Cashless transactions with a swipe of a card, shopping without the hassle of handling cash and withdrawing large sums of money from different accounts, from the same machine. All the above is only possible with the advent and popularity of credit card processors.
We can understand selecting a credit card processor better. We may consider it a third party that carries the communication between the merchant pays and the card user’s bank. Credit card processors facilitate a secure transaction and secure payment data. It ensures that all transactions follow the rules set out by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
But how do the credit card processors have the advantage and earn their profit? If they are to manage and do multiple tasks and act as an intermediator between the merchant and the bank?
These credit card processors collect a specific amount of money from merchants for providing their services. You can either fix the fees or it can be some a percentage mark-up on top of the interchange fees they pass on to the merchant at cost.
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The fees that are due, though, are a small cost for the benefits that these processors provide. The processors are handy and compact. They allow users to buy items without the hassle of the cash that will attract even more customers. They also help in automatically keeping a track of all the transactions that take place by providing detailed receipts. The processors are trustworthy enough too, making sure that all transactions occur securely. They make sure that they do not store the customer’s data with the merchant, as they can misuse it.
Not only are these processors trustworthy, but they are also quick and help save a lot of time. You can use this time to handle cash. More often than not, customers have to swipe their cards and wait. It takes an average of ten seconds before the processors’ software contacts the user’s bank database. Then, it cross-checks the amount in the users’ account, deducts the amount from the main balance and sends an acknowledgment of either acceptance or decline. This step depends on the user’s account on the merchant’s processor’s screen.
This process of seamless and fast transactions not only makes it easier for the customers but is also quick for the retailer. Once the merchant bank receives daily card payments from the retailer, it calls for a request to the credit card issuing bank for batch-wise settlement. The credit card provider then makes a settlement payment to the merchant bank on the following day. Once the merchant bank receives the amount, it will deduct a certain amount towards the interchange fee, from the main total amount. It will then deposit the remaining to the merchant’s account on the same day or on the following day.
We call this as a settlement. It usually takes 2-3 business days.
The retailers now have a clear log of all their transactions. They will have the guarantee that the amount will be deposited with a fee deduction into their account when they do a transaction.
One of the biggest challenges that this medium of payment has faced is security. With the advent of using credit cards and credit card processors, the need for a 24/7 friendly customer support system has also increased. A support system that can help customers with any breach of their privacy such as stolen credit cards, fraud transactions, and other security issues. This is a very important aspect of the usage and progression of credit card processors.
In recent years, studies have shown that there has been a significant rise in using credit cards in the country. Sweden, as of 2018, is set to become one of the world’s first cashless countries. In India, going cashless is not yet an option for the whole population. This is because of the lack of education and awareness. But, in the few years with the growth in the economy and the development in the social sector, the use of credit cards will expand. This will directly spike the use of the credit card processor.