The Reputation of Debit Cards

Most SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) will appreciate now that there is a huge demand for credit card terminals, and since Chip and PIN technology emerged retailers without the suitable card terminals have lost out on important business. The debit / credit card is going to change into the payment choice of the public very quickly and it’s taking effect already.

What precisely has brought about this?

This is pretty much due to its convenience and simplicity, but you can also get other factors having an influence on the growth of debit card payment processing currently. Not least among these things is of course the abolition of the cheque guarantee card and the pending abolition of the personal cheque. These matters have forced individuals who would commonly pay by cheque into trying to find other options, and with no ready supply of cash, a debit / credit card works wonderfully as it’s easier than a cheque and the funds are transferred from your individual bank account straight to the merchant in reduced time.

Safety is yet another aspect that attracts customers to using debit / credit cards. It’s a lot easier and safer to carry a card and pay for goods and services instead of risk carrying substantial amounts of cash that may get stolen and not replaced. You could say that the same thing may happen with a credit / debit card, however the debit card has many more measures available to prevent its fraudulent use. Also, should your credit card be thieved and somehow used fraudulently, the banks have a system in place to refund the person for monies lost.

Low theft threat

Should you take your credit card out with you and obtain goods and services in card terminals then all you have to have is your PIN number. Chip and PIN terminals can offer the greatest security since the customer can’t use the card unless they know the 4 digit PIN number; this is naturally the same at cash terminals. Web payments are quite different, but of course you will always need to know the address of the card owner, their complete name and any passwords that may exist as a result of security feature Verified by Visa. This feature on Visa debit cards has reduced online web payment fraud considerably.

Have you considered contactless technology?

What exactly happens given that you have a card which is capable of going from shop to store spending up to?10 on services and goods that doesn’t require a PIN number? There are issues here only if you don’t realise you have lost your credit / debit card or had it stolen. If this is the case then quite simply anyone may get hold of your card and go from store to retailer buying things. The only real deterrent to fraud with contactless technology currently is that occasionally a retailer may be required to do a full transaction with the Chip and PIN unit in order to verify the card users identification etc.

Conclusion

In either case, whether it is with contactless debit cards or standard credit cards to use in Chip and PIN terminals, the retail world, along with debit and credit card processing are moving towards a future in which the use of plastic payments is the normal thing to do.

Credit Card Processing Services at the Point-Of-Sale: Exploring New Options

When it comes to credit card processing services, providing the best merchant service to your customers should always be a priority. One simple way to do this is by staying up-to-date and providing the latest options for processing payments at the point of sale. Unfortunately, keeping up with it all can be difficult–even for a merchant services provider.

New solutions are introduced to the payments world at a seemingly supersonic rate. Traditional terminals, and even virtual terminals, are familiar standbys, but mobile credit card processing, tablet-based POS systems and other computer-based POS systems are starting to make waves.

Many financial institutions have questions about these emerging technologies, so here are the topline details on the latest and greatest solutions designed to complement your credit card processing services.

Next Generation Credit Card Terminals

EMV is currently making headlines on the terminal front. In the U.S., many merchant credit card processors are questioning whether it will truly become commonplace, but terminal manufacturers are gearing up with plenty of options, and ensuring they’re ready when merchants decide it’s time for a new terminal. Processors are beginning to certify terminals to fully support chip cards for EMV, and new players are becoming prevalent in addition to the companies you may already be familiar with.

A few companies from outside the U.S. are making inroads include PAX and DejaVoo. Equinox also launched its first new terminal (called Apollo) since changing its name from Hypercom, and, not one to be left behind, Ingenico in the U.S. is also making a big push.

Mobile Credit Card Processing Services

New card readers for mobile devices are also becoming prevalent. MagTek and ID Tech are developing readers that can support EMV cards–two in fact: one with PIN verification and the other featuring signature confirmation. Additionally, Ingenico boasts a terminal that works in conjunction with a tablet POS application.

Tablet-Based POS Systems

At the 2013 ETA Annual Meeting & Expo hosted in New Orleans, tablet-based POS systems were popping up everywhere. Newer players like ShopKeep, GoPago, and Leaf were all developing solutions, as were more tenured companies like NCR.

These solutions appeal to a broad range of merchants because they offer many of the features and functions typically found in more costly POS systems–like those developed for conventional merchant locations, such as restaurants or retailers.

Cloud-Based POS Systems

Cloud-based systems have become popular for the same reason tablet-based systems have. These robust, data-driven systems are reasonably priced, they take the hassle and worry out of things like updates and upgrades, and they simplify data retention and disaster recovery. They allow merchants to focus on their core business instead of worrying about their credit card processing service, which is why they are quickly gaining traction at companies like retailcloud and Benseron.

Which technologies are you most interested in, and what do you want to see from your merchant services provider? Leave a comment on your thoughts regarding the methods discussed above.

Why Chip And PIN Is The Way To Go For Small Businesses

In years gone by small customer-facing businesses might have been able to get away with not accepting card payments. Up until June 2011 small businesses could accept cheques but since then customers can no longer use their bank cards to verify cheques. That has left small businesses who do not accept cards only accepting cash.

Customers now expect to be able to pay by card. They have been spoiled by every establishment accepting payment cards for even the smallest of payments (though sometimes a small levy is charged where payments are under a certain figure, say £5 or £10). Think about all the establishments which take cards now. Local ‘corner’ shops, restaurants and pubs. The latest trend is for mobile businesses to accept cards and that will be the norm very soon. Taxis in London, for example, now accept card payments.

It is no longer a case of staying ahead of the curve for many businesses but is a necessity just to keep up with the competition. For businesses that are on the move, new advances in technology have made accepting card payments much more viable in recent years. Mobile chip and PIN machines are available now which use mobile phone signals to transmit payment information to the merchant services provider. The technology used is usually GPS.

Working on the same technology you can now buy chip and PIN machines which work with your mobile phone, sending encrypted messages to the bank through the phone. These type of devices are lightweight and inexpensive and it wont be long before these devices or similar are commonplace.

For small businesses looking for their first merchant account it is important to be aware of all the costs. A minimum monthly service charge will be payable, rental costs for the machines/ cost of purchasing the machines, cost per transaction and others such as activation and early termination charges.

When you look at the technologies available now such as contactless cards and mobile payments no longer accepting cards seems archaic. Think of it from purely a branding perspective and what customers think if you do not accept card payments. You don’t look like the market leading professional outfit that put their customers first.

Is it time your small business made the decision to offer your customers chip and PIN payments at last? It might be the best decision your business can make in the tough economic climate at the end of 2012.