It is a fully understood fact that those who have a business must also have the facility to accept credit cards. If a business owner tries to manage without a credit card payment facility, his clientele is likely to be restricted to some senior citizens who still prefer to use cash because they are uncomfortable with any new fangled conduit of transaction. The four connecting dots of the credit card financial transaction are the banks where the card users money remains, the clearing-houses, the credit card providing companies, and the credit card merchant account providers. The credit card merchant account providers are those who provide the traders with all the facilities for processing credit cards.
The things that are required for owning and running a credit card merchant account are a swiping machine, the magnetic strip on which has the ability to absorb the credit card information and relay it to the clearing houses, and the requisite software for connecting with the credit card merchant account providers. These are the requisites when the business is physical, when it is restricted to a specific location like a wholesale or retail store.
Because as much of business is online these days as it is offline, a credit card merchant account should include online merchant account facilities as well. With online transactions, the account holder cannot get a signed copy of the bill from the customer as happens in the case of physical selling. So a different type of gateway is used in online merchant account to ensure right payment.
For online selling, the seller should have specialized software installed in his machine which would connect his online merchant account provider and the clearing house to which the credit card information of the buyer should go. No swiping can be done while accepting and forwarding online payment details. Card details have to be manually typed and this has to be carefully done. Data entry errors are bugs that could lead to protracted wrangling between the seller and clearing-houses and online merchant account providers. Lots of time is lost in such confusions. Besides, online merchant account holders are charged by the online merchant account providers for the extra work and time that such mistakes entail.
However, nowadays there are several online payment gateways that validate the process immediately, even as the customer types in the card details. Of course, this does not ensure complete freedom from errors because the customer himself can make data entry errors. But the online merchant account holder is in no way responsible for such errors. Since the validation takes place immediately, when the buyer is still online, the mistakes are rectified easily. So extra charges does not accrue to the credit card merchant account of the trader because of the mistakes the buyer makes.
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