As an internet business owner, you may find yourself attending conferences, workshops, trade shows or other events regularly. If you become a speaker at these events, or host your own – you may discover you need a way to process credit cards on-the-go. Some people prefer to take orders on paper, and enter them all into their processing system when they return to the office, how to start a payment processing company but this method is risky. If the numbers are incorrectly written on the sheets, or if the card is declined, you could lose the sale all together. Whatever the reason for your on-the-go card processing needs, you have a number of options to accept cards from customers even when you’re not at your computer or in the office.
With a small card swiping unit connected to a laptop, you can accept payments wherever you go. If you rely on PayPal to process cards, you can take advantage of the USBSwiper, a small unit that connects to the USB of a laptop or computer, and allows you to swipe your customer’s credit cards. The small handheld unit is connected to your PayPal account, and you can process all major cards on the go at your normal PayPal flat transaction rate.
A number of companies have released wireless mobile card terminals which allow both credit card and pin-based transactions on-the-go. Cards are processed through your merchant account when you use one of these devices to swipe a credit card. Many smartphones can also be turned into mobile credit card processing devices. Some companies provide a small handheld device to swipe the card, and payment is sent via the smartphone to the processor to handle and deposit into your account. Other companies allow you to enter the customer’s card details into the phone to be processed manually.
You can use a touch tone phone to process credit cards from anywhere you have phone service if you set up a merchant account with a phone processing option, like Accept-By-Phone. Generally, this type of merchant account charges a low monthly fee and a fee-per-transaction. You dial an access number and enter your customer’s card details to process the payments.
From the little neighborhood deli to nationwide fast food chains to girl scouts selling cookies on the corner, it seems like everyone accepts credit cards now; in fact, it’s almost essential to accept credit or debit cards in order to keep up with the competition. But just because a lot of merchants accept them, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a simple thing to do. There are many credit card processing laws that merchants must follow in order to stay in compliance with their processing providers, as well as to keep their customers’ information secure. Read on to learn about the legal responsibilities of processing credit and debit cards.
When completing a transaction using a credit or debit card, a great deal of personal information must be obtained, including name (or business name), address, card number, pin number, etc. Unfortunately, just like a lot more businesses now accept credit cards, there are a lot more people out there trying to capitalize on this personal information, and identity theft has grown exponentially. Merchants have a great deal of responsibility to protect their customers’ information, and must take a great deal of precaution. Even when it seems like you are being cautious, identity thieves are developing new technology all the time to get a hold of the information they want.
Each and every business or merchant that accepts personal payment information from their customers are required to comply with credit card processing laws and regulations as well as institutional policies implemented by the issuers of most credit and debit cards and credit card machines. By following these laws in most cases you can fulfill your ethical duty of ensuring that your customers’ information is being used only in the way they want to be used, and that their financial security, privacy and confidentiality are protected.
When customers choose to complete a transaction with you via credit or debit card they are putting a great amount of trust in you to protect their information. But if their information is compromised you won’t just be facing the customer or your conscience, if you are found liable you could face an expensive lawsuit. Even if you took every precaution and you are found not liable of a customer’s information being stolen from your company, the time and expense of a legal battle could prove very costly.
Credit card machines can provide the means for incredible profit, but they also come with a tremendous amount of responsibility to customers. Establish strict legal and ethical guidelines within your business to ensure that personal information is protected and access is limited. Follow these guidelines for card processing and ensure your employees follow them too, and your clients and customers will thank you for protecting their private information.