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how to receive credit card payments

The Different Ways of Accepting Card Payment

Ray Moorman

Credit card payments, as well as debit card payments, are an essential part of commerce in modern business. They're great alternatives to cash when dealing with small purchases through debit. They're also a great way to make large ticket purchases for items such as electronics or furniture. When you accept card payments, you appeal to a much larger paying audience and have the opportunity to gain a larger customer base. If you're looking to expand your audience of customers, you should consider accepting cards and the different ways that you can receive credit card payments. You should also understand which security features should be used as you receive credit card payments. 

The Different Ways of Accepting Card Payment

Only a decade ago, there was one primary method of receiving credit card payments. Now there are four, giving retailers flexibility on how to proceed. (1) The oldest method is the use of stand-alone credit card terminals. Usually a piece of hardware the size of a label maker, the terminal has either a swipe or insert function to complete payments. Most equipment also allows for PIN authentication as well as manual entry. These are best for simple payments.

Point of sale systems are more robust platforms for payment. Not only is there a credit card terminal, but there are near-field communication readers for mobile wallets, as well as a computer that scans items and completes orders by touch screen. These systems work best in stores that have multiple cash registers or need connections to their back-end accounting and inventory systems. These have become more popular as software companies have specialized in point-of-sale selling solutions for specific business types, such as restaurants or salons.  

Mobile credit card processors, also known as mobile POS systems turn smartphones and tablets into effective cash registers, with POS software and card reading equipment to complete transactions. While their functionality is similar to POS systems, they're best used in environments that require more mobility. This includes stores that complete transactions on the sales floor, pop-up shops, street fairs or food trucks.

Finally, online payments, and other so-called card not present payments, are made without a physical card. Customer card data is entered in form fields on eCommerce sites, shopping carts and the like to complete transactions.

Among the four options, most typically merchant accounts, which ultimately serve as reconciliation home when you receive credit card payments. 

Security Features that Matter

Whatever path your store takes to accept card payments, you need to consider security features that you should include. Handling credit card payments requires you to be compliant with PCI-DSS standards—the accepted industry standards for how credit card data is handled, processed and secured. These standards stipulate such thing as basic security measures that should be in place for handling credit cards.

You should also be exploring the use of encryption or tokenization to safeguard payments data as it is being transmitted and/or stored. And, services that help you manage point-of-sale fraud or online fraud also become critical to avoid chargebacks either in-store or online. Considering terminals or POS systems that include near-field communication (NFC) technology enable mobile wallet payments such as Apple Pay, which generally include two-step authentication and/or biometrics as an additional layer of security. 

It's not difficult to begin to receive credit card payments. Consider what your business needs are and be sure to understand the security features that should be used in protecting your particular set-up. 

  1. http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/4394-accepting-credit-cards.html
  2. http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/emv-faq-chip-cards-answers-1264.php

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