Merchant Services Agent

When your business receives a number of credit card transaction you most likely already deal with a merchant services agent. If your business does not accept credit card transaction than there are a few things you may want to consider to incorporate this system into your business.

What Is A Merchant Service Agent?

Merchant services agents handle a number of the credit card processing duties for merchants. These merchant services agent handle a variety of electronic payment transactions. They obtain information related to the sale from the merchant, this includes the amount of the transactions. This information is then forwarded to the credit cards lending bank for authorization. This process is for the protection of the merchant. Instead of simply approving all transactions made, which could lead to a number of sales not being able to be paid in the future, there a specific measure put in place to limit risk to the merchant. A card user can be quickly declined for fraudulent cards, unpaid balances or card holders who are over their credit limit will be declined. Once they obtain authorization for the transaction the transaction is either approved or declined. If the transaction is approved the merchant services agent will then begin the process of collecting the funds from the credit card's bank that was used for the transactions. Once funds are received from the bank the payment is then sent to the merchant's account.

There are a number of ways that merchant service agents perform these credit card processing transactions. The transaction method used can even further your business profits by eliminating unnecessary cost or adding additional benefits and security. Transaction are processed in one of these ways:

Using A Standard Terminal-

Through this authorization process there is only one line that is utilized. The request it sent via standard phone line connection from merchant to bank.

IP Terminal-

A specially designate terminal is used by the bank to receive request. The merchant sends the authorization request via an internet connect to the designated terminal to the bank.

Processing Software-

Using a software program and a card reader, such as a magnetic stripe reader, request are sent via internet connection for authorization. This system for authorization does not require a traditional terminal, instead the card is read and information is then sent to the bank using a specific computer program.

Payment Processing Gateway-

Through this authorization process the request is sent via an automated internet website. This website then communicates to the desiring banks for approval.

What Type Of Cards Do Merchant Services Agents Help Process?

Cards that can be easily processed and handled by most merchant services agents include:

  • Traditional Credit Cards
  • Reward Cards
  • Bank Cards such as checking cards or debit cards
  • Corporate Cards
  • Commercial Cards

These cards are typically swiped using through a special card processing equipment or by keying the card in through a keypad. All these little details can have an effect on how much your business is charged by a merchant services agent. Knowing what system will work best for your company can be cutting out a number of unnecessary fees.

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