A Small Business Guide to Unraveling Card Processing Services

Written by: Lyle Knox

September 29, 2014

Updated CC Swipe Blog ImageThe decision to accept credit and debit transactions is a big one – and enlisting the help of a provider who specializes in credit card processing services can be confusing and complicated. With all of the payment options available to consumers, payment processing has become increasingly complex — often requiring multiple payment systems from multiple vendors. FTNI created ETran not only to simplify payment processing, but to save businesses time and money. At FTNI, we pride ourselves on unraveling the confusion surrounding that process, so you can make the best decision for your organization.

What is Card Processing Services?

A card processing service provider (also known as a merchant card service provider) is an entity (typically, a bank or financial institution) that provides businesses with the tools they need to accept and process credit or debit transactions. This may include tangible items (such as card processing devices) or intangible tools (such as a bank account designated strictly for processing transactions).

How do Card Processing Services Work?

A card processor acts as a bridge of communication between your bank and your customer’s bank or credit card company. Your card processor will process credit and debit card payments, ensuring that funds are transferred from the consumer’s credit card lender or bank account and deposited into your bank account. Once funds have cleared and the transaction is complete, monies can then be withdrawn or transferred into the account of your choice.

What is a Merchant Account?

Your card processor will usually offer access to a special merchant bank account designated strictly for processing debit and credit card payments. This account will accept transferred payments from your customer’s bank account or credit card provider and then hold the funds while processing them for approval. After your funds have cleared, your card processor will deduct their fees, and transfer the remaining revenue to your preferred business account.

Where Does ETran Fit Into the Equation?

ETran serves as a single gateway for all your payment processing needs so you don’t have to manage different vendors, relationships and accounts. With ETran, you have the freedom to choose your credit card processor, your bank and the integration method for your back office systems. With just one platform, you get access to a range of solutions that include:

  • Walk-in, call-in, mail-in, web and mobile payments
  • Check scanning and remote deposit capture
  • Single and recurring credit card and ACH processing
  • Cash processing
  • Report tracking and generation

When a payment enters the secure ETran environment, it can be reviewed and compared to configurable business rules via ETran’s Proactive Payment Monitor (PPM) before being sent to your card processor. Once reviewed and approved, the payment can be posted in batch or real time to your back-office AR system — allowing you to clear and post the payment in a single pass.

Click here to find out more about ETran or contact us today to see how we can start helping you streamline your business and set up your payments system. 

Originally published September 29, 2014.

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