What is Credit Card Processing?

Credit Card Processing Solution Basics

What is Credit Card Processing?

From the smallest café to the largest financial institution, credit cards are an important part of every business. That means business owners need to understand the options available for credit card processing.

While accepting cash payments is fundamental for many businesses, accepting credit cards is a key part of expanding. According to a recent survey, 30 percent of all transactions were paid with cash leaving the majority of consumers expecting to be able to pay with credit, debit, or mobile payments.1 If a business is unable to process credit card payments, they may miss out on critical sales.

The Basics of Credit Card Processing

Before a business can accept credit cards, they first need to set up a merchant services account. A merchant account is a specific type of bank account that allows businesses to accept payments by debit or credit cards. Ultimately, a merchant account is an agreement between a retailer, a merchant bank, and a payment processor for the processing of credit and debit card transactions. Once a retailer has a merchant account, the next step is to decide on a credit card processing solution that best fits the business.

How Credit Card Processing Solutions Work

Today there are more payment processing options than ever before; many of which are tailored for specific types of businesses. Ultimately, this is a plus as business owners can find the solution that works best for them. However, with so many different options available it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. That’s why it is so important to pick a trustworthy partner that can act as a guide throughout the entire process – from selecting a POS system to learning how to process a payment.

Credit card processing solutions can be condensed down to four key steps:

  1. Select a POS System
  2. Select a Merchant Account
  3. Select a Payment Gateway
  4. Purchase the Necessary Equipment

POS Systems that tie to Credit Card Processing Solutions

First Data offers businesses of all sizes and types payment processing solutions that securely accept credit, debit and mobile payments in today’s ever-changing marketplace. First Data’s extensive portfolio of innovative small business credit card processing and large merchant services is designed to help businesses get more value from every transaction.

Clover® Station: The Clover Station is a POS system that can manage an entire business all in one system, from accepting payments to managing employees and tracking inventory. The Clover Station can take virtually all kinds of payments — including magnetic stripe, EMV® chip, and contactless payments — straight out of the box. Additionally, Clover Station is compatible with a variety of peripherals from barcode scanners to kitchen printers.

Clover Mini: The Clover Mini is the sleekest, most flexible payment terminal around. Businesses can start simple and ramp up or get everything they need right from the start. Accept more kinds of payments — including magnetic stripe, EMV® chip, and contactless payments — without additional equipment or software. The Clover Mini has the ability to scale up to full point-of-sale (POS) functionality and as your business grows, it can too with specialized apps from the Clover App Market.

Clover Flex: Clover Flex is an all-in-one device with the built-in capabilities to help you serve customers better—whether at the counter, in line, at the table, or on the go. The Clover Flex helps protect customers, your business, and your reputation from fraud with built-in Clover Security.

Clover Go: Securely and reliably accept both credit and debit cards – including EMV chip cards and contactless payments such as Apple PayTM, Samsung Pay, and Android PayTM – right from a personal smartphone or tablet. The Clover Go is ready right out of the box. Just charge, pair with your iOS or Android device, and start accepting chip cards, contactless payments, and more.

Why do you Need Credit Card Processing?

The simple act of accepting credit card payments can give a significant boost to your business. Research shows that sales can double or even triple, with one survey finding that 83 percent of small businesses that started accepting credit cards saw increased sales; 52 percent of those surveyed made at least $1,000 more a month and 18 percent made at least $20,000 more a month.2 The bottom line is if businesses want to grow, regardless of their size, they need to accept credit and debit cards.

Get information on how you can set up a credit card processing account with First Data if you are a Small Business, Large Business, or Financial Institution.

1 “2018 Findings from the Diary of Consumer Payment Choice," Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, 15 November 2018

2 “Cash Isn’t Always King: Accepting Credit Cards Can Increase Your Business," Small Business Trends, 28 January 2019