Bank of America Merchant Services vs Stax

Founded in 2009 by Bank of America Corp. and First Data, Bank of America Merchant Services is one of the largest payment processors in the country. Although their recent separation from First Data has some business owners shaken, the merchant services provider maintains a strong level of support from its loyal merchants.

Bank of America Merchant Services provides card processing (including electronic checks), check processing, e-Commerce, mobile, and payroll services. When you need a credit card processor, it can make sense to first see what your bank offers for these services. After all, wouldn’t it be more convenient to process payments at the financial institution where you already have a bank account? Unfortunately, a lot of banks charge a premium for this level of convenience.

We’ll compare the difference between Bank of America Merchant Services and Stax so you can make the best decision for your business. Be sure to read this before signing up for a merchant account with Bank of America.

Bank of America Merchant Services Rates

With its once secure and helpful products and services for merchants, Bank of America Merchant Services was previously a viable payment processing option for some businesses.

In addition to enabling you to accept all payment types and support all major credit card brands (Visa, Mastercard, American Express), BOFA also offers payment hardware and software—including a tablet POS system, mobile payment processing, and small business eCommerce solutions. Before you sign up, be sure to review the following ways that Bank of America falls short for businesses.

In general, many businesses using Bank of America will find:

  1. Higher equipment fees (can be over $1,000)
  2. Expensive credit card processing rates
  3. Less than stellar customer support

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Bank of America Merchant Services Fees

With Bank of America Merchant Services, you have to use Clover devices. Just like with Stax, you’ll own the equipment outright instead of paying monthly leasing fees. However, with Clover, you may get locked into an annual contract for a T-Mobile or AT&T internet connection.

Plus, Clover devices are some of the most expensive in the market, with an upfront cost of $500-600. If you want to be able to accept contactless NFC payments like Apple Pay, you’ll have to buy an add-on which is another $300. In all, you could pay over $1,000 for the Clover device and all its add-ons.

To compare, Stax offers a number of in-person payment terminals at a variety of price points starting at just $175.

It’s also worth noting that as a First Data reseller that promotes Clover products, your point of sale (POS) software will come with monthly costs. Based on your plan, you will be subject to the following Clover subscription rates:

  • Payments Plus: $4.95 per month
  • Register Lite: $9.95 per month
  • Register: $39.95 per month
  • Counter Service Restaurant: $39.95 per month
  • Table Service Restaurant: $69.95 per month

The above rates are charged per device. So, if you’re on the Clover POS Register plan and have two devices, you’ll be charged $79.90 per month (i.e., $39.95 x 2).
Needless to say, these fees can add up. So if you want to go with a less expensive point of sale software provider, you’ll need to shop around instead of purchasing it from BOFA. If you decide to go this route, you can integrate your POS system with Bank of America Merchant Services and use a traditional payment terminal such as FD130.

 

How do Stax Payment Processing Rates Compare

BOFA Merchant Services lack transparency. Finding their rates and interchange fees on their website is impossible. Stax membership pricing provides award-winning value and service. In many cases, Stax offers more value at a lower cost than most merchant services providers including Bank of America. This is due to our 0% markup and high-quality Stax integrated payments platform.

In contrast, Stax’ membership provides award-winning value and service. In many cases, Stax’ membership-based pricing offers more value at a lower cost than most merchant services providers including Bank of America. This is due to our 0% markup and high-quality Stax integrated payments platform.

With Stax payment solutions, you can manage your financials, payments, customer management, inventory, and more — all under one roof.

Here’s a breakdown of Stax’ processing fees:

For Businesses Processing Up to $500,000 Annually: $99/month + direct interchange

  • $0.08 per swiped, dipped, or tapped transaction
  • $0.15 per online or keyed-in transaction

For Businesses Processing Over $500,000 Annually: $199/month + direct interchange

  • Swiped: $0.08 per transaction
  • Keyed: $0.15 per transaction

Stax’ Processing Fees

Stax is a subscription-based merchant services provider. We offer complete transparency when it comes to your bill. There are no annual fees, no contract fees, no statement fees, and 0% markups – not to mention stellar in-house customer support. If you want to save money and watch your business grow, Stax is the right merchant processor for you. So, how much could each pricing model’s credit card processing costs affect you? We’ve broken down the dollars and cents cost for a subscription-based model (Stax) and what a bank (Bank of America) will charge you on a monthly basis.

Subscription vs. Bank: Scenario #1

CP Cost of Processing $18,000 per Month

4 sales per day x $150 per sale x 30 days = $18,000/month

Stax* Square Bank of America*
$306.60 $480.00 $486.00

Subscription vs. Bank: Scenario #2

CNP Cost of Processing $45,000 per Month

3 sales per day x $500 per sale x 30 days = $45,000/month

Stax* Square Bank of America*
$981 $1,588.50 $1588.50

Additional Fees

Bank of America has been criticized for its lack of transparency when it comes to fees. In addition to an opaque payment processing fee structure, there have also been reports of:

  • Hidden fees
  • Early termination fees
  • Payment gateway fees

Stax doesn’t charge any of these added costs. Our monthly fee covers all your payment processing costs, so your statement is always transparent and easy to understand.

Bank of America Payment Processing Integrations

As for integrations, Bank of America allows you to connect its platform to your eCommerce and accounting platforms.

For eCommerce, Bank of America has a payment gateway service powered by Authorize.net, which allows you to integrate it with your current payment gateway. If you’re new to eCommerce and don’t have an online store yet, you can integrate Bank of America Merchant Services with BigCommerce to establish your website.

Bank of America Merchant Services also integrates with QuickBooks online. According to its website, the integration enables you to automatically sync your Bank of America checking accounts and makes it easy to manage your customers, orders, vendors, and inventory from all your devices.

Stax Integrations

Stax integrates with various solutions that serve your business needs, including:

  • QuickBooks
  • Mailchimp
  • NetSuite
  • Salesforce
  • Infusionsoft

You can also use Zapier to integrate Stax with even more solutions, including HubSpot, Slack, Pipedrive, and Google’s Office suite.

Bank of America Customer Service

Reviews state that Bank of America customers are unhappy with the level of support they receive for their products. On the other hand, Stax offers in-house customer service – not a third-party call center. When you call during business hours, you speak with someone who knows our product intimately and is always happy to help. From training to troubleshooting, we are the company to choose if you appreciate a human touch in your customer service needs.

When you look up Bank of America Merchant Services reviews, you’ll find complaints about its lack of transparency, poor customer support, and hidden fees

Merchant Maverick gives Bank of America Merchant Services 2.4 out of 5 stars, while TrustPilot and CardFellow give it 2.4 stars and 1 star respectively. 

Compare that to Stax, which fares much better when it comes to online reviews. Merchant Maverick gives us a 4 out 5 star rating. Meanwhile, G2 and TrustPilot give Stax 4.9 and 4.2 stars respectively.

How Stax Compares to Bank of America

If you conduct your personal banking with Bank of America, you may be tempted to add on their processing. However, you’ll want to be aware of the full costs and fine print before you sign on. In addition, with Stax’ Fast Access Funding add-on, you can still get paid just as quickly while saving on processing.

Before you choose a payment processor, see our full comparison of merchant service providers in the market, including banks, PayPal, and more. Or fill out the form below to see how easy payment processing can be.

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7 Digital Payment Options to Consider Accepting in Your Business

It’s no question that the world has been digitally transformed — both in business and in life. We can hail a ride from a mobile app, and our transactions for all sorts of goods and services can be easily paid for from our phones. Physical wallets are phasing out, left behind in favor of digital wallets and other digital payment options. All you need to use a digital wallet is a smartphone.

There’s no question that cashless payment systems and digital payment adoption have accelerated over the last few years. In 2019, 77% of US consumers were using at least one type of digital payment system. By the end of 2020, that rose to 78%.

What has grown more significantly is the number of electronic payments and alternative payment methods consumers now use. Between 2019 and 2020, there was an 8% rise in the number of consumers increasing their payment options to two or more types of digital payments. That figure now stands at 58% of the US population.

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What Exactly Constitutes a Digital Payment?

Digital payment methods essentially make up any payment type that is done digitally. From a consumer’s perspective, that means any transaction that doesn’t need a physical credit card, debit card, prepaid cards, or checks. Mobile phone and online bank transfers, mobile wallet payments, in-app payments, online payments, QR code payments, and all other electronic payment methods that qualify as a digital payment.

For merchants, digital payment methods include the ways in which payments are accepted. A consumer may use their physical credit card, for example, but if the point of sale system is digital — such as a mobile device instead of an analog cash register — this would be considered a digital payment.

7 Types Of Digital Payments To Consider Accepting In Your Business Blog Header

Types of Digital Payment Methods

With more than three-quarters of US consumers performing digital transactions, the incentive for businesses to accept them is huge. Whether you’re an eCommerce business or a retailer, the smooth processing of digital payments will help win consumer confidence.

Here are the various digital payment types to consider bringing on board.

1. Mobile point of sale (mPOS) systems

Mobile point of sale systems most commonly come to mind when discussing digital payments. mPOS systems work through smartphones, tablets, and other wireless devices to accept payments from anywhere.

Restaurants, retailers, and on the road service providers benefit the most from mPOS systems. They allow you to move with the device and accept payments wherever you need — both bank cards and mobile wallet payments.

What makes mobile POS systems unique?

Wireless devices allow business owners more flexibility. When social distancing came into place, those with mPOS devices could easily meet customers where they sit, limiting contact or gatherings of people at checkouts. These are not traditional card reader devices.

In addition, most mPOS software solutions come with features that allow businesses to email receipts, track sales, inventory and even set up loyalty programs that go straight through the system. It’s a more convenient, modern way to accept payments, enhance the customer experience, and boost productivity.

Setting up mPOS in your business

Mobile POS systems are easy to adopt. Solutions providers like Stax integrate with a range of solutions to enable merchants to go mobile. Plus, all Stax solutions accept mobile payments, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, etc.

2. Contactless payments

Contactless payment methods are rapidly becoming table stakes for consumers and businesses alike. Thankfully, the technology was already there, and today most businesses accepting card payments are accepting contactless.

What makes contactless payments unique?

Contactless payments are powered by near-field communication (NFC) technology. This allows contactless-enabled cards to connect with the right devices to perform the transaction. This is the same technology that has paved the way for mobile wallets.

Accepting contactless payments in your business

Contactless payment methods can only be accepted by NFC-enabled devices. If you don’t already have one of these devices, you will have to buy one or get access to one on a plan. Same as with an older terminal, credit card transaction fees do apply, which may be a barrier for businesses that have been all-cash. But those who are used to accepting credit cards will find it almost the same. Merchants can simply tap instead of inserting or swiping credit cards.

Both credit cards and mobile wallets work with this technology. And the good news for merchants using mobile wallets is that providers like Apple Pay and Android Pay don’t charge for transactions. It’s just the fees through the payment processors that merchants will need to check.

NFC-enabled POS devices can be explored here.

3. Digital wallet payments

Digital wallets lets consumers make contactless payments, linked to their debit card or credit card information, without the need for a physical payment card. It is essentially a virtual Visa or Mastercard that sits in a mobile device.

Earlier in 2021, Finder.com found that roughly 150 million North Americans have used a digital wallet at one time or another as their preferred payment method. What is the reason for this large number? According to 98 million of that 150 million, it’s because they’re so unbelievably convenient.

What makes the digital wallet unique?

Digital wallet technology has become very easy for consumers to adopt and use. Nearly every smartphone comes with its own wallet that’s ready to be set up – the iPhone has Apple Pay, Google has Google Pay, Samsung has Samsung Pay, and so on. This ease of use and setup has enabled digital wallet adoption to spread rapidly among consumers.

What’s great for merchants is that most in-person POS systems that allow contactless payments will accept mobile wallet payments. A digital wallet is different from mobile app payments in that it is not an app or online electronic payment, but rather a tap or scan of a tokenized card.

Accepting mobile wallets in your business

If you are using a POS or mPOS system that accepts contactless payments, chances are your device will also be able to accept mobile wallet payments. Most mobile payment apps now widely accept contactless payments. To check, simply contact your payment processing company to confirm.

For new or upgraded solutions accepting mobile wallets, Stax has a suite of contactless solutions that have you covered.

4. Peer-to-peer digital payments

Venmo, PayPal, and even Facebook Messenger are examples of peer-to-peer electronic payment solutions. These platforms allow users to search for other users and perform online transactions between themselves.

What makes peer-to-peer payments unique?

Peer-to-peer electronic payment methods link to the payer and payee’s bank account to withdraw and deposit funds, providing a way for users to easily perform a funds transfer. In most cases, mobile banking apps do not have the capability to transfer money between users that don’t share the same bank account. Peer-to-peer solutions bridge this gap.

Accepting peer-to-peer payments in your business

Peer-to-peer solutions are not going to be viable for most businesses, but it does present an opportunity for micro and small businesses. If you run a market stall or a small services business, peer-to-peer payments could be a great way to start accepting payments before investing in the more costly payment gateways and solutions.

To set up a peer-to-peer digital payments, you simply need to download whichever platform you want to use, connect your accounts, and you’re ready to transact.

5. Biometric authentication

Biometrics can seem a bit daunting, but most people are already using this technology to open their phones dozens of times each day. It’s essentially just a tool to verify identity, ensuring only the person who owns the bank account or digital wallet or biometric payment card can be the one to authorize transactions through it. Today, most mobile wallets are already using biometric authentication, requiring the user to scan their fingerprint before the wallet can be opened.

For those that have enabled facial recognition, this too can be the authenticator to enable payments.

What makes biometric authentication unique?

Biometric authentication is one of the most secure ways to verify the identity of the person making the transaction. This makes fraudulent digital payments very difficult, making yet another case for why consumers are rapidly switching to mobile wallets.

And biometric authentication doesn’t stop at mobile wallets. There are many new services and startups in the works around the world that are using biometrics to process payments. Schools in the UK have started using facial recognition to take digital payments in the lunch line. India has designed credit and debit cards that simultaneously are tapped and take fingerprint biometrics to ensure the “tapper” is the person who owns the card. While these digital payment services may seem futuristic, they are already seen as leading security measures in the financial industry and have started to replace the traditional card reader.

Accepting biometric authenticated digital payments in your business

If you’re accepting mobile wallets, you’re already accepting biometrically authenticated payments. But if you want to really step into a totally wallet-free solution, consider looking into biometrics payment platforms and payment solutions. While these solutions aren’t as widespread as other solutions, it may be worth keeping an eye on biometric electronic payment trends.

6. Social media payments

Small businesses doing big things through social media are harnessing the built-in mobile-commerce solutions that some social media platforms enable. Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest business accounts all offer an in-built social shopping solution, including in-app purchases. These types of electronic payments allow for fast and convenient payment processing from your customer’s chosen financial institutions or credit card companies.

Any business selling online, promoting goods through social media should be aware of the ways these platforms can accept digital payments.

What makes social media payments unique?

It’s very common these days for brands to build entirely on social media. Some may even start as influencers, gaining a great following and venturing into their own product lines, all within the social media ecosystem.

As anyone with a website knows, building web traffic requires a lot of work. If you have a social media platform that’s already thriving, why take them away from that platform when you could instead engage with and accept online shopping payments directly through the social media platform or via a direct link from your business social account?

Accepting social media payments for your business

The best way to accept social media payments depends on the platform. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest all have unique social selling features, so look into your account settings to learn how to start accepting payments.

7. Crypto payments

No digital payments list would be complete without discussing cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency has gained its foothold in the mainstream, but it is still largely unknown to many, particularly when it comes to accepting crypto as a valid form of digital payment.

What makes cryptocurrency unique?

Cryptocurrency is a decentralized currency that is not managed by any financial institution. It is run on the blockchain, a totally secure digital currency infrastructure that makes it immune to fraud and theft.

Businesses, at this point, don’t get a lot of direct benefits from cryptocurrency. Regulation is in the works, so it’s not a way to get out of taxes (as it was once purported to be), but with so many consumers now holding cryptocurrency, accepting it is a way to ensure you’re ready to take whatever digital payment method consumers want to use for their financial transaction.

Accepting crypto payments in your business

There are a few ways merchants service provider can accept cryptocurrency, covering both online and in-person payment options:

  • Cryptocurrency POS terminals – A variety of providers are now accepting cryptocurrency in the same way they would accept a mobile wallet or contactless card payment.
  • Personal crypto-wallets – Everyone using crypto has a wallet where they store their currency. Merchants could set one up to allow customers to make peer-to-peer style transfers for goods.
  • Crypto digital payment plugins – eCommerce sites have a range of options in the form of app and plugins that enable businesses to accept cryptocurrency.

Keeping Up with the Future of Digital Payments

Not every business owner needs to rush out and set themselves up to accept all of the digital payment types above. However, it helps to be aware of them so you can be ready to adapt when needed.

It’s also beneficial to choose a payment processor that supports today’s most widely used digital payment technologies.

Stax has a range of solutions, from hardware to software and payment processing, so you are ready to take on the digital payments world.

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FAQs about Digital Payment Options

Q: What constitutes a digital payment?

A digital payment is a transaction that is conducted digitally without needing a physical credit card, debit card, prepaid card, or cheque. This includes payments made via mobile phone and online bank transfers, mobile wallet payments, in-app payments, online payments, QR code payments, and other electronic payment methods. For merchants, it includes the ways in which payments are accepted, whether through a digital point of sale system or other electronic means.

Q: What are different types of digital payment methods to consider for businesses?

Businesses can consider mobile point of sale (mPOS) systems, contactless payments, digital wallet payments, peer-to-peer digital payments, biometric authentication, social media payments, and crypto payments. Each of these methods has unique features and benefits and are widely accepted ways for customers to conduct transactions.

Q: What is mobile point of sale (mPOS)?

mPOS (mobile point of sale) systems are solutions that allow businesses to accept payments through smartphones, tablets, and other wireless devices. They bring flexibility by allowing businesses to move with the device and accept payments wherever needed. Wireless devices are particularly handy in situations like social distancing where contact needs to be limited. mPOS systems are easy to adopt and come with additional benefits like sales tracking, inventory management, and setting up loyalty programs.

Q: What are contactless payments?

Contactless payments are powered by Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology. It allows contactless-enabled cards to connect with the appropriate devices to perform the transaction. The same technology also enables mobile wallets. Contactless payments can be made using NFC-enabled devices and traditional credit card transaction fees apply.

Q: How can businesses benefit from adopting digital wallet payments?

Digital wallets provide an easy and convenient way for customers to make contactless payments, as they are essentially a virtual Visa or Mastercard that resides in a mobile device. In-person POS systems that allow contactless payments typically also accept mobile wallet payments. This can be confirmed by contacting the business’s payment processing company.

Q: What are peer-to-peer digital payments?

Peer-to-peer digital payments enable users to perform transactions between themselves, bypassing the need to share the same bank account. Examples of these include Venmo, PayPal, and Facebook Messenger. While these wouldn’t be viable for most businesses, micro and small businesses may find them beneficial, particularly before investing in more costly payment gateways and solutions.

Q: What makes crypto payments unique?

Cryptocurrency is a decentralized currency that is not managed by any financial institution. It operates on the blockchain, a secure infrastructure that makes it immune to fraud and theft. Accepting cryptocurrency can ensure a business is ready to accept any digital payment method the customer wants to use.

Q: What does biometric authentication entail in digital payments?

Biometric authentication in digital payments verifies the identity of the person making the transaction, making fraudulent digital payments difficult. Biometric authentication can be used in mobile wallets and various new payment services around the world.

Q: What is unique about social media payments?

Social media payments leverage in-built m-commerce solutions in social media platforms. They offer convenient payment processing and allow businesses to accept online shopping payments directly through the social media platform.

Q: How can businesses keep up with the future of digital payments?

Businesses should be aware of the various digital payment options available so they can adapt when needed. It’s also beneficial to choose a payment processor that supports today’s most widely used digital payment technologies.


 

Vantiv Worldpay Merchant Services by FIS

Originally launched in 1971, Worldpay Inc. operated as a payment processing firm for financial institutions and financial service providers. After nearly four decades of maintaining its separate brand among other financial institutions, the company was acquired by Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) in June 2019. Following the acquisition, Worldpay Inc. was merged into FIS where its infrastructure continues to serve the financial services sector.

The Vantiv Worldpay merger adds more revenue sources to Fidelity National Information Services (FIS), a company that is present on the New York Stock Exchange. As a company that is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, FIS must make the right decisions in regard to increasing revenue through acquisitions and customer acquisition.

Over the course of its operations, the Worldpay Inc. brand went through a few rebranding decisions. While Worldpay Inc. services more or less remained the same, the change of name did have an effect on its public or marketing image throughout these years.

If you know Worldpay Inc. by the name of Vantiv or Fifth Third Processing Solutions, it’s important to understand the company’s history in the financial services sector before you learn more about its active solutions.

Worldpay (Formerly Vantiv) Branding Changes

The payment processing firm was first established in Cincinnati, Ohio as Midwest Payment Systems (MPS), with the company sticking to the name for over three decades.

In 2003, the firm found a new name in the form of Fifth Third Processing Solutions. It was a direct reference to Fifth Third Bank, which was its parent organization at the time.

But that name didn’t stay for long and changed to Vantiv in 2011. After operating under that label for a period of nearly 7 years until 2018, Vantiv acquired a U.K. payment processing firm Worldpay. After the Vantiv and Worldpay merger, Vantiv assumed the title of its newly acquired asset, with Worldpay merchant services remaining the firm’s final branding decision until its merger with FIS.

At the time of writing, the Worldpay brand is fully absorbed into FIS. All the services that the company once used to provide through its U.S. and U.K. offices are now offered under the FIS banner in addition to other solutions. This is good news for those financial services providers who relied on Worldpay credit card processing to conduct their operations and serve their clients.

The larger firm would embrace the results of the leaders of Worldpay like Charles Drucker and Philip Jansen and provide value to Worldpay merchants. It would continue to operate Vantiv merchant services as well as Vantiv credit card processing to bring about more value to the processing ecosystem.

Let’s learn more about the Worldpay brand and how it has progressed after the Worldpay acquisition.

Vantiv Worldpay Payment Processing Costs and Other Fees

Like many payment processors, Worldpay doesn’t publicly disclose its fees. According to Merchant Maverick, the company typically uses a tiered pricing structure when setting its rates, though you may be able to negotiate an interchange-plus pricing structure.
If you’re looking for ballpark figures, research from Verisave uncovered the following rates:

  • Signature debit cards: 0.99% + $0.20
  • Standard credit cards: 1.99% + $0.20
  • Rewards credit cards: 2.60% + $0.20

Corporate, travel cards, and keyed-in transactions: 3.30% + $0.20

It’s also important to note that Worldpay offers a three-year standard contract, and you’ll be subjected to an early termination fee if you choose to cancel early. Worldpay’s customer agreement (as cited by Merchant Maverick) lists the following fees when you opt out of the contract:

  • $295.00 per location if such Early Termination occurs on or prior to the first anniversary of the Agreement,
  • $195.00 per location if such Early Termination occurs after the first anniversary of the Agreement and before the second anniversary of the Agreement, or
  • $95.00 per location if such Early Termination occurs on or after the second anniversary of the Agreement and before the third anniversary of the Agreement

What Kind of Services Does Worldpay by FIS Provide?

With its focus on merchant services, Worldpay by FIS has become one of the flagship divisions of the financial services firm. These merchant services include both in-person and digital payments that offer access to no less than 126 currencies.

It’s because of this approach to the deployment and design of these services that Worldpay by FIS processes a whopping 110 million transactions on a regular day. It also does so with a vast network that’s spread across 146 countries.

The solution has become known for its robust operations for large-scale entities, where its payment services are used by 80 percent of the world’s most significant retail, airline, and internet firms.

This is all possible due to the wide range of solutions offered by the firm, which are spread across brick-and-mortar stores to digital businesses alike.

This includes but is not limited to the following solutions.

  • Traditional and Wireless POS Terminal Services.
  • Mobile Payment Services.
  • Internet Payment Gateways.
  • Virtual Terminals.
  • eCommerce Payment Solutions
  • Digital Wallet Solutions.
  • Multichannel Payment Options.
  • B2B Payment Solutions.

Through these services, Worldpay by FIS makes it easier for different entities to access its payment system and find an optimal fit for their needs. This makes the company stand out in terms of usability by large-scale enterprises as well as with small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

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What Kind of Product Features and Functionalities Does Worldpay by FIS Brings to the Table?

Worldpay by FIS mainly stands apart due to its vast network and brand recognition. But it does bring many other features to its users that make it a beneficial merchant services provider.

These features and functionalities include but are not limited to the following aspects:

POS Integrations and Devices

Worldpay by FIS offers a slew of POS integrations and devices. Through the company’s network, you can connect to over 1,000 POS systems. If you want a multi-payment solution in one device, you can also go with the company’s SmartPay series which bundles various services into a single piece of equipment.

Whether you just need an in-store system or want something that also works wirelessly, this helps you find a solution that caters to your needs. At the same time, it allows you to accept all major payment types and cards, including tap-to-pay services, MasterCard, and Visa. This provides you with extensive flexibility in selecting a POS system that works for your brick-and-mortar or hybrid business. In case some specific features are needed, it can be covered by software product development.

Faster Cash Flow

Worldpay by FIS also provides you with faster cash flow, where you can get your card payments deposited to your accounts within a few hours of a transaction. This cuts back the typical time for completing such transactions, which usually spans a few days.

The Titled FastAccess Funding feature is one of the most prominent advantages of the company. The service is also available on business days, such as the holiday season. With funds transfer completed in as quickly as 30 minutes, this also makes it a sought-after benefit for many organizations who want to minimize the time between their sales and the actual receipt of their amount.

Ability to Scale

Worldpay by FIS also comes with the certain advantage of offering ideal scalability. With various products in its tow, the company allows you to switch between different traditional and digital solutions according to your growing needs. This lets you expand your business without worrying about its infrastructural requirements.

From virtual terminals such as Omniflex to devices that turn your phone into a POS terminal, you can easily find services that can fit your growing business needs. While the pricing for these solutions can vary, they can often accommodate your budgetary needs or at least fulfill your expectations regarding value for money.

Digital Payments and Mobile Wallets

Apart from accepting payment solutions across POS terminals, virtual terminals, and internet payment gateways, Worldpay by FIS also allows you to process transactions through digital wallets and mobile payments. Depending on your needs, you can integrate these solutions into your payment system to provide customers with an easy way to complete their transactions.

This works wonders to bring next-generation payment options to your customers, especially if you want your company to move forward with a futuristic approach to its operations. It is also an ideal payment method for online businesses.

Optimal Payment Security Solutions

Being a recognized brand, Worldpay by FIS excels at payment security solutions. Through full compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard, the company ensures that your customers’ card data remains safe at all times. With it, it also offers fraud protection and risk management for relevant payment mechanisms.

Worldpay by FIS also offers services such as Omnishield Assure that decrease your fraud liability. It also delivers point-to-point encryption that ensures your customers’ card data is protected through optimal security. This provides you with the peace of mind you need while moving forward with electronic payments.

Worldpay APIs

Worldpay has a number of API solutions for developers that want to create custom integrations. There’s Access Worldpay, an integration that lets you leverage the company’s suite of RESTful APIs so you can accept and manage online payments globally.

Worldpay also has an Integrated Payment Server, which is an API that can support numerous devices and operating systems for point-of-sale payments.

FIS Offers a Slew of Services to Its Clients

Established in 1968, FIS is a financial services company that completed its acquisition and merger of Worldpay Group PLC in the sector’s biggest deal. That $35 billion transaction brought FIS front and center in the financial sector and made it the largest firm in the global payments industry. It is present in many countries as a payments provider processing large payment volumes through services such as its many commerce channels. In case some specific features are needed, it can be covered by software product development.
Some of the most prominent services offered by FIS include but are not limited to:

  • Point of Sale (POS) Network.
  • Digital Payments Network.
  • Global Payments Network.
  • Back Office Solutions.
  • Legal and Outreach Solutions.
  • Credit and Collection Solutions.
  • Treasury Solutions.
  • Financial Software Solutions.

Through a network of ISOs, FIS serves large-scale and enterprise businesses alike. With the adaptability of its offered solutions, the company has become integral to the operations of businesses all over the world. Stax is one of FIS’s largest distributors providing third-party payment processing solutions to small and medium-sized businesses.

FIS is a Financial Industry Behemoth

With over 20,000 clients, 75 billion processed transactions, and $9 trillion worth of annual global transactions, FIS has cemented its reputation in the financial services industry.
The company has achieved this feat through multiple business divisions that cater to a distinct sector in the financial industry.
These departments include:

  • Merchant Solutions.
  • Banking Solutions
  • Capital Market Solutions.
  • Corporate Solutions.

All of these divisions hold an important aspect in the financial services sector. However, when it comes to using Worldpay’s infrastructure and its former brand name, FIS utilizes those properties most prominently through its merchant services solutions distributed through ISOs. Stax handles the day-to-day activities of a merchant account including setting up the account, providing the payment technology and support, and assisting with the unique processing needs of the merchant.

The Company Provides Excellent Financial Services to Those Who Can Afford It

Vantiv Worldpay by FIS offers its quotes upon request, which means that they can depend upon your business’s specific needs and overall requirements. However, the company provides its solutions through higher price points than many other providers.

This pricing is justified due in part to its brand name and expansive outreach. But it can go beyond the affordability of small startups or sole proprietorships that are just taking off with their services. If you can look beyond this particular aspect, Worldpay by FIS can prove to be the perfect fit for you.

Stax is an ISO partnered with Worldpay and is proud to deliver the best technology solutions for every business type including incredible savings, and real customer support for every member.

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Quick FAQs about Worldpay Merchant Services

Q: What is Vantiv Worldpay Merchant Services by FIS?

Vantiv Worldpay Merchant Services by FIS is a payment processing service that provides solutions for financial institutions and financial service providers. It is a division of Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) after the acquisition and merger of Worldpay Inc., a company that has gone through a series of branding changes since 1971.

Q: What kind of services does Worldpay by FIS provide?

Worldpay by FIS offers a range of merchant services for both in-person and digital payments, supporting over 126 currencies. Their solutions include Traditional and Wireless POS Terminal Services, Mobile Payment Services, Internet Payment Gateways, Virtual Terminals, eCommerce Payment Solutions, Digital Wallet Solutions, Multichannel Payment Options, and B2B Payment Solutions.

Q: What are the payment processing costs and other fees associated with Worldpay by FIS?

Worldpay does not publicly disclose its fees. However, according to research from Verisave, the rates are as follows:

  • Signature debit cards: 0.99% + $0.20
  • Standard credit cards: 1.99% + $0.20
  • Rewards credit cards: 2.60% + $0.20
  • Corporate, travel cards, and keyed-in transactions: 3.30% + $0.20

Additionally, Worldpay offers a three-year standard contract and charges early termination fees if you choose to cancel early.

Q: How does Worldpay by FIS ensure payment security?

Worldpay by FIS is fully compliant with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard to ensure the safety of customer card data. They also offer fraud protection, risk management, Omnishield Assure to decrease fraud liability, and point-to-point encryption for optimal security.

Q: What kind of product features and functionalities does Worldpay by FIS bring to the table?

Worldpay by FIS has various features and functionalities such as POS Integrations and Devices, Faster Cash Flow through their FastAccess Funding feature, the Ability to Scale with different products and solutions, Digital Payments and Mobile Wallets support, and Worldpay APIs for developers to create custom integrations.

Q: What are some of the other services offered by FIS?

FIS, a global financial services company, offers a wide range of services such as Point of Sale (POS) Network, Digital Payments Network, Global Payments Network, Back Office Solutions, Legal and Outreach Solutions, Credit and Collection Solutions, Treasury Solutions, and Financial Software Solutions.

Q: What is the scope and division of FIS in the financial services sector?

FIS serves over 20,000 clients and processes 75 billion transactions worth $9 trillion in annual global transactions. They have various departments including Merchant Solutions, Banking Solutions, Capital Market Solutions, and Corporate Solutions to cover different aspects of the financial services sector.

Q: How does the pricing for Vantiv Worldpay by FIS compare to other providers?

Vantiv Worldpay by FIS pricing is typically higher than many other providers due to its brand name, expansive outreach, and the range of services it offers. The quotes are given upon request, depending on your business needs and requirements. While this may not be affordable for small startups or sole proprietorships, Worldpay by FIS can be an ideal solution for those who can afford it.


7 Ways Retailers Can Get Ready for the Busy Season

Holiday shopping accounts for 20% of annual sales for most retail businesses. With the busy season rapidly approaching, retailers need to start making preparations to be ready for the most wonderful time of the year. The social distancing requirements affecting store capacity will give retailers more to consider while getting ready for the busy season moving forward.

Utilizing insights from smaller holiday campaign strategies helps to cultivate a holiday strategy that often ends up producing more successful results. This also helps to shape a more powerful marketing plan as the end-of-year activities approach. For most retailers, the key will be how well the retail store is prepared for a holiday season. Be it a brick-and-mortar store, an eCommerce business or both, here are 7 ways retailers can get ready for this year’s busy season.

Stock Up and Manage Inventory

When preparing for an influx of business, taking stock of your inventory helps track what is selling and what is not. Doing so also provides insight into your customer buying habits. For any retail store, the inventory serves as its backbone. If there is mismanagement of popular products you sell, your whole customer experience can suffer. Remember, supply and demand go hand in hand.

A retail merchant services tool that can help monitor the popularity of certain products is a stock alerts solution. This helps break down sales by item and sales category breaking down which funds need to be allocated towards certain retail products. The stock alerts feature assists retail businesses in seeing which products/services perform best. It is even more beneficial when it is already connected with your payments system, allowing you to set up and receive low inventory alerts before you run out of stock.

Make Your Merchandise the Shining Star

In a sea of holiday sales, making your product and brand stand out amongst the crowd is as important as providing quality merchandise. Keep your retail store top of mind for holiday shopping and influence purchasing with quality social content showcasing new touch-free ways to shop. Offering curbside pickup, online ordering, and pre-order There is a 70% chance that a previous customer will purchase your product over your competitors due to familiarity and overall customer service experience.

Consider how the in-store experience can be adjusted to implement social distancing in a less noticeable and disruptive way. Placing highly sought-after merchandise in a different, open area of the store provides easy and quick access. If you track sales from month to month, you can strategically plan your product layout and promotions to attract and direct customers. This is a great tip to use all year long but especially during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Minimize shopper frustration by making the experience easy, achievable, and fun can boost your sales and cash flow, which means you’ll get a great return on your investment.

Add an Online Shopping Cart to Your Website

More consumers are shopping online for the first time, and for products they would normally buy in-store. Creating an online shopping cart that integrates seamlessly with your current website provides your customers with a seamless shopping experience. Benefits of an online shopping cart include:

Stax lets you implement an eCommerce shopping cart to sell your products online with just one click, no configuration or technical skills needed. You can add items to the catalog, select those items, and automatically create an online shopping cart where customers can go to purchase store products instantly. There is no additional cost for this integrated eCommerce tool.

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Provide Multiple Checkout Locations In-Store

The incorporation of mobile and contactless payment solutions improves the opportunity to provide an expeditious checkout experience for your customers. One way you can do this is by adding mobile payment processing capabilities to your POS system. This prepares your retail store for an influx of foot traffic and provides the flexibility required to add mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) devices allowing your business to process magstripe, EMV, and NFC payments with a tablet or smartphone.

Having mobile payment tools that can quickly support the primary checkout area is imperative for effective line-busting. Setting aside a dedicated area stocked and ready with carryout bags and additional stationery offers a seamless checkout experience to customers completing their holiday shopping.

Speed Up Checkout Time and Avoid Long Lines

An Omnico Group study has shown that shoppers will abandon a checkout line without making a purchase after just eight minutes of waiting. The study also found that 77 percent of shoppers are less likely to return to a store where they experienced long checkout lines. What does this mean? Well, besides the fact that we as consumers are very impatient, the opportunity for shop and click has made our expectations very high for quick transactions.

One way to avoid frustration for your customers and provide a seamless process for your staff is by setting up a multiple-server waiting line. With multiple servers, customers all stand in a single waiting line. When it’s their turn, they go to the first free cashier. Using heat maps to determine peak times when the store is at its busiest will help operators ensure that the retail store is properly staffed during peak times.

Make Sure Your Physical and Digital Stores Work Together

If you have or are adding an online store, it’s imperative that both the brick and mortar location and eCommerce store work seamlessly together. Begin your alignment with the 80/20 rule. Offer only your top 20% best-selling products/services on your website to start. This will allow you to work out any bugs with cross-channel marketing between the technology and inventory.

Next, you should aim to provide a unified customer experience. Make sure your marketing is aligned so whether they are in-store or shopping online, the customer is being spoken to in one consistent brand voice. Another way to make sure your physical and digital stores work together is by exploring in-store pickup. Allowing customers to pick up orders in-store gives you the chance to sell them other merchandise. While this may seem like an attractive option it’s not without its challenges. Logistics can be tough. In-store pickup works best when the bulk of your customers live close to your store—like in the same neighborhood.

Use Business Reviews to Your Advantage

Ask area and store manager retailers for their feedback on how you could have set them up better and identify the highs and lows of their local execution. Use your customer experience feedback to understand how customers felt. Learn what worked well so you can do it again next year and identify the changes to create more profit next year. Use your lessons wisely.

Manage your business’s Google Reviews right from your Stax Dashboard. With the Online Reviews tool in Stax, you have the ability to see and respond to your Google Reviews the moment they are posted, without ever having to leave Stax. Reduce the number of platforms you are logging in to and manage everything in Stax.

How Stax Can Help Retailers Shine This Holiday Season

With COVID conspiring to minimize holiday cheer, delivering a positive customer experience may seem like a big ask this year. Don’t let that stop you. The more prepared you are, the smoother and more profitable this holiday season can be for your retail store(s).

Stax prides itself on providing retailers the payment solutions they need to improve their processes and continue to grow their business all year long. Want to learn more about our payment processing tools or maybe you’re interested in taking the next steps towards adding an online shopping cart to your business?

Reach out to us at Stax today. We will be happy to answer your questions and help you benefit from our modern payment solutions right away.

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What are NFC Mobile Payments and How Do They Work?

Consumer shopping behaviors have changed dramatically in the last decade, and merchants must keep up with customer shopping preferences — including the desire for fast, secure, and convenient payment methods.

Luckily, advances in payment technology such as near field communication (NFC) payments pave the way for an improved experience at checkout. In this post, we’ll dive into the ins and outs of NFC mobile payments, including what they are, how they work, and how to implement them in your business.

What are NFC Mobile Payments?

NFC payments occur when a mobile wallet or an enabled credit or debit card communicates with a payment terminal, sending encrypted payment information from the customer to the retailer.

Mobile wallets are more prevalent than ever, and as a result, NFC mobile payments are also more commonplace. Customers who want an added layer of convenience and protection can use their mobile devices with Apple Pay and Google Pay at retailers whose POS devices support tap-to-pay with cards and mobile payments.

Tap-to-pay cards are now being issued in greater numbers as old cards expire, and banks send replacement cards with this capability enabled by default. Cards with this function have a symbol on them resembling a sideways WiFi icon.

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How do NFC Mobile Payments Work?

Near-field communication technology connects the two NFC-enabled devices in close proximity to one another — usually a few inches at most — to transmit payment information. A key differentiator with NFC mobile payments is the two-way encryption, making this a more secure payment option than swiping or inserting a credit or debit card.

The card information is encrypted when sent to the payment terminal, and also requires authorization from the mobile device with either face ID, fingerprint, or a passcode. Once validated, the transaction information is relayed to the NFC terminal with a randomly generated one-time use code which is sent to the merchant instead of the customer’s debit card.

Card information is not transmitted in a way that hackers can use, and the one-time code which sends encrypted payment information cannot be used again, making it useless to hackers. Between needing very close proximity to the terminal and biometric or multi-factor authentication to proceed with the transaction, NFC payments do not happen accidentally and are difficult to compromise.

Addressing Safety Concerns with Mobile Payments

Despite NFC’s above-mentioned security capabilities, some consumers are still hesitant to use mobile wallet payments or the tap-to-pay function of their cards. However, confidence in NFC payments is increasing, especially in younger cohorts, where 65% of people aged 18-24 and 55% of people aged 25-44 state they are either very or somewhat likely to make tap-to-pay purchases.

Digging deeper into customer hesitancy about NFC payments reveals an opportunity to educate customers and ease their concerns. Common reasons for late adoption from customers include hesitation about payment security and uncertainty about how to make the payment. Fortunately, NFC-enabled payment devices accept traditional card payments, and customers can choose what feels right for their comfort level.

Other Reasons to Consider Contactless Payments

Providing a safe shopping experience goes beyond social distancing and sanitation protocols while customers are shopping. In any retail environment, payment terminals at checkout get a lot of activity. While retailers would like to sanitize between shoppers, in practice, this is often untenable. Though some physical interaction is required with the terminals using NFC payments, it offers a safer option with minimal contact.

Contactless payments are also highly convenient for customers, and allowing this as an option lets them pay on their terms. Many new credit and debit cards are also equipped with tap-to-pay embedded in the card. This is beneficial to merchants because the same technology needed to accept mobile payments is used for contactless credit and debit card payments.

The rise in the popularity of contactless payments has been steep in the last few years. The US was fairly slow to widely adopt NFC payments, with just 3% of cards in use in 2018 enabled for contactless pay. However, usage of contactless payments rose 150% since March 2019, even before the pandemic, which caused a drastic change in customer shopping behaviors and a further increase in contactless payments.

How merchants accept payment is also closely tied to customer service. Honoring all payment types builds loyalty and makes the shopping experience smooth and convenient from start to finish. Keeping an updated POS system also instills customer confidence that the business takes speed and security seriously.

How Can Merchants Implement NFC Mobile Payments?

To implement NFC mobile payments, merchants must have the correct equipment. NFC mobile and other contactless payment terminals include credit card machines with embedded NFC technology, chip readers, card swipers, and monitors.

The first step in adopting contactless payment terminals is figuring out which one is best for your business.

There are many advanced POS technologies on the market, and the size of your business and customer profile, along with other unique business needs, will determine which POS system and payment terminal is the best fit. For example, a restaurant will have a different point of sale needs than a small clothing retailer. When consulting with your payment processing provider, it’s important to discuss these needs so the appropriate equipment and setup can be determined.

It’s Time to Go Contactless with The Help of NFC Mobile Payments

The use of contactless payments is poised for further expansion as customers realize how quick, convenient, and safe NFC payments are. Since the pandemic is far from over, and the risks of interacting in large public spaces remain high, it is necessary to take multiple measures to ensure customer safety. Merchants can emphasize the hygienic benefits of not physically interacting with a payment terminal when promoting this capability in stores, alongside the security benefits.

Businesses have had to adjust their operations to meet safety standards for their employees and customers. Companies must also continue to evolve with technology advancements to stay relevant and current. Having an out-of-date payment processing system is an inconvenience to customers and a security risk. Providing contactless payment options is one measure that offers many benefits to any organization and its constituents.

This is where Stax comes in.

Stax is compatible with modern payment terminals that can facilitate NFC mobile payments.

In addition, our platform provides a dashboard to help businesses manage financials, payments, invoices, and inventory. Stax gives valuable information about sales data in an all-in-one platform to help you run more efficiently and with better business insights.

There are many payment processing options on the market, and finding a partner who will best meet your needs and provide ongoing support is critical for any business. Stax strives to deliver the best experience with dedicated support, 24/7 customer support, including phone, email, and live chat.

Another essential component of choosing the right payment processing company is affordability. Depending on the size and scale of the company, the cost structure for transaction processing is an important consideration and varies by company. Stax offers transparent pricing without hidden fees or contracts, allowing merchants to implement an all-in-one payment processing platform without the risk of unexpected expenses.

Get in touch with us today and learn about Stax’s NFC-enabled terminals and how we can help you expand your contactless payment options.

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Quick FAQs about NFC Mobile Payments

Q: What are NFC Mobile Payments?

NFC (Near Field Communication) mobile payments are a form of contactless payment method where a mobile wallet or an enabled credit or debit card wirelessly communicates with a payment terminal to send encrypted payment information from the customer to the retailer. NFC-enabled cards have a symbol resembling a sideways WiFi icon, and widely-used mobile wallets include Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Q: How do NFC Mobile Payments work?

NFC technology connects two NFC-enabled devices in close proximity (usually a few inches) to transmit payment information. A distinctive feature of NFC mobile payments is the two-way encryption, ensuring higher security than swiping or inserting a credit or debit card. Moreover, the transaction requires authorization from the mobile device through face ID, fingerprint, or a passcode. The card information and a randomly generated one-time use code ensure secure data transfer while minimizing the chances of hacking.

Q: How are businesses addressing safety concerns with mobile payments?

Businesses can address safety concerns by educating customers about the security features of NFC mobile payments, such as two-way encryption, biometric or multi-factor authentication, and the use of randomly generated one-time codes. As more consumers understand the security and convenience of NFC payments, adoption rates will continue to grow.

Q: What are the advantages of contactless payments for merchants and customers?

Contactless payments offer several benefits, such as enhanced security, minimal contact for hygienic purposes, and a more convenient and faster payment process. They also allow customers to pay on their terms, and most new credit and debit cards come with tap-to-pay functionality. Additionally, having an updated POS system with contactless payment options demonstrates a business’s commitment to speed, security, and a smooth shopping experience.

Q: How can merchants implement NFC Mobile Payments?

Merchants need specific equipment to implement NFC mobile payments, including credit card machines with embedded NFC technology, chip readers, card swipers, and monitors. The size of the business, the customer profile, and unique business needs will determine the most suitable POS system and payment terminal. Merchants should consult with their payment processing providers and ensure that they have the necessary equipment and setup in place to handle contactless payments.


 

How to Pick the Best Payment Solutions for Your Business

Choosing the best payment solutions from credit card processors may seem like an overwhelming task with so many options to choose from. However, it doesn’t need to be. Familiarizing yourself with the basics of different payment channels and their benefits is a great place to start. Here’s what you need to know to find the best payment solutions for your company’s credit card processing needs.

What is a Payment Channel?

A payment channel is any way that a customer can make a payment, or anywhere that the merchant might accept a payment. Payment channels are specifically associated with how the payment is made and include the following:

Payment Channels & Best Payment Processing Solutions For Your Business

Having multiple payment channels may not be necessary early on, but in order to pick the best payment solutions as your business grows it will be important to expand your channels. Depending on your business you may need to start with a physical POS (point of sale) system, while someone in the digital space may need to focus on mobile payments.
This guide will help you find the best payment solutions and channel that will best fit your business.

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In-Person Payment Processing

In-Person payments can utilize a physical or virtual POS system to take customers’ payments inside your business. Some Physical POS systems can serve a dual purpose as a terminal, giving customers the ability to swipe directly through a single piece of hardware. Others allow you greater flexibility, enabling you to easily connect terminals via a Bluetooth device. The right terminal expands payment options for customers, allowing them to dip, tap, or use Apple Pay and Google Pay to make payments.

Physical POS Terminal

The physical POS is a traditional payment channel, supported on a cash register, where customers pay right inside your store.

Stax offers two forms of POS retail solutions for business owners. The first are standard EMV smart terminals, a simple countertop terminal solution, the second is a Mobile Checkout POS system.

Mobile Checkout POS systems are an all-in-one point of sale system right at your fingertips. When collecting customer payments, you are even able to use a tablet, or phone device to securely process sales from any location.

Virtual Terminals

A virtual terminal gives you the power to process and manage over the phone and face-to-face transactions in real-time. Because there’s no need for a physical or traditional credit card terminal, a virtual terminal uses software to process transactions. This solution is generally for merchants who don’t have a brick-and-mortar business and often take customer information over the phone or online.

The Stax platform offers companies the ability to process and manage telephone and face-to-face transactions giving you the best payment solutions. It is great for service-based companies, B2B companies, or anyone who does recurring billing. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can process payments directly through Stax. All transactions are securely tokenized and are compliant for your best payment solutions.

Businesses can also continue using their existing POS systems as the Stax platform seamlessly integrates with most terminals.

eCommerce Payment Processing

For businesses looking to process payments through their website or create an online shopping store, eCommerce payments solution allows you to expand purchasing capabilities online. Businesses can collect and manage payment transactions online without the need for a physical or traditional credit card terminal.

Stax’ digital payment solutions and eCommerce tools like an online shopping cart or webhooks allow businesses to engage digitally with even more customers. Stax also supports the ability for businesses to build their own or integrate with a provider like Authorize.net for an eCommerce shopping cart.

Mobile Payment Processing

Mobile payments are vital for businesses that are on the go or those that want to keep hardware to a minimum. Many businesses find using mobile payments works better and faster for them in comparison to physical POS systems. This can be a great solution for service professionals that operate in the field and need to accept payments on location.

Stax offers mobile readers for businesses looking to accept payments in any environment. Additionally, being able to turn your phone or tablet into a mobile POS system is also a benefit that can be easily overlooked by many businesses. With the Stax iOS and Android app, businesses can turn any mobile device into a handheld POS and take payments, send invoices, and view reports from anywhere. You can also monitor and manage business in real-time, with the ability to quickly view daily, weekly, and monthly sales reports.

Contactless Payments

Contactless payment devices allow businesses to accept in-person payments without the need for physical contact. From Text2Pay to touch-free terminals, you can quickly and safely process payments on the go.

Contactless by Stax gives you immediate access to tools that can pair perfectly with your online shopping cart. Offering Text2Pay gives customers the ability to pay for their purchase in just a few taps from wherever they are. Businesses can personalize their customer’s experience by answering questions and making updates to an order via text.

All of these payment channels and more are available for businesses to easily collect payments from customers and maximize their revenue.

To find the best payment solutions for your business compare Stax integrated payment platform and use whichever payment channels serve best regardless of where you plan on taking payments.

To learn more about how the Stax all-in-one platform can help your business, fill out the form below to request a savings estimate today.

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The Ultimate Guide to Accepting Credit Card Payments

Credit cards are a staple in the wallets of consumers today, and they will continue to be a payment method of choice for years to come, particularly as the adoption of mobile and contactless payments continue to grow.

In fact, ResearchAndMarkets.com forecasts the global credit card payment market to grow from $477.63 billion in 2021 to $762.16 billion by 2027—exhibiting a 7.8% compound annual growth rate over the next five years.

To give you some clarity, here’s a practical guide that answers the most common questions small business owners have about credit card processing.

Answering Your Questions About How To Accept Credit Card Payments

According to studies, the number of open credit card accounts in the United States stands at an all-time high of 537 million. With 83% of Americans owning at least one card (while the average American owns three), it’s safe to say that credit card purchase volumes have increased significantly over the last decade.

That means if your business shies away from accepting credit cards as a mode of payment, it can have detrimental effects on your business growth.

With Americans being 40% likely to pay for their purchases using a credit card, it’s easy to see why more and more small business owners are now turning to merchant services providers to start offering credit cards as a payment option.

In addition, as credit card transactions continue to grow due to digitization and other factors, many businesses are adding the ability to process payments made via debit cards, credit cards, and mobile wallets (like Google Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal, or Venmo) in order to be more accommodating to their customers.

Navigating the realm of credit card payment processing can be tricky because there are several entities and moving parts involved in facilitating transactions.

So let’s more about the basics of credit card processing including how it works, the entities involved, the fees you may have to incur, and how you can start accepting credit card payments easily.

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What is Credit Card Payment Processing?

Credit card processing refers to the series of steps involved to facilitate transactions made using credit cards. The process begins from the moment the customer makes a card payment to the point when the transaction is authorized and settled. This can be done through a variety of channels, which include but are not limited to:

Before you learn more about the more detailed aspects of credit card payments, such as the difference between traditional and integrated payment platforms, it is important to learn the basics.

This fundamental knowledge will help you learn more about the process to accept credit cards. It will also contribute to further realizations on how it works for your small business.

You can understand the relationship between credit card processing fees, the nuances of debit card and credit card transactions, and how it ties back to your business bank account.

These essentials will also enable you to work with payment service providers and credit card processors more seamlessly.

Ready to learn more? Let’s start with the mechanics of accepting credit card payments.

How Do Businesses Accept Credit Cards?

Some businesses choose a traditional payment solution to accept credit card payments, while others go with an integrated payment platform.

For example, businesses such as coffee shops may choose to use a point-of-sale system (POS system) or hardwired credit card reader to accept card payments at the counter. Or they could use a mobile credit card terminal if they prefer to collect payments at the table.

Mobile card readers are particularly suited for merchants that sell their products at farmers’ markets, fairs, trade shows, etc., as well as mobile businesses like dog groomers, food trucks, plumbers, etc.

Other businesses may consider a more feature-rich platform to account for the integration of a variety of online and in-store payments into a single payment platform.

Different types of businesses require various solutions ranging from mobile device options to the ability to accept credit card payments online.

But the common factor remains their pursuit to accept credit card payments, which lets them serve more customers and increase their revenues.

Credit Card Payments Are Not Limited to One Channel

Accept Credit Card Payments_Field Services Mobile Credit Card Reader_Body Image

POS terminals are present in brick-and-mortar stores. Further, more business owners are shifting to POS payment methods that are consistent with other payment solutions to keep their overall payments process simple.

Mobile solutions are becoming increasingly popular with popups, service professionals, and doorstep delivery services. They can use the typical method of swiping or dipping the card or also go the route of modern tap-to-pay or contactless payments. Essentially, swiping, dipping, and tapping are the three ways that customers can make in-person payments with a credit or debit card.

Swiping, of course, is the oldest of the three methods and is used with a card that has a magnetic stripe (or magstripe) on it. Both dipping and tapping require an EMV chip card that generates a unique one-time code for every transaction.

This adds an extra layer of security to these transactions. In tap-to-pay transactions, EMV combines with another technology called NFC (near-field communications) that makes it possible for the card terminal to read credit card information from contactless cards.

Mobile apps can also be used by service professionals to accept credit card payments directly into their app accounts. They are also used by businesses that accept credit card payments via modern methods such as QR codes, which are unique to each merchant account.

As the name suggests, online payment gateways are used by eCommerce stores and apps. These solutions require customers to process their credit card payments by manually entering their 16-digit number, expiration date, and CVV code.

Entities Involved in Credit Card Processing

Here are the key parties involved in processing any credit card transaction.

1. The Merchant

This is you or your business. You are also given a merchant account where your processed payments go for your usage. In essence, this is the business that accepts card payments from customers in exchange for their products or services.

2. The Customer

Put simply, the cardholder who uses their debit or credit card to pay for the products or services.

3. Acquiring Bank

The merchant bank that allows the business to receive money from card transactions and store these funds. Sometimes acquiring banks may also serve as the payment solutions provider that supply you with the required equipment/card readers and infrastructure to process credit card payments and deposit funds into your merchant account.

4. The Issuing Bank

The cardholder’s bank or financial institution that issued their credit or debit card.

5. Credit Card Associations

This is the card network or card brand that powers the credit card for the cardholder. Examples such as Visa and MasterCard will help you remember what credit card networks do.

6. Payment Processor

The credit card processing company that connects the merchant, card associations, and issuing banks to facilitate payments.

The Role of Credit Card Associations in Payment Processing

All major credit cards are connected to card associations in some way. Each association has its own interchange fee, so knowing what these fees are and how they are handled by your merchant service provider will help ease any potential confusion.

This component is a core part of your overall transaction fees and you will see this as a part of your processing fees.

Some providers will even allow you to “turn off” acceptance for American Express or Discover, allowing you to simply accept Visa and Mastercard as their interchange rates are typically lower.

This is beneficial if you discover over time that your customers are not really using either of those associations for payment and you want to save on those fees.

Keep in mind that while these are the most widely used payment card networks, they are not the only networks that you can encounter or use as a small business to accept credit card payments on behalf of your customers.

You Need an Acquiring Bank or Merchant Service Provider

Apart from credit card associations, the other key party involved in processing these payments is your merchant services provider or your acquiring bank.

The acquiring bank is a financial institution that accepts the payment and deposits into the business account. Further, they can play the role of the payments processor, making them a critical part of the transaction.

In essence, these solution providers or acquirers are the entity that helps you accept credit card payments via different equipment and software solutions.

How Are Credit Card Payments Processed?

When a card is present, you can swipe the card against a POS terminal. You can also scan it via a card reader. For scenarios where the card isn’t present, you can use its details to perform contactless credit card payments via online or digital payment gateways.

Through your acquiring bank or your payment solutions provider, you can use these methods to send the payment information to the credit card network.

The credit card network receives the information, verifies it, and then sends you its approval. When the transaction goes through, you can know right away and deliver your customers the products or services they have purchased.

It’s as simple as that.

But that’s just a surface-level description of credit card payment processing. The major part of the process comes after these services have been delivered.

Traditional vs. Integrated Payment Systems

Accept Credit Card Payments_Stax Pay Integrated Payment Processing System_Body Image

If you use a traditional POS method of credit card processing, then it goes like this:

  • Create a new sale in POS and scan the item.
  • Choose the payment method your customer would like to use (debit, credit, gift card, etc.).
  • Grab your terminal or card reader and manually input the sale amount into the terminal.
  • Start the process of authorizing and accept credit card payments from the merchant services provider/acquiring bank
  • In case the transaction is approved, retrieve the terminal and print receipts.
  • Go back to the POS, manually mark the purchase as paid and complete the checkout process.

In an integrated payment, the transaction amount is automatically pushed to the terminal instead of being manually entered. It is also automatically reconciled and marked as paid once payment has been processed.

As such, integrated payment solutions combine payment processing systems with feature-rich technology that helps automate the payments process. By using integrated payment services, you cut through the redundant work required by traditional payment systems.

That’s why most business owners now prefer using integrated payment solutions as opposed to traditional payment systems.

Apart from making credit card payment processing easier, integrated payment solutions also bring other benefits to the table.

If you use multi-channel payments, then integrated payment solutions also help you manage your transactions from different avenues. For instance, if you have multiple stores or if you sell your services at a storefront as well as online, then you can see all your transactions in one place.

What Are the Costs of Credit Card Processing?

Before you sign up with a merchant solutions provider, it is essential to remember that the charges for credit card payments are not set in stone.

While some merchant account providers charge you a separate fee to pay for credit card networks, others do not require you to do so. Some merchant service providers may ask you for a higher setup fee for your credit card readers while others may offer their equipment at a lower price.

All in all, the charges for processing credit card payments depend upon the merchant services provider. It is best to shop around and compare fees as well as services before you sign up with a provider.

This way, you can make sure that you are getting the best deal for your business.

It also helps to understand the pricing structure of different payment processors. These pricing structures include:

Tiered pricing. With this pricing method, the payment processor places transactions into three tiers: qualified, mid-qualified, and non-qualified.

How a transaction is categorized is based on factors like what card was used or where the transaction took place. Premium credit cards such as travel and reward cards are usually placed into the non-qualified tier, which incurs higher payment processing fees.

Meanwhile, transactions that involve debit cards and basic credit cards are usually placed in the qualified tier and get lower rates.

While it’s simple enough to understand, the tiered pricing structure lacks transparency. This is because the rules for how to categorize transactions are completely arbitrary and up to the processor.

As a result, this structure makes tiered models the least transparent. It’s difficult to figure out how much you’re actually paying, given that the processor doesn’t disclose their methods for how transactions are qualified.

Interchange-plus pricing. With this pricing structure, the payment processor separates the interchange fees for processing payment. Your payment processor adds a markup to the cost of interchange (and assessment) which is clearly indicated in your statements.

Interchange-plus pricing is a much more transparent pricing structure, as it enables you to see how much of your fees are paid to credit card networks/banks and how much goes to your processor.

Flat rate pricing. Sometimes referred to as blended pricing, companies that implement a flat rate structure charge you one easy-to-understand rate for credit card processing.

This pricing method blends that interchange rate and the processor’s markup into one competitive fee. Your processor will charge you a flat percentage for every card transaction—regardless of its type. Think Square.

While it’s easy to understand, you may end up paying a lot more for transactions that typically cost less to process.

Membership pricing. Payment processors that implement membership pricing give you access to direct interchange rates—regardless of your processing volume. And instead of adding a percent markup to each transaction, you’re simply charged a flat membership fee every month.

This turns out to be more cost-effective in the long run as your business scales and you process more (including being able to directly benefit from Level 2 and Level 3 interchange rates).

Stax is one example of a provider that implements membership pricing. Unlike traditional pricing structures, Stax’s fees are fully transparent AND we don’t take a cut out of your sales.

A note on payment processing fees

When determining the right merchant services provider, be sure to look beyond their payment processing fees. Some companies charge additional costs on top of processing expenses, so be sure to ask about any extra fees you may encounter.

Here are some of the most popular fees or costs that you will see during the process.

It is also prudent to remember that while not all merchant account providers charge you the same amount, most of them charge you for each transaction they process. Some of these fees are industry standard, but the actual fee varies on a case-to-case basis.

How to Start Accepting Credit Card Payments

Thankfully, advancements in the payments sector now allow business owners to obtain the required services for processing credit card payments easily. Business owners can simply choose between a traditional or integrated payment platform.

It is also straightforward to obtain online payment solutions or mobile payment solutions for your operations. You just need to find a provider that offers these services under one umbrella while also being known for their reliability.

At Stax, we offer an array of credit card payment processing services to help you take your business to the next level. Through Stax’ integrated payment solutions, we can help you manage your payments in a highly efficient way. We understand the needs of our merchants as we have been in the industry for a while and have served many partners over the years.

Stax offers a superior customer experience due to our excellent customer success, flexibility, and advanced processes and systems. Our seamless, reliable, and subscription-style solutions also keep affordability in mind and help business owners save more money as they scale.

Reach out to Stax for a consultation today.

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Quick FAQs about Accepting Credit Card Payments

Q: What is credit card payment processing?

Credit card payment processing refers to the series of steps involved in facilitating transactions made using credit cards. It begins from the moment the customer makes a card payment to the point when the transaction is authorized and settled. This can be done through various channels.

Q: How do businesses accept credit card payments?

Businesses can accept credit card payments either through a traditional payment solution or an integrated payment platform. They could use a Point-of-sale (POS) system, hardwired credit card reader, or a mobile credit card terminal depending on their preference and business model.

Q: What are the key parties involved in processing a credit card transaction?

The key parties involved in processing a credit card transaction are the merchant, customer, acquiring bank, issuing bank, credit card associations, and payment processor.

Q: What are the costs of credit card processing?

Costs of credit card processing are not standardized and depend upon the merchant services provider. They could include setup fees, admin fees, PCI compliance fees, and interchange fees. The pricing structures could be tiered pricing, interchange-plus pricing, flat rate pricing, or membership pricing.

Q: How can a business start accepting credit card payments?

A business can start accepting credit card payments by choosing between a traditional or integrated payment platform. It is also straightforward to obtain online payment solutions or mobile payment solutions from a reliable provider that offers these services.

Q: What is the role of credit card associations in payment processing?

Credit card associations, such as Visa and MasterCard, power the credit cards for the cardholder. Each association has its own interchange fee, which forms a core part of your overall transaction fees and is included in your processing fees.

Q: What is an acquiring bank or merchant service provider?

An acquiring bank or merchant service provider is a financial institution that accepts the payment and deposits it into the business account. They also play the role of the payment processor, making them a critical part of the transaction.

Q: What is the difference between traditional and integrated payment systems?

In a traditional POS method of credit card processing, the transaction amount needs to be manually inputted into the terminal. In an integrated payment system, the transaction amount is automatically pushed to the terminal. Integrated payment solutions also bring other benefits such as managing transactions from different avenues and automating the payments process.

Q: What is the impact of credit card payments on business growth?

If a business refrains from accepting credit cards as a mode of payment, it can have detrimental effects on the business’s growth. With 83% of Americans owning at least one card, credit card purchase volumes have significantly increased over the last decade, making credit card payments a crucial part of any business.

Q: What are some popular solutions for accepting credit card payments?

Some popular solutions for accepting credit card payments include services provided by Square, Stripe, QuickBooks, and Authorize.net. These platforms offer a variety of services to accept credit card payments online, in person, or via mobile devices.

SEO Keywords: Credit card payment processing, accepting credit card payments, key parties in processing credit card transaction, costs of credit card processing, start accepting credit card payments, role of credit card associations, acquiring bank, merchant service provider, traditional and integrated payment systems, impact of credit card payments, popular solutions for accepting credit card payments.


 

Everything You Need to Know About Credit Card Processing

Credit card processing can be overwhelming, expensive, and confusing. And yet, accepting non-cash forms of payments is more or less required to operate a modern business, at least in the U.S. Credit, debit, and digital payments have far and away become the most popular payment method. Cash has dropped to less than 20% of all US payments in recent years. And 80% of those transactions are under $25. If your AOV is above $25, you must accept credit cards.

The first step to creating a more positive payment processing experience is to gain a better understanding of exactly what you’re being charged for and what options are at your disposal. 

This article on the best credit card processing companies providing payment processing services will help you reach a better understanding of credit card processing. Here are the inside details about what defines a payment solutions provider, how processing works, the credit card processing fees, risks, and more.

TL;DR

  • There are several parties involved in credit card processing. They include: the merchant, cardholder, card associations, acquiring bank, issuing bank, and payment processor.
  • You also have to be mindful of the costs of credit card processing. Fees include (but aren’t limited to transaction fees, interchange rates, PCI compliance, and more. 
  • There are also risk holds—a routine procedure that most companies experience within the first few weeks of processing with a new merchant services account. It might sound scary, but they are put in place to ensure that fraudulent activity is not being conducted–ultimately protecting you and your customers. 

Credit Card Processing: The Parties Involved

There are several parties involved when your customers swipe their cards. The information below helps to summarize the essential roles involved in payment processing. 

Merchant: The individual business accepting the payment and in need of credit card processing.

Cardholder: The customer who owns the credit card being used for purchase.

Card Association: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. These are not banks, but rather governing bodies that set interchange rates, and arbitrate between acquiring and issuing banks. They are also responsible for maintaining and improving their respective card networks.

Acquiring Bank: The business’ (i.e. merchant’s) bank. They hold the merchant’s funds and acquire the money from a sale. In this context, they accept the funds from the sale once a card is authorized and deposit them into the business’ bank account.

Issuing Bank: The cardholder’s bank. They issue cards to consumers and are a part of card associations. Issuing banks pay acquiring banks for the purchases their cardholders make. The cardholder is responsible for paying back that amount in accordance with their credit card agreement.

Payment Processor: The credit card processing company handles the processing and batching of purchases made with credit, debit, or gift card payments. They typically assist with technology needs and customer service as well, acting as an intermediary to the card associations and banks.

Stax Stripe Square PayPal Banks
Contract Required No No No No Yes
Early Termination Fees No No No No Yes
Card Present Processing Pricing $99/month

+ 8¢ per transaction

+ interchange

2.9% + 30¢ per transaction

(includes interchange)

2.6% + 10¢ per transaction

(includes interchange)

2.7% per transaction;

3.5% + 15¢ for

key-in and scanned cards

Varies;

1.8-3.5% per transaction

+15-30¢ per transaction

Card-Not-Present Processing Pricing $99/month

+ 15¢ per transaction

+ interchange.

2.9% + 30¢ per transaction

(includes interchange)

3.5% + 15¢ per transaction

(includes interchange)

2.9% + 30¢ per transaction

(includes interchange)

Varies;

1.8-3.5% per transaction

+20-30¢ per transaction

 

The Payment Process

Whenever your customers use a credit card to make a payment, each of the parties mentioned above gets involved. Here’s a brief guide on the payment process and where each entity plays a role.

Step 1: The customer purchases an item with a credit card.

Step 2: The credit card is swiped, dipped, or tapped at a POS system or a credit card reader, where the card gets recognized for charging. The terminal then contacts the credit card processing company for authorization.

Step 3: The card is authorized.

Step 4: The credit card processing companies send the payment to the business’s bank through a certified merchant services provider such as Stax.

Step 5: The business’ bank deposits the payment into the connected merchant bank account.

Step 6: At the end of the month, the statement is sent to the business that details the interchange for all transactions that month–which is the fee set by credit card companies for merchants to accept their cards as payment.

Typically, card transactions are authorized in less than a minute. And it generally takes two business days for banks to deposit payments into a merchant’s account—once transactions are settled. Some merchant service providers may offer same-day or next-day funding, while others might take longer to process payouts.

Learn More

Credit Card Processing Service Fees

Now that we have a pretty good understanding of the parties involved and how they all work together, we can take a look at what types of fees can be associated with a transaction. These vary based on your merchant services provider, so pay attention to your monthly bill to ensure you aren’t overpaying for your credit card processing.

Transaction Fees

Transaction fees are associated with each transaction you run. They can be broken down into interchange and cents per transaction. Both of these are the only mandatory fees associated with credit card payment processing since they are set by the credit card companies themselves. You are essentially paying Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover for the ability to accept their cards.

Interchange rates vary based on the type of card you are running. The more expensive it is for the credit card company to maintain the card–rewards, cashback, perks–the more expensive the interchange. In other words, debit cards are more economical while business credit cards are typically the most expensive.

Recurring Fees

In addition to interchange, many providers make an extra profit by charging businesses non-mandatory merchant fees. These fees can be seen frequently on your monthly statement, but such monthly fees are never actually required in order to accept credit card payments.

Be aware of monthly minimum fees, statement fees, batch fees, next-day funding fees, annual fees, IRS report fees, and others on your statement each month.

One-Off Fees

One-off fees are those that occur only once. These can include terminal fees, early termination fees, setup fees, reprogramming fees, PCI compliance fees, address verification fees, chargeback and retrieval fees, and payment gateway fees.

Needless to say, there are a number of things you need to keep an eye out for on your credit card processing statement every month. Merchant services providers make significant profits off of the fact that most businesses aren’t even aware of what they’re paying for and why. 

With Stax, your payment processing statement is simple. All you pay is a monthly membership in exchange for the direct cost of interchange and cents per transaction. We pride ourselves in our transparency by never adding hidden charges or online credit card processing fees for the sake of profit.

Read on to the next section to learn more about pricing models and how companies increase savings using Stax’ innovative subscription-based system.

Credit Card Processing: Pricing Models

Not all card processing pricing models are created equal. It’s important for small business owners like yourself to understand the pricing plans offered by various credit card processors (or merchant service providers) in the market, so you can compare their processing costs before you decide who to sign up with. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the different pricing models offered by most merchant account providers. 

Interchange-plus Pricing

This pricing model is just how it sounds–providers will charge an additional percentage on top of the interchange fees for each transaction run. Since interchange varies based on card type, there is no good way to predict what you’ll be paying each month with this pricing model. The more you process, the more you’ll have to pay in markups.

Flat Rate Pricing

A flat rate is a variation on percentage markup models. Instead of charging a percentage extra on top of the interchange (which means each card’s final cost will be different), flat-rate models make each card the same percentage. The most popular example of this is Square. No matter what card is being used, you’ll always pay 2.6% + 10 cents with Square. 

This might seem like a good system at first, but the more you process, the more expensive it gets. This is especially true if you process a lot of cards with low interchange rates, like debit cards. These cards average around 0.5% interchange–so 2.6% is a very significant markup.

Tiered Rate Pricing

By far one of the most expensive pricing models to take credit card payments, tiered rates put different cards in various tiers and charge based on those qualifications. The important thing to remember with this model is that the tiers are arbitrary and determined by the provider. Providers observe the most popular card types, ensure they are in the most expensive tier, or add extra one-time or monthly fees for various and vague online credit card processing services.

These credit card processing services’ models are rarely questioned since businesses often believe there is some sort of reasoning behind the groupings. Since there isn’t, it pays to have an honest conversation with your provider if you see any terms like “qualified,” “mid-qualified,” or “non-qualified” on your statement.

Simple Flat Rate Subscription Pricing

Subscription-based pricing models are very often the best choice for companies. A monthly membership is paid in exchange for the direct cost of interchange. Essentially, no matter how much you process, you only ever have to worry about the direct cost of the cards you’ve processed and a flat membership monthly fee.

There are a handful of other companies that use subscription-based pricing, but Stax is the only provider that can guarantee unlimited payment processing with absolutely no hidden fees.

Talk with one of our solutions specialists today and we’ll discuss your current pricing model and how we can help your company save money.

Payment Processing Technology

Every business is unique, especially when it comes to accepting payments. The technology that you use to run your business is vital to your success, so it pays to really understand your needs and get the best payment technology solution possible.

Online Invoicing

Invoices are an essential part of billing for a majority of businesses. Many businesses still rely on very manual processes such as Excel templates, in order to create invoices. While this might seem like a cost-effective solution, the time wasted in creating your invoices and the lack of connectivity between your data can be highly detrimental.

EMV Smart Terminal

Credit Card Processing

Physical credit card processing terminals are great for businesses with brick-and-mortar locations. If your customers are physically coming to you and swiping (or dipping) their cards, this is the solution for you. An important thing to remember is to make sure whatever machine you decide to purchase comes with full EMV and NFC technology enabled. This means you’ll be able to accept chip cards as well as contactless payment methods like contactless cards and digital wallets like Google Pay or Apple Pay.

Mobile Payment Solutions

 

Perfect for the on-the-go business owner, mobile payment technology can be a game-changer for your business. Some businesses can get by with just a mobile solution, but a large majority use their mobile credit card swipers and apps for trade shows and field reps to be able to take payments on the spot.

Online Shopping Cart

Online shopping carts are powered by payment gateways and are essential for any eCommerce business. Even if you mainly operate a brick-and-mortar location, having an online store is a great way to increase your product’s visibility. Processing payments through an online shopping cart couldn’t be easier, and typically involves a quick phone call with your provider to activate the payment gateway.

Virtual Terminals

While countertop POS systems or card readers may be the obvious choice for card processing equipment for some businesses, they may not be suitable for all. Especially if your business takes orders over the phone, mail, fax, or in-person, you are going to need the help of a virtual terminal. Virtual terminals are simply web-based applications that can run on your laptop, desktop, tablet, or smartphone, transforming them into a POS system so you can process transactions anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. All you need to do is enter the payment info into your virtual terminal and it will then be encrypted, authorized, and submitted for online payment.

Point-of-Sale

Point-of-sale systems are huge for restaurant and retail locations. These are large, integrated machines with a computer monitor, cash register, and an online credit card processing solution. POS systems come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, so make sure you do your research and choose one with all of the right features for your unique business.

API

If you’re needing a very specific payment solution for your website or app, a payment processing API is probably the way to go. Some merchant services providers offer their API technology to developers to integrate into their proprietary applications, making it the perfect online credit card processing solution for companies needing something more customizable.

Security & Compliance

Accepting credit cards means you’re responsible for the proper handling of your customer’s sensitive information. There are two major ways companies can make sure they stay secure and compliant with industry standards–PCI and EMV compliance. Read on to learn what each of these means and how your business can stay compliant. 

PCI Compliance

PCI, which stands for Payment Card Industry, is a set of standards put in place to protect the sensitive information of consumers and ensure proper security measures are being taken at establishments that accept credit cards. To become PCI compliant, you must complete a short questionnaire once a year.

If you are not PCI compliant, you run the risk of being charged a PCI non-compliance fee from the credit card companies themselves. This is not a fee associated with your merchant processor, which is an important distinction to make. Stax ensures all of our members are compliant within the first 60 days of membership with us, helping you avoid that fee and keep your information safe.

EMV Compliance

Most businesses are aware by now that EMV is the chip card technology that has been rolling out across the USA over the past few years. This change has been taking place due to the considerable security improvements that the chip technology provides. Magnetic stripes store information statically on the card–meaning that the information can be “copied” from the card by scammers.

Chips uniquely encrypt the card information each time it is used. This means that “skimmer” technology cannot pull your sensitive information from the card and use it to make unauthorized purchases.

EMV technology has gotten some pushback since its rollout in 2015, with business owners citing longer checkout times and frustrated customers. Improvements are being made continuously to improve the speed of the transactions, plus the added security is worth the few extra seconds at the checkout counter. To avoid frustration, make sure your staff is trained on chip technology so that your customers don’t accidentally take out their card too soon or insert the card incorrectly into the machine.

As of October 2015, all businesses that accepted credit cards were required to be able to accept chip cards as well. If you’re still not EMV-compliant at your business, you run the risk of being liable for any fraudulent activity. Before the EMV shift, that risk was put on the banks. Now, if you’re not accepting chip cards, the risk is on you as the business owner.

The only way to truly avoid that risk is to have EMV-compliant payment technology. Stax offers a full line of compliant terminals and can integrate with thousands more–we’d be happy to find you the perfect machine to help keep you compliant as well as efficient in your payment process.

Chargebacks and Risk Holds

No one likes it when things don’t go according to plan, especially when it comes to your business’s finances. That’s why it’s so important to understand the possibilities and what to do in case of a chargeback or risk hold. Step one in both cases is not to panic. Read on for more specifics.

Chargebacks

Chargebacks were created in order to protect consumers from fraudulent activity. They occur when a consumer disputes a certain charge to their account. If a chargeback is issued for a lost or stolen card, the bank will issue a reversal of funds. This means that your company is responsible for the cost of the chargeback.

If your company is not EMV compliant, meaning you do not have a chip reader, you’ll be held responsible for all chargeback liability. If you are EMV compliant, that liability typically falls on the cardholder.

Once you receive notice of a chargeback, it is important to remember that the process can take weeks to complete–during which time the funds from the transaction are held by the bank. The bank will typically ask for proof of purchase from the merchant and use this proof to make an ultimate ruling on the chargeback.

Here are some ways to avoid chargebacks at your company, or at the very least, avoid excessive penalties from chargebacks:

  • Follow proper credit card processing procedures.
  • Make sure to use an online credit card processing company with strong security standards and clear payment descriptors.
  • If your company provides a service rather than a product, it’s always a good idea to have a contract in place that details exactly what the payment is for, minimizing the risk of confusion over delivery and payment.
  • Always provide exceptional customer service and encourage your customers to try and resolve any issues with you directly before escalating them to the banks.
  • Train your employees to look for signs of fraudulent activity at your business to try and prevent chargebacks before they happen.

Risk Holds

Risk holds are a routine procedure that most companies experience within the first few weeks of processing with a new merchant services account. It might sound scary, but they are put in place to ensure that fraudulent activity is not being conducted–ultimately protecting you and your customers.

When you sign up for a new merchant services account, your provider will typically ask what your average ticket size is, as well as your highest possible ticket size. Your account will then be approved by underwriters for a certain amount of money per transaction based on your business type, processing history, and ticket size.

If you process sales that are outside of that approved range, the underwriters will issue a risk hold. This means the funds from the transaction are held until proper documentation can be provided for the sale. Once the sale is confirmed, the funds are released and your merchant services provider will work to re-establish your maximum ticket size with the risk department if necessary, in order to avoid a repeat occurrence. When trying to minimize the risk of this happening with your company, it is very important to be as accurate as possible on your merchant services application.

To Conclude

As you continue to learn and search for the best credit card processing company for your business, we encourage you to let us help. Stax’ all-in-one platform can be customized to fit the needs of businesses of all types and sizes. We offer subscription-based pricing which gives you access to the direct costs of interchange in exchange for a flat monthly fee and a small per-transaction charge—regardless of how much you process. Plus, there are no hidden fees, no contracts, and no markups. 

With Stax, you can offer a variety of payment options to your customers including swipe, dip, and tap payments, ACH, eChecks, mobile wallets, Text2Pay, payment links, recurring billing, and invoicing. You’ll also benefit from a host of optional add-ons such as a one-click shopping cart, two-way sync with QuickBooks Online, same-day funding, and custom branding tools, to name a few. 

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FAQs about Credit Card Processing

Q: What is credit card processing?

Credit card processing is a series of services that facilitates businesses in accepting debit and credit card transactions. It involves several parties including the customer, banks, and payment processing companies.

Q: Can you list the parties involved in credit card processing?

The parties involved include the merchant, the cardholder, the card associations such as Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover, the acquiring bank (merchant’s bank), the issuing bank (cardholder’s bank), and the payment processor.

Q: What are the fees associated with credit card processing?

Fees related to credit card processing commonly include transaction fees, interchange rates, PCI compliance fees, monthly minimum fees, statement fees, batch fees, next-day funding fees, as well as some one-time fees like setup and early termination charges.

Q: Can you talk about the different pricing models in credit card processing?

There are several pricing models such as Interchange-plus Pricing, Flat Rate Pricing, Tiered Rate Pricing, and Subscription-based Pricing. The choice of model can significantly alter the cost of processing credit card payments for a business.

Q: Could you explain the credit card payment process?

The process involves multiple stages, including the customer initiating a purchase, the card being authorized, the transaction being sent to the business’s bank, and finally, the funds being deposited into the merchant’s account.

Q: What security measures are essential in credit card processing?

Important security measures include adherence to PCI and EMV Compliance. PCI is a standard for protecting sensitive customer data, and EMV is a secure chip card technology that prevents information replication for unauthorized purchases.

Q: What is a ‘chargeback’ in the context of credit card processing?

A chargeback happens when a customer disputes a charge on their account. If the bank issues a chargeback for a lost or stolen card, it reverses the transaction, leaving the merchant responsible for the chargeback cost.

Q: What tools and technologies assist in credit card processing?

Some contemporary tools include online invoicing, EMV smart terminals, mobile payment solutions, online shopping carts, virtual terminals, Point-of-Sale systems, and APIs. These tools cater to various business needs.

Q: Can you name some renowned credit card processing companies?

Well-known companies offering credit card processing services include Stripe, Square, Stax, Authorize.net and PayPal. These companies offer distinct pricing models tailored to diverse business needs and sizes.

Q: What does ‘risk hold’ mean in credit card processing?

A risk hold is a precautionary measure initiated during sales outside the approved range set by the account’s underwriters. It’s done to ensure no fraudulent activity is taking place. Upon confirmation of the sale, the held funds are released, and the maximum transaction size may be re-evaluated.

Q: Why is credit card processing important for businesses today?

With digital payments taking precedence and cash transactions in the US dropping to less than 20% of all payments, it’s crucial for businesses to accommodate their customers’ preferences by implementing credit card processing.

Q: How can companies reduce the risk of chargebacks?

Companies can decrease the likelihood of chargebacks by following appropriate credit card processing procedures, using a reliable credit card processing company, having clear payment descriptions, providing excellent customer service, and understanding potential signs of fraudulent activities.

Q: What does it mean for a business to be PCI compliant?

PCI compliance refers to a business’s adherence to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, a set of guidelines to safeguard sensitive consumer data. To achieve this, a business must complete a yearly questionnaire.


A Detailed Review of the Stripe Card Reader: What to Know Before Buying

Stripe is a powerful payment processor that enables businesses — both large and small — to accept online payments with ease. Besides enabling eCommerce transactions, however, Stripe also offers a fleet of credit card readers for processing debit and credit card payments in-store.

This relatively new offering from Stripe is known as Stripe Terminal.

In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of this product, including a detailed review of its benefits, features, costs, and the things you should know before buying a Stripe card reader.

Let’s get started.

Features and benefits of Stripe Terminal

The Stripe card reader offers an easy and convenient way to accept in-person payments (also known as card-present transactions) with a Stripe account. Built for modern retailers, it can help you manage all your payments (both offline and online) from a single platform.

Let’s take a look at some of its key features.

1. Unified payments

Stripe Terminal allows you to extend Stripe payments to your POS system and helps you manage both online and in-person payments from a single platform that greatly simplifies reconciliation and reporting.

2. Flexible API

Stripe’s Software Development Kit (SDK) is available for JavaScript, Android, and iOS. This gives you the flexibility to integrate the Stripe card reader into your existing point of sale (POS) system or even build a new one. You can customize your email receipts or reader splash screens to further elevate the checkout experience for your customers.

3. Pre-certified credit card readers

Stripe offers pre-certified card readers that provide end-to-end encryption to enable secure transactions. These support magstripe and EMV chip cards as well as NFC contactless payments (like Google Pay or Apple Pay). In the US, currently available Stripe card readers are the BBPOS Chipper 2X BT and the Verifone P400. The BBPOS Chipper 2X BT is a mobile card reader that connects via Bluetooth while the Verifone P400 is a countertop reader that connects to the Stripe Terminal SDK over ethernet or WiFi.

4. Streamlined logistics

Stripe allows you to manage your entire collection of card readers from your Dashboard. This is especially beneficial for businesses with multiple accounts or locations. You can monitor and configure your devices remotely or order card readers directly from the Dashboard. Stripe manages the delivery of your hardware through a logistics partner.

Stripe Terminal offers a number of advantages for retailers. These include:

  • Easy payment options: Stripe Terminal gives you multiple options to process card payments. You can get your customer to type in their card details or scan them safely using your device camera. You can also send online payment requests to customers via email or text messages to initiate the transfer.
  • No monthly fees: Stripe is a pay-as-you-go solution with absolutely no setup cost, monthly fees, or any other hidden costs.
  • Informative interface: Stripe provides you with a very informative interface with graphs, charts, and tables that helps you interpret your sales data in a clear and concise way.
  • Data security: Owing to its end-to-end encryption and secure interaction with its servers, Stripe is a safe way to transfer payments. Stripe also ensures strict adherence to PCI compliance.
  • Remote management: Stripe card readers will automatically update themselves periodically when connected, so you can benefit from the latest security updates or improvements without any manual intervention.

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Limitations of Stripe card readers

Even though they offer substantial benefits for retailers, Stripe card readers do have certain limitations or drawbacks. Let’s take a look.

1. Not quite user-friendly

Even though Stripe card readers are designed to work seamlessly with your Stripe account, you’ll still need to program them for use. This means you need someone with coding experience and knowledge who can configure and customize them (using Stripe’s documentation) to work with your POS system.

While the API is flexible enough for developers, it’s obviously less than intuitive for the average small business owner. Although the mobile card reader can work with some third-party payment apps without coding, this will incur an additional fee for every transaction.

2. Poor customer support

Stripe has a presence on all social media platforms and also provides support over email, phone, and chat. However, users have often complained about the quality of its customer service and even found it frustrating at times.

Stripe has a reputation of holding funds out of the blue or refunding them to customers without offering any rational explanation when contacted. Some users have also complained that it can be tough to fight chargebacks even with sufficient documentation.

Stripe charges a premium (starting at $1800 a month) for dedicated customer support to businesses that opt for it.

3. Delayed fund transfers

Although fund transfers are automatic, they’re not instant. Stripe takes 2-3 business days on average — and sometimes up to a week — to transfer the funds to your bank account which can be annoying for some users.

The first payout usually takes 7-10 business days while subsequent ones are quicker. Stripe also offers users an “Instant Payout” option for an additional fee of 1% of the total transaction amount.

How much does Stripe cost?

Stripe card reader options, the mobile BBPOS Chipper 2X BT card reader is priced at $59 while the countertop Verifone P400 costs $299.

Every time you process an in-person payment through Stripe, a transaction fee of 2.7% + 5 cents will be charged. For international credit and debit cards, you’ll be charged an additional 1%, plus another 1% if any currency conversion is involved.

If you decide to go the no-code way and use the mobile card reader with preprogrammed payment apps, you’ll have to incur an extra cost between 1% and 1.3%. Also, you’ll pay an additional 1% if you opt for instantaneous payouts.

When you put them all together, the rate seems to be rather stiff compared to some other payment processors. This makes Stripe a less than ideal choice for small businesses.

Are Stripe card readers suited for your business?

The Stripe Dashboard allows you to manage multiple card readers from a single platform which makes it an ideal payment solution for businesses with multiple locations and stores. This includes restaurants, coffee shops, pharmacies, and other retail outlets.

Stripe also has impressive success stories to share about its partnership with a number of medium-scale businesses. These are mostly artists, antique dealers, gym trainers, massage therapists, yoga instructors, and travel guides among others.

However, Stripe may not be an ideal solution if you run a high-risk business. Stripe is known to be strict with such businesses and your account may face suspension if your business falls under a prohibited category (even if you may have been accepted initially).

Stripe isn’t quite cost-effective so it may not be a good option for small businesses. The transaction fees can quickly eat away your already thin margins. Plus, payouts and slow, and if you don’t have the technical know-how required to configure the card readers, you’ll need to incur the additional cost of hiring a developer to do so.

Final verdict

Stripe card readers are mainly intended for businesses that already use Stripe to process online payments in some form. Stripe Terminal offers a relatively simple way to extend Stripe payments to their POS systems and unify their online and offline payments.

However, for businesses that primarily accept in-person payments, Stripe is neither a cost-effective nor a user-friendly solution. With Stax, on the other hand, you can be assured of quick payouts and out-of-the-box solutions that require no special coding skills to set up.

Our subscription-based pricing ensures that the more payments you process, the more you save. Plus, there are no hidden charges, no contracts, and no ancillary fees. Contact our award-winning customer support team today to learn how you can save on credit card processing fees with Stax Pay.

To learn more about our services at Stax, reach out to us today. We will be happy to answer your questions and help you benefit from our modern payment solutions.

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FAQs about Stripe Card Reader

Q: What is the Stripe Card Reader?

The Stripe Card Reader, part of the Stripe Terminal, provides businesses with a convenient method of processing in-person card payments, allowing both online and offline transactions to be managed from a singular platform.

Q: What are the features and benefits of the Stripe Terminal?

The Stripe Terminal’s highlights include unified payments, offering a flexible API and pre-certified card readers, and streamlined logistics. Other benefits include offering a variety of payment options, free setup, and monthly costs, providing a well-designed interface, ensuring data security through end-to-end encryption, and facilitating remote management of card readers.

Q: What are the drawbacks of using Stripe card readers?

Despite the various benefits, Stripe card readers also have some limitations. These include a need for coding knowledge for setup, reported quality issues with customer support service, and delays in fund transfers.

Q: What are the costs associated with using Stripe?

Stripe card reader options include the mobile BBPOS Chipper 2X BT card reader, priced at $59, and the countertop Verifone P400 which costs $299. Transaction fees of 2.7% + 5 cents are charged for in-person payments and additional fees for international credit and debit cards.

Q: Is Stripe a suitable choice for my business?

Stripe card readers are a suitable solution for businesses with multiple locations and stores due to the ability to manage multiple card readers from a single platform. However, Stripe may not be the most efficient or economical choice for high-risk businesses, small businesses, or those that primarily accept in-person payments.

Q: What is the final verdict on Stripe card readers?

Stripe card readers are an excellent choice for businesses already using Stripe to process online payments. Nevertheless, it might not be the most affordable or user-friendly solution for businesses primarily accepting in-person payments.


 

How Stax Connect Provided Value To Hindsite Customers

We sat with Hindsite’s CEO, David Crary, to uncover how partnering with Stax Connect, has positively impacted their business and delivered significant value to their customers. 

The Vision: Adding Integrated Payments to the Hindsite Platform

A year ago, Hindsite was at a crossroads. They had done an incredible job helping their 800+ users simplify operations through their field services software, but had yet to address adding integrated payments to their platform. While their technology helped solve important pain points for their customers, they knew that the next step was figuring out how to create a comprehensive solution inclusive of payments. 

They saw integrated payments as their way of increasing brand value and adding an additional revenue stream for the company. The ultimate goal was to add value to their current customers while establishing Hindsite as the central hub from which all field service contractors operate their business. With that in mind, it was increasingly important for them to find a partner who understood customer service, had technical expertise in the space, and held user experience at the core of their business.

The process of searching for the “right” partner proved to be strenuous, however, their uncompromising value of “customers first” ultimately led them to Stax Connect. 

Learn More

The Challenge: Communication and Visibility 

Hindsite realized that the road ahead would prove to be challenging if they did not find a partner who was committed to “go[ing] through the trenches with them.”  “Stax Connect has been great to partner with because there are a lot of back-end pieces that have to work in order for the integration to take place,” said David Crary. 

While choosing a payments partner, it was exceedingly important for Hindsite to find a company that would offer them the level of support that was required by their development team, because payment technology wasn’t their area of expertise. “The communication and visibility that the Stax Connect team continues to provide is outstanding and is a very big part of the reason why we chose them in the first place.”

RELATED: Deep Dive Into ISV Partnership 

The Solution: Stax Connect’s Step-By-Step Payments Integration and Implementation Support

In their evaluation of other integrated payments providers, Hindsite very quickly realized that the support offered from a technical perspective was very limited. Where other companies simply offered to provide them with API documentation and little to no technical support, Stax Connect stood above the rest. From the beginning, they “offered us support every step of the way and had a dedicated team to help us through the integration process and beyond.” In fact, “they helped us see why we hit a wall [in development] and even showed us how to get past it.” 

It was extremely important for Hindsite to find a partner that fit their DNA and was customer-centric above all else. “Although Stax Connect had superior technology, the relationship and alignment on core values were the primary reasons we [Hindsite] chose to go with Stax.” Stax Connect and Hindsite ultimately had the same core values and cared deeply about putting the customer first, giving them the support that was needed, and delivering the best possible service. 

How Adding Integrated Payments Technology Added Value To Hindsite Customers

“The problem we set out to solve when including integrated payments in our value offering has for the most part been addressed.” In fact, since the integration, Hindsite has witnessed improved user experience and has been able to save its users significant time, as they no longer have to operate from a separate platform for payments. Where before Hindsite customers had to spend countless hours reconciling their revenue, and working from two systems, this is no longer the case. Hindsite has also been able to help its customers tackle their accounts receivable problem through its new feature, ProntoPay, powered by Stax, which gives users the ability to store payment information and pre-authorize payments.  

In fact, according to Hindsite user Michael Rose, owner at Suburban Lawn Sprinkler, 

“The ability to accept payments through my Hindsite platform has been an absolute game-changer. Hindsite and Stax are constantly adding features and functionality to improve my experience. As a business in the service industry, we struggle with having a high accounts receivable balance, and thanks to Hindsite’s new feature ProntoPay – that’s no longer something I have to be worried about. For all those, struggling with high accounts receivable balances, I cannot recommend ProntoPay enough!”

 

Recap 

  • Accelerated integration of an all-in-one payment solution using the Stax Payment API and mobile SDKs, with full support and assistance from Stax payment experts at every stage
  • Easily consolidated credit card and mobile payments into their platform, with quick user enrollment capabilities through Stax Connect’s pre-built enrollment platform
  • Leveraged Stax Connect’s Command Center to deepen insights and understand enrollment, activity, and payment volume as their platform scales
  • Instant access to direct interchange rates through Stax allowed them to personalize their integrated payment pricing and create an additional revenue stream
  • Able to offer award-winning support services to their users with a partner who is also dedicated to creating and delivering top-level customer experience

Facilitating the Road Ahead

The Hindsite team plans on continuing to optimize the customer experience and adding more features to support their users from a payments standpoint, with the help of Stax’ technology suite. Hindsite’s ultimate goal is to continue to position its platform as the central hub for field service contractors. 

They recognize that payments are an integral part of a business’s DNA and they hope to further enhance their software (specifically their payments functionalities) to continue solving their customer’s pain points. “Getting paid is the biggest thing we can help our customers do and by partnering with Stax Connect we are on the path to creating a powerful solution for service contractors.” 

About Stax Connect 

Stax Connect is an award-winning payment technology leader in FinTech focused on empowering established businesses and software companies to streamline payment acceptance, simplify operations and grow their business. With its all-in-one integrated solution Stax Connect, traditional software companies have access to an entire payments ecosystem at their fingertips. This comprehensive solution equips software companies with the ability to accept payments from within their platforms to help create an overall integrated experience for their users. Stax Connect brings together all of the necessary payment processing tools and services into a single platform, thereby allowing a software company to own and monetize the entire payments experience.

RELATED: Stax Connect vs. Stripe Connect

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FAQs about Hindsite partner

Q: What led Hindsite to partner with Stax Connect?

Hindsite sought to add integrated payments to its platform as a means to increase its brand value and add an additional revenue stream. Stax Connect was chosen due to its understanding of customer service, technical expertise in the space, and commitment to superior user experience.

Q: What were the challenges Hindsite faced in adding integrated payments to their platform?

Hindsite’s main challenge was that they lacked expertise in payment technology. They faced difficulties in finding a company that could provide the necessary support to their development team for the payment integration.

Q: How did Stax Connect help Hindsite overcome these challenges?

Stax Connect offered Hindsite unprecedented technical support. They assisted Hindsite’s team at every step of the integration process, helping them understand and overcome development hurdles.

Q: What value did the integration of Stax Connect’s payments technology add to Hindsite customers?

The integration simplified operations for Hindsite users by allowing them to operate from a single platform, saving them significant time. They also introduced a new feature, ProntoPay, which eased the process of reconciling revenue and managing accounts receivable.

Q: How did Stax Connect and Hindsite align on core values?

Both companies put customer service at the forefront of their operations. They shared the same objective of delivering superior service and ensuring extensive customer support.

Q: What is Hindsite’s plan for the future with Stax Connect?

Hindsite intends to further optimize customer experience and add more features to support their users on the payments front with the help of Stax’s technology suite.

Q: What is Stax Connect’s role in B2B operations?

Stax Connect is an award-winning payment technology leader in FinTech that helps businesses and software companies simplify operations and grow their business. They provide an all-in-one integrated solution for streamlining payment acceptance.

Q: What is the primary benefit of an integrated payment solution for businesses?

Integrated payment solutions, such as Stax Connect, facilitate consolidated credit card and mobile payments into a single platform. They offer quick user enrollment capabilities, deep insights into enrollment, and activity and payment volume as the platform scales.

Q: What is ProntoPay, and how does it help Hindsite users?

ProntoPay is a feature enabled by Stax Connect that allows Hindsite users to store payment information and pre-authorize payments. This feature greatly assists businesses, especially those in the service industry, struggling with high accounts receivable balances.

Q: How has the partnership between Stax Connect and Hindsite impacted Hindsite customers’ experience?

The partnership has extensively improved the user experience for Hindsite customers. The integrated payments solution by Stax Connect has led to time-saving, improved revenue reconciliation, and efficient handling of accounts receivable balances.