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What are the card networks?

Credit card networks dictate where credit cards can be used and facilitate the payment process

between credit card users, merchants, and credit card issuers. A few familiar examples of credit

card networks are Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.

What is PCI?

Sometimes this is referred to as PCI DSS, which stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. Any organization that handles branded cards is required to adhere to certain security standards, in order to ensure safe processing, and protect from fraudulent activities. These standards make credit card transactions safer for everyone.

What is interchange?

Interchange is a portion of the fee merchants pay to process credit card transactions. It covers the cost and risk for the cardholder’s bank to allow the payment. The exact percent interchange is depends on the risk associated with the transaction.


What is a discount rate?

A discount rate is the total percentage a merchant pays to process a credit card transaction. It includes the interchange, dues, fees, and assessments.

What is an effective rate?

An effective rate is calculated by adding in all costs associated with processing credit cards in a given month and dividing that by the total volume processed. Many merchants believe they are paying a low discount rate, but forget to take the monthly and annual fees into account. By looking at the overall effective rate, merchants can gain a more complete understanding of how much they are truly paying.

What are mobile payments?

Mobile payments are alternative payment methods. Instead of paying with cash, check, or credit cards, a consumer can use a mobile device to purchase goods and services. ApplePay and Google Wallet are great examples of emerging mobile payment methods.

Are mobile payments secure?

As the payment card industry advances in technology, so does the level of security. Fraudulent activity will always be a threat, but part of the purpose of creating the idea of mobile payments, was to raise the level of security of each transaction in order to avoid credit card fraud. Mobile payments have given us another step toward safer transactions.

What is EMV?

EMV stands for EuroPay, MasterCard, Visa. A simple way to describe this is “chip card technology.” The industry is moving away from magnetic stripes due to security concerns, and replacing credit cards with a microchip that will process the information required for a transaction. In October of 2015, there will be a shift in liability to all merchants that do not have terminals that are compatible with EMV payments.

What is a chargeback?

When a consumer calls a transaction into question with their issuing bank, this is called a chargeback. The consumer requests a return of funds, claiming that the transaction processed was incorrect.

How can I fight a chargeback?

Always document your business sales records, in order to provide proof of consensual sales. Sometimes it will be helpful to contact the disputer directly, in order to resolve the matter personally, but be sure to manage all chargeback’s in a timely fashion.

What is the difference between a gateway and a virtual terminal?

The virtual terminal is an internet-based facilitator of electronic payments. It basically allows you to key in and process transactions by using computers or smart devices with an internet connection. A payment gateway actually facilitates the route to and from theprocessor. It takes the data from the virtual terminal, verifies it, and passes it off to the processor.

What is a POS system?

POS system’s are more than just a terminal. They are an entire payment processing package. Generally, a POS system will include a cash register, a monitor, a cash drawer, a receipt printer, and a debit/credit card reader. POS systems are great because they not only process transactions for your business, but they also allow you to track your business’s sales data, in order to help you grow your business.

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