Making the choice to accept credit cards as payment can be a great boost to your bottom line. Not only is it easier for you to process, its easier for your customers to make instant decisions, and buy on the spot. Credit cards give customers another choice in the payment process, and they are not bound to cash or checks.
As you are weighing your options in choosing the right merchant services for you, start by learning the lingo. Your main concerns upfront may be “what is the processing fee?” and “will it work with my website?” But you’ll quickly learn there are a host of concepts and terminology that will make a difference in the type of account you end up with. To avoid surprises later, learn as much as you can now.

One of those learning curves involves credit card processing. There are two types of credit card processing – batch credit card processing and real time credit card processing. The differences can affect the way you do business.

Batch Credit Card Processing

With batch processing, vendors store all of the credit card information they receive. Then, when the number reaches a certain point, all of the payments are processed at the same time, in one “batch”. Batch processing is a convenient way to process recurring payments, such as a cable bill, monthly subscriptions, and other similar transactions. One drawback to batch processing is a denial of payment. Vendors will not know right away if the purchase is declined. Vendors stand a chance of losing their money on denied purchases.

Real Time Credit Card Processing

This type of processing is done in “real time”, which is the time the transaction takes place. Each credit card transaction is processed the second it happens. With real time processing, vendors can get an approval or denial right away. One drawback to real time processing is the risk of credit card fraud. If a card is stolen but has not yet been reported, the vendor will not know. The purchase will go through and then, later, the vendor will lose money because the credit card company will protect the credit card owner from unauthorized charges.

Choose the option that best fits your business needs and the needs of your customers.

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