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What is Credit Card Processing

Updated: Dec 29, 2023


If you’re a business owner, there’s no way around it- you are going to need to be able to process payments if you want to survive. This means accepting debit cards, credit cards, and other payment forms, whatever it is that will get you and your business paid. Figuring out where to start can seem daunting, especially for beginners, but if you know what to look for then setting up your credit card processing service will be quick and easy. In this article we’ll explain what credit card processing is, how it works, and what you need to do to get started so that your business can begin receiving payments today!


What is credit card processing?

Credit card processing is how a business is able to accept and process payments from debit and credit cards, either in person, online, or over the phone. In order to process credit card payments, businesses need to establish a merchant account with a bank or other financial institution. They will also need some type of payment processing hardware, such as a card reader or point-of-sale system, or software, like a virtual terminal or payment gateway.


The easiest and most effective way to receive payments from your customers is by accepting credit cards. Increased sales, improved customer satisfaction, and access to a larger pool of potential clients are all benefits of payment processing- which is why it is such a great option.


How does credit card processing work?

Simply, when a customer pays with a debit or credit card, the business runs the card through a card reader or point-of-sale system. The reader sends the customer’s information to the card’s issuing bank, where the transaction is either approved or declined based on various factors (like a customer’s credit limit, funds available, or even because of the merchant’s own fraud protection measures). If the transaction is approved, congratulations you’ve made a sale!


How to get started processing

Getting started with payment processing only takes a few simple steps:


1. Apply for a merchant account: the first step towards being able to process credit cards is to apply for a merchant account. There are many provides out there so it’s really important to do research and compare your options. Consider things like rates and fees, customer support, and user-friendly card acceptance methods when making your decision.

2. Set up your software: once you have a merchant account in place, setting up the hardware and software systems you plan on using to accept card payments is next. This includes your point-of-sale system, mobile reader, payment gateway, etc.

3. Optimize the checkout process: streamlining the checkout process by employing user-friendly payment forms and a fast-running POS system will help improve conversion rates and increase sales. Align eCommerce can assist with this by getting your business the most out of its credit card processing setup.


Credit card processing is a critical part of doing business in today's world. By understanding how it works and taking advantage of the many benefits it offers, businesses can increase sales, reduce fraud, and provide a better overall experience for their customers. When choosing a credit card processing service, be sure to consider all the factors that are important to your business. By doing so, you can find the perfect provider for your needs and maximize your chances of success.


Discuss your credit card processing with Align for excellence and contact us today!

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