Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Accepting Credit Cards Without A Website

How To Accept Credit Cards Online Without A Website

I didn’t even realize that I could accept credit cards online without even having my own website.  I happen to have one but I was intrigued about how this could be.  What is actually happening is that we are just credit card processing over the internet and having the ability to get rid of our land lines and outdated terminals.  It is even more secure than processing over vulnerable land lines.
This type of online credit card processing is based on an internet connection to a centralized payment gateway which handles the transactions.  Needless to say, an online gateway operates 24 hours a day and 7 days a week and has more flexibility.  Why?  Because you can process credit cards with all the functionality you are used to with your terminal but you do not have stand there to do it.  Even though most merchants would not need to process a transaction remotely from anywhere in the world, they could.  This has enormous applications for mobile commerce and lifts the restrictions from only being able to process during your store’s operating hours and only taking payment on site.
In general a payment gateway will end the need to be dependent on a phone line and feature complete wireless processing.  Understand that it is not just to accept credit cards.  You should always be able to process debit cards, do returns or voids and even handle check imaging by a virtual terminal.
Even if you already have an online store or any type of website, you can easily integrate a new or existing shopping card software or pluggins into most of these gateway processors.
The features, which have come a long way since inception, allow networking so you can access processing for multiple store location, handle batch processing, set up automatic or recurring payments and do just about every type of reporting you can think of.  Software is about efficiency and as we undoubtedly move to more of this in the merchant services industry, merchants will be able to integrate even more accounting features into their payment processing.
I suppose an obvious question is how do you get payment from your customer into your account.  The procedure is not that different from the process you are used to, just more secured and efficient.  Customer swipes card, or types in information in the case of a website transaction, the data is encrypted before it is sent, the payment gateway will verify payment information and make sure their is enough money in the account in the case of debit or make sure there is sufficient credit available to cover the purchase price.  Then there is a prompt for the customer to authorize the transaction and a receipt is generated to verify the transaction.  The payment center then holds the information until the issuing bank sends funds which are ultimately placed in your merchant account.
So the concept of payment is very similar to traditional terminal transactions but human error is virtually eliminated from the equation and encryption makes the information secure.
Isn’t it time for you to harness the power and speed of the Internet to work for your business? Accept credit cards online and see what a difference it can make for your operation!  The real beauty of this technology is you can accept credit cards without even having a website but keep in mind that you will need some sort of merchant account in order to process credit cards. So this is not a solution for individuals to accept credit cards just a business with at least a minimal sales volume to offset merchant account costs.