressive technology! For more information about equipment needed to open a merchant account or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.

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