How The Stax Integrated Payment Platform Keeps Your Multiple Location Business Organized

One of the biggest challenges, if you have multiple business locations, is tracking your sales and analytics. Disparate solutions can create blind spots if you can’t access your data all from one place.

Stax integrated payment platform gathers all of your data and funnels it into one merchant dashboard. You can dig into all your locations’ sales data to see if there are any gaps you need to address.

How to Take Advantage of Stax’ Multi-Store Reporting

You can track sales from different locations on the Stax platform using merchant analytics. Stax Company Overview Report will show you data from across all your solutions, while the Stax Dashboard will compile all of your locations’ data in one place. You can see sales, outstanding receivables, and deposits. This aggregated view organizes all your information, eliminating the need for reconciliation.

To access reporting, you can select the Company Overview Report form within the “Reports” tab and choose which store locations you’d like to include in the report. The system will then gather your data and present it to you in an easy-to-read dashboard. From there, you can track and manage everything from sales trends to deposit reports.

The Key Benefits of an Integrated Payment Platform

An integrated payment platform like Stax will simplify how you track your sales and profits. When your sales data is in one place, you can make decisions faster so you get hours back that you can reinvest into your stores.

Multi-store reporting also streamlines how you invoice customers across your different business locations. If you’re using separate tools for invoicing and analytics, your data may not line up. This means spending extra time and effort in reconciliation. But an integrated payment platform can provide you with data from across all your locations and solutions.

This is especially great if you charge monthly memberships or offer package deals. Since you can see outstanding receivables, you can better anticipate your cash flow. You have a clear view of how all your business locations are doing.

Multi-store reporting and merchant analytics will streamline your processes or completely eliminate manual number-crunching. This integrated approach to payments provides not only data but the context behind it. You can pinpoint which of your stores you should focus on without needing countless solutions and accounts to do it.

The Stax platform doesn’t just help clarify your data—it helps you drive further growth for your business.

At Stax, we offer an array of payment processing solutions that help you take your expanding business to the next level.

Ready to see how our Stax integrated payment platform can help drive growth for your business? Reach out to Stax for a consultation today.

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How to Boost Revenue by Adding eCommerce to Your Moving Business

If you run a moving company, then you will be quick to identify the challenges that your work brings on a daily basis. From managing labor to communicating with clients, you have a lot to take care of to run your operations successfully.

Even with stellar services, there’s a limit to the labor and moving tasks that you can accomplish daily. This can make it difficult for you to increase your revenues without having to invest more money to expand your operations. Thankfully, modern business technology can help you improve your business through eCommerce for moving companies.

To understand how eCommerce can help you effectively grow your moving business, here’s a breakdown of ways that this technology can help your operations.

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How eCommerce Can Help Your Moving Business Manage Inventory

Apart from labor, moving residents often require packing and protective materials to secure their belongings. This is especially true for items movers won’t handle due to safety and liability policies. Selling packing materials to a household separately from your moving services not only helps increase your profits but also lets you offer a holistic set of services that contribute to better customer experiences.

You are able to help the resident by providing them with the resources they need to take care of the furniture and home accessories during the move. At the same time, it makes it easier for the movers themselves to execute their given tasks.

Apart from selling these products through your office, you can use eCommerce for moving companies to offer the right items to your customers.

Some of the most common resources required to move a home include, but are not limited to:

  • Moving Boxes. These boxes are made out of cardboard and come in a variety of sizes. They are considered a staple in moving activities.
  • Packing Peanuts. These pieces of fill packaging can help you cushion items such as electronics, appliances, and kitchen accessories. They are typically used with moving boxes.
  • Bubble Wrap. This cushioning material can help you secure fragile items such as decorative accents and kitchen accessories.
  • Packing Foam. This material is also mostly used for kitchen supplies, but it can also be used for a variety of other items.
  • Packing Paper. This material can be used to secure an array of items before you put them in moving boxes.
  • Mattress Bag. As the name defines, this material is used to secure and hold mattresses during moving.
  • Packing Tape. This is an essential item in packing supplies that helps you hold your moving boxes together.

Boosting Revenue by Offering Customers Your Moving Materials

If you have a modern website, then it is going to be very easy for you to boost revenues by turning to eCommerce for moving companies. All it takes is a plugin or a small website change, and you can connect with an internet payment gateway to sell your moving products, just like any other regular eCommerce store.

By adding eCommerce features to your website, you can set yourself apart from other moving companies. This will allow customers who are willing to save money by buying the product directly from your business, while also learning more about your moving services. In turn, this will make it more likely for the customer to give you a call when they require moving transportation or labor.

At the same time, the eCommerce solution will allow you to take advantage of the ability to accept payments online. This can include customers who have booked your moving services.

Overall, integrating eCommerce features into your website can allow you to advance your moving business.

At Stax, we provide easy-to-use yet highly effective eCommerce solutions to businesses of all sizes. Whether your moving business is aspiring to scale its operations or if it already enjoys a significant presence in your service area, we at Stax can help cater to all of your growing business needs.

To learn more about our services and how they can integrate into your website, feel free to reach out to a Payments Consultant today. We will be happy to answer any questions you have and help you obtain our robust eCommerce payment services right away.

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Everything You Need To Consider While Choosing A Merchant Services Provider

According to research, around 89 percent of retail transaction volume comes from in-store payments, with debit and credit cards establishing themselves as the leading payment methods. This makes one thing very clear. If you need to grow your business and serve your target market, then you need to find the right merchant services provider. Only then will you be able to tap into the real buying potential of your target audience and sell your products to the scale you want.

But with the evolving requirements of modern finance and the advancements in payment solutions, it is not enough for a payment platform to simply accept debit and credit cards. It has to go beyond that practice. It’s one reason why you need to look into modern solutions that provide you with a certain edge against your competitors.

From data analytics to integrated payment platform services, here is everything that you need to consider while choosing payment processing platforms for your business.

Put Integrated Payments At the Forefront

While payments through debit and credit card processing lead to the charge in retail transactions, it doesn’t mean that they are the only mode of payment for modern business.

You now have to pay attention to various payment methods from a variety of avenues. It should come as no surprise that many customers still choose to pay via cash in-store, but now some make their payments using gift cards. If you also have an online store, then they may decide to place their orders over your e-commerce website and pay through there. With the rise of mobile payments, some customers now want to complete purchases via their mobile devices.

If your business has multiple storefronts, then you also need to consider the scale on which you accept these payments as you need to take those physical locations into account.

Consolidating payments from all these avenues isn’t easy. It requires extensive data entry, it needs additional hours by your employees, and it leaves room for human error in managing your finances.

As a modern way of accepting and consolidating payments from different avenues, integrated merchant services make it easy for you to operate and manage your retail operations.

Whether you manage multiple storefronts or if you accept more than one payment method at your business, your integrated payment services can consolidate revenues from all payment channels. This approach makes your payment management more efficient, all while eliminating any room for errors.

This approach includes payments from various methods, different locations, and even your online store. These revenues are shown into one easy-to-use interface, which lets you examine all your incoming transactions and their source.

When used via reliable payment processing platforms, these integrated solutions can also sync with your financial books automatically. This makes payment management even easier and lets you keep track of your finances in real-time. It also allows you to compare different payment channels and lets you know which avenue is generating the most income for your business.

Due to all these features of management and data analytics, you must put integrated payment solutions at the top of your list of requirements while shopping for payment services.

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Don’t Ignore Mobile Payments

Mobile payments are becoming the future of retail payments.

Whether they refer to the tap-to-pay mechanism through smartphones, scanning QR codes at your cash register, or using wireless equipment in place of traditional point of sale (POS) terminals, mobile transactions are gradually taking over the world of modern payments.

If you need your business to scale in the face of evolving technology, then you need a service that accepts mobile debit and credit card processing methods.

Since mobile payments refer to a variety of transaction methods, you must look into its different modes and decide what kind of mobile solutions you need.

For instance, if you simply operate through a brick-and-mortar store, then getting tap to pay and scan to pay solutions will be a great idea. But if you also do deliveries, then looking into wireless payment devices will be the way to go.

The best way to go about it is to look for payment processing platforms that are paying attention to mobile payments. From there, you can discuss your requirements with them and choose the best mobile solution for your business.

The process may sound daunting at first. But it is super easy if you find a credible merchant services provider who is willing to understand your needs and deploy services that are a perfect fit for you.

Keep Data Analytics in Mind

Another modern advancement in payment solutions that you need to keep in mind is data analysis. It may sound like a value-added feature at first. But it serves a higher purpose and is crucial to scaling your business according to your expectations.

By now, you know how an integrated payment platform can consolidate your payments and help you check your revenues through multiple avenues. But through the usage of proper payment data analysis, you can take this feature to a whole new level.

Payment data analysis puts a modern spin on payment management. Simply put, it uses different advancements in data science to help you understand your business’ status in your target market.

The right analysis takes into account all your transactions done via cash, gift card, debit card, and credit card processing. From there, it changes these transactions into easily readable data points through the power of visualization.

By the usage of different graphs and charts, you can see your revenues from multiple channels. But that’s not all. You can also zero down to the performance of specific products, loyalty programs, and your customers’ response to your store during different times of the year.

All of this leads you to get a good grasp of your target audience and your business’ performance. As a result, you can make better business decisions that help you with your product launches, your discount programs, and the management of different avenues.

The key here is to find payment processing platforms that help you get the most out of your data analysis. With most modern payment providers paying immense attention to this aspect, it is not difficult to find merchant services that come with powerful data analytics tools.

Keep the Costs in Mind

While shopping for features is fun, the joy of using the latest technology can dissipate quickly when the costs put a dent in your profits.

This aspect is why you must keep your costs in mind while choosing between debit and credit card processing solutions. Remember that this doesn’t mean that you have to give up on modern features.

It only serves as a reminder that you shouldn’t pay sky-high costs for features that you can easily find at affordable prices through different vendors. You just have to look a bit harder for them.

While looking for a common or integrated payment platform, make sure to look through different providers and make a note of their costs. Depending upon the kind of solutions you need, you will most likely have to keep the following charges in mind.

  • Setup Fee
  • Equipment Fee
  • Monthly Fee/Service Fee
  • Transaction Fee
  • Credit Card Processor Fee

It is also prudent to remember that these costs depend entirely upon the payment processor. You will be surprised to see that while some payment processors make it a point to charge premium prices for even the most basic services, other providers offer the same services without any charges.

The best way to go about it is to request specific quotes from different payment processing platforms. Since the costs depend upon the value proposition of each payment processor and how they are trying to make their mark in this competitive market, it is best to compare each processor’s features as well as their credibility side by side. You can think of it as your own data analytics experiment and have fun doing the research.

Doing this small activity saves you high costs in the long run. This is why, even if it sounds like an additional task, make sure that you follow through on it while choosing a merchant services provider.

Security

Offering debit and credit card processing come with a certain sense of responsibility. The method doesn’t only ask your customers for their financial information, but it essentially asks them to trust you with their finances.

Thankfully, you no longer have to go through intense banking requirements to sign up with payment processing platforms. Modern security and insurance features make sure that you, your business, as well as your customers, are protected in case of any involuntarily accepted fraudulent transactions. This takes the financial responsibility off of your shoulders. But you still have a certain sense of responsibility to protect your customers’ data any way you can.

Fortunately, making use of these features doesn’t require you to invest heavily in security infrastructure yourself. You just need to find credible merchant services providers whose backend systems come equipped with all the security mechanisms you need.

As a rule of thumb, any conventional or integrated payment platform will always come with the assurance of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

By using highly secure mechanisms to process payments, this information security standard makes sure that your customers’ data is protected from the harmful reach of malicious parties. It is crucial to check that your service provider complies with this standard before you choose them to conduct your business transactions.

With it, looking at additional security mechanisms such as modern equipment and encryption of data is also something that you should keep in mind at all times. Once again, the best way to move forward with this is to ask direct questions from each payment processor. This improvement gets you accurate answers and helps you make informed decisions.

Our modern merchant services at Stax complies with all security guidelines. Whether you need an integrated payment platform, online payment processing, data analytics, or mobile payments, our solutions can be the perfect fit for all your needs.

To learn more about how the Stax all-in-one platform can help your business, reach out to a Payments Consultant and request a savings quote today. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and help you benefit from our modern payment solutions to grow your business.

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7 Features To Look For In A Payment Processing Platform

Find the Best Payment Processing Platform

According to recent statistics, credit cards issued in the United States alone hold a value of approximately $2.92 trillion. Add that to the fact that 83 percent of Americans aged 30-49 own a credit card, and you have a customer segment with a spending power that can tangibly contribute to your business’ growth.

That’s why if you are looking to sign up with a modern payment services provider, you need to make sure your payment systems are equipped with a few essential features.

Here are seven key features you should look for in your payment processing platform.

Make Sure It’s an Integrated Payment Platform

The first thing you should look for in your new payment processing service is its ability to integrate with other key business tools. Overall, an integrated payment platform makes your payments faster and more efficient. But when paired with the other features on this list, it also brings a few additional advantages to the table.

With such a payment services system, you no longer have to do any reconciliation of invoices. You also don’t have to go through redundant data entry to receive your payment in your account.

This allows you to save time on your payment processing activities. Further, it helps you complete your payments with virtually just a few clicks.

Look for Multichannel Payments

Multichannel payments let you offer customers multiple ways to pay. Customers have more flexibility in how they shop and pay, likely leading to more revenue.

It keeps you from having to run after different payment systems to get your payments in order. It also lets you analyze the performance of different avenues quickly.

Remember that having a POS system that supports the key forms of payments that are best for your audience and able to be flexible in adding new ones later down the road goes a long way.

There are several ways to accept payments today, including but not limited to digital wallets, phone and mobile payments, and ACH payments. Your best bet is to look for a system that can support a wide variety of payment types and doesn’t limit you to using only 2-3 ways to pay. While you may not need to pay attention to all aspects of this process now, over time that could change.

Overall, this lets you broaden your horizons and expands your ability to accept all kinds of credit cards and alternative payment methods in the long run.

7 Features To Look For In A Payment Processing Platform

Also Check Out: The Mobile Payment Processing Guide for Businesses on the Move

Look for Mobile Payments Support

With the evolution of various business models and the need to go cashless for better business management, mobile payments are a necessary feature in the payments market.

To be clear, mobile payments encompass pick-up-and-go payments and allow you to tap into a broad variety of services that range from mobile card swipers to tablets and more. The idea is to have the flexibility to accept payments from anywhere in addition to accepting payments without a physical card being present.

Mobile payments work best with an integrated payment platform. Pairing up both of these features gives you a formidable payment system that can cater to all your needs.

Ensure Cost Effectiveness

All payment providers hold different charges for credit card processing. It is always important to do your research to avoid overpaying for providers as you start comparing each payment processing platform.

In addition to platform service costs, you will find that most modern payment processing software comes with unique cost-saving measures. Automated features such as tip acceptance, inventory management, and auto-syncing with accounting software such as QuickBooks Online are ways payments processing software can help save you costs day-to-day.

This is usually possible due to the way these payment processors deploy their services. But it also has much to do with their backend systems. By finding a company that offers a payment processing platform with the key features that your business can directly benefit from rather than a generic, one-size-fits-all solution, you can make the most of your platform.

Look for Data Analytics

Payment data analytics is yet another modern feature that has made its presence known in the past few years.

By using this powerful system to analyze your payments, you can get valuable insights into your business performance and customer perception. To make this even better, you can visualize data points with the use of graphs and charts.

When paired with compatible processing services, this feature makes it simple for you to analyze the historical performance of your business locations. It also lets you judge the effectiveness of your specific offerings, such as your loyalty programs. This helps you make effective decisions that help you grow your business with ease.

Check for Simplicity

You want to make sure that you use a platform that is simple and easy to use. When looking for the best payment processing system, there are a few things to consider in order to achieve the greatest simplicity. You must ensure that your adopted system is user-friendly, easy to use when accessing key features and tools, and adaptable when processing payments in various environments.

Simplicity also correlates to reliability. Having a system that is easy to navigate, makes it possible to accurately locate tools almost instantaneously, therefore decreasing the amount of time spent on insignificant tasks.

Simplicity and intuitive design are critical for sustainable long-term efforts. Consequently, working with a user complex platform will negatively impact your business’ efficiencies, revenue, and customers. As your company continues to mature and expand, it is essential to have a system that will adapt to you as well as your expected growth and changes.

Check for Digital Security Measures

Last but not least, you must check each system for compliance with key security measures.

Any payment processor worth it’s salt will ensure that you can safeguard your customers with complete compliance to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This is true for all providers, whether they offer their services through conventional or integrated payment platforms.

This compliance ensures that your payments are processed via exclusive, secure channels to keep your customers’ financial data secure at all times.

With the inclusion of additional payment methods, other security features such as Transport Layer Security (TLS) and tokenization for encryption are also being used by a variety of providers.

Make sure that you take the time to discuss security with your preferred provider before you sign up for their services. This way, you can ensure to keep your business safe from any liabilities.

At Stax, we offer secure, modern payment solutions that can be a perfect fit for your business. Whether you need mobile payment solutions or POS credit card processing, we can fulfill all your needs. To learn more about our state-of-the-art payment processing solutions, or get a custom savings quote, reach out to us at Stax today.

You Might Also Like: Boost Your Business in 2021 with a Payment Processor Platform

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FAQs about Payment Processing Platform

Q: What is a payment processing platform?

A payment processing platform is a system that facilitates the exchange of funds between customers and businesses. It allows businesses to accept various forms of payment, including credit cards, digital wallets, and mobile transactions.

Q: What are the key features to look for in a payment processing platform?

The key features to look for in a payment processing platform include integration with other business tools, support for multichannel payments, mobile payment support, cost-effectiveness, data analytics capabilities, simplicity and ease of use, and robust digital security measures.

Q: Why is integration important in a payment processing platform?

Integration is crucial as it allows the payment platform to work in tandem with other key business tools, making payments faster and more efficient. It eliminates the need for invoice reconciliation and redundant data entry, saving time and improving efficiency.

Q: What are multichannel payments?

Multichannel payments enable businesses to offer customers multiple ways to pay, providing more flexibility in how they shop and pay. This can lead to increased revenue and allows businesses to analyze the performance of different avenues quickly.

Q: Why should a payment processing platform support mobile payments?

With the evolution of business models and the need to go cashless, mobile payments have become a necessary feature in the payments market. They allow businesses to accept payments from anywhere and without a physical card, enhancing flexibility and convenience.

Q: Why is cost-effectiveness important in a payment processing platform?

Different payment providers charge different fees for credit card processing. Researching and comparing these charges can prevent overpayment. Moreover, modern payment processing software often includes cost-saving measures such as automation and synchronization with accounting software.

Q: How can data analytics enhance the effectiveness of a payment processing platform?

Data analytics can provide valuable insights into business performance and customer perception, allowing businesses to make effective decisions for growth. This feature simplifies the analysis of the historical performance of business locations and the effectiveness of specific offerings like loyalty programs.

Q: How does the simplicity of a payment processing platform impact its usability?

A simple and easy-to-use platform allows for quick navigation and access to key features and tools. It also adapts well to various environments, making payment processing more seamless and efficient. A complex platform, on the other hand, can hinder efficiency and negatively impact revenue and customer satisfaction.

Q: What security measures should be in place in a payment processing platform?

A reliable payment processing platform should comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) to safeguard customers’ financial data. Other security features such as Transport Layer Security (TLS) and tokenization for encryption are also crucial, ensuring that payments are processed via secure channels.

Q: What factors should be considered when comparing different payment processing platforms?

When comparing different payment processing platforms, factors to consider include the range of features offered, the cost for services, the simplicity and usability of the platform, the integration capabilities with other business tools, the types of payments supported, and the security measures in place.


 

How To Modernize Your Restaurant Billing System

Running a restaurant is often considered one of the most challenging jobs in the whole world. Yet, the restaurant billing system is made in a way that also makes it one of the highest-earning industries. In 2019 alone, the U.S. restaurant sector projected a record sales amount of $863 billion. This detail goes on to show that there’s plenty of money to be made here. It would be best if you found the right balance between smart decisions, favorable circumstances, and efficient support to earn your fair share of profits.

One way to ensure your restaurant’s success is by modernizing its billing system. Cutting out inefficiencies, improving processes, and adopting the right features are all part of this approach. When done right with an integrated payment platform, it can help you scale your business.

Why Improve Your Restaurant Billing System

In today’s era, cash payments are becoming a thing of the past. Whether taking a cab or paying rent, covering medical costs, or shopping for groceries, most of us have chosen to go cashless in our day-to-day transactions.

Convenience in making payments is a big draw for any customers, and restaurants that take care of this easily stand apart from their competitors. This is a huge reason why you need to modernize your billing system, but this is far from the only reason.

With modern payment solutions, you can also adopt more efficient processes for your restaurant. This improvement helps you in delivering faster services at scale with minimal slips in your quality, all while also cutting costs.

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How to Update to a Modern System

With the widespread access to modern payment features, updating your restaurant billing system is now easier than ever. It is all a matter of knowing what to do to improve your billing systems and take your operations to the next level.

Assess Your Current Billing System

The first step towards improving your restaurant billing system is by understanding its current capabilities and shortcomings. Pay attention to how your system allows you to manage your payments, and if it automates data entry or not.

By taking a look at your current payment methods, your accepted modes of payment, and your costs, you can know exactly what works and what doesn’t. Further, you will be able to take the required steps to improve your restaurant billing system accordingly.

Review Customer Payment Methods

If your current restaurant billing system doesn’t go beyond accepting cash and maybe a type or two of credit cards, then looking into additional solutions that will allow you to accept more payment types will be an improvement.

As a result, customers will have a greater chance of making a payment since they will be able to have the convenience of choosing the best way for them to cover their expenses. Here are a few modern solutions that you can consider when evaluating the various payment methods you can make available to your customers.

Mobile Merchant Payment Solutions

These mobile payment solutions can process your payment through mobile POS devices. You can also use mobile card readers to use your mobile phone as a POS device. They are most suitable for restaurants that perform deliveries or do popups.

Virtual Terminals for Payment Card Processing

You can use these solutions to process contactless card payments. These payments can be taken over the register or the phone by taking your customers’ payment card details. They are suitable for traditional restaurants that may also do deliveries. Since they do not need conventional POS, they are also quite helpful for mobile restaurants.

Online Payment Gateways

These gateways help your customers process payments online for their orders. These are most suitable for restaurants that make deliveries. This fact also includes virtual restaurants that don’t have a physical address.

Keep in mind that regardless of your preferred mode of payment, having access to various credit card networks such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover is essential to a holistic payment platform. Make sure that your updated restaurant billing system supports more than one of these popular payment processors.

Tickets or Invoices, Now or Later?

Modernizing your restaurant billing system is more than just adding increased flexibility in payments. It is also about how you ticket or invoice your customers, depending on the service you want to provide.

As your restaurant expands and grows it is important to take a look at your billing formats based on the addition of new or modern-day services. This is true whether it’s a request submitted online or how you plan on charging a patron tableside.

This also goes with the time in which you are looking to have the customer pay, especially when you are selling additional services, whether it’s catering or even an online store selling products unique to your restaurant. If you’re a quick-serve restaurant, do you need them to pay immediately at a register? Do you want the customers to pay before or after a to-go order has been picked?

Find solutions that allow you to expand beyond just requiring an in-house payment at the moment of the transaction. That is why when looking to modernize billing, you also need to make sure that you are able to easily manage and monitor each billing avenue from both front-of-house and back-of-house services. An example of this is adding a virtual terminal in addition to your traditional terminals, and having them both integrated into a unified payments platform such as Stax.

Streamline Inventory Management

Even more so, it is about how you can track your inventory items. Restaurant billing systems can now help with your inventory process and many come integrated with your existing POS programs. However, not all software automatically syncs information from your accounting software to your inventory. This is especially common with traditional POS systems.

These innovations matter because they help with costs and inventory control, especially as accounting software and inventory management often have common transactions such as sales orders, purchase orders, bills, and invoices. The system is then better able to provide accurate billing costs and assist in managing stock levels in real-time as you bill your customers.

As you scale, having a system that allows you to efficiently manage inventory helps reduce growing pains (for example running out of a popular menu item due to an increase in restaurant traffic). It also allows you to quickly respond to changes in your customer’s behaviors.

Customization

Effective management systems communicate with other technologies and tools to simplify your life. Restaurant billing systems are no different. They need to enable the ability to work with various tools such as customer relationship management tools, rewards programs, and other applications that may add significant value to optimizing your business.

Choosing Your Modern Solution

Compare Costs

No matter the type of payment methods you choose for your restaurant billing system, it is vital that you compare the costs between different providers before selecting one for your restaurant.

Equipment fees, transaction fees, and service fees all have a significant influence on your restaurant’s revenue. These costs apply whether you choose mobile merchant payment solutions or systems that use virtual terminals for payment card processing. Keeping this in mind, make sure that you maintain your vigilance in this aspect.

Ensure Security

Remember to make sure that the payment provider you end up selecting offers state-of-the-art security mechanisms. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is essential for all providers that process card payments through any means. Ensure that your chosen provider has full compliance with this standard to protect your customers from any mishaps.

Consider an Integrated Solution

An integrated payment platform helps you consolidate your payment solutions and improve efficiencies through automation. It lets you automate your financial bookkeeping. And it even improves your customer experience by detailed insights into your transactions. In simpler words, it is a one-stop-shop for everything related to your billing and payments.

Through its features, this modernized payment solution can help you cut costs, optimize processes, and reduce errors. That is why you must consider using an integrated solution as your billing system.

Discuss Your Needs With a Provider

To make sure that you are not only updating the payment methods in your billing system but also using modern mechanisms such as an integrated payment platform, make it a point to discuss your needs with your chosen provider. Whether you need support for mobile payment solutions or online payments, be open with what you want.

Remember not to bargain on features that you need the most, even if you have to look at a different provider to meet your needs. This improvement ensures that you are not making any compromises with your requirements, and genuinely updating to a modernized billing system that will stand the test of time.

Stax’ customizable payment solutions have helped restaurant businesses of all scales and sizes. Whether you run an edgy popup or a traditional steakhouse, we can help you cost-effectively modernize your restaurant billing system in no time.

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What Square’s New Pricing Means for Your Small Business

In an email to customers sent on September 25, 2019, merchant services company Square Payments announced new pricing for their Square processing customers customers to take effect November 1.

In the email, Square noted that their flat 2.75% pricing for tapped, dipped, and swiped transactions would now be changing to 2.6% +10¢ per payment. Companies with small tickets are going to be hit hardest by this price change.

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How Square’s New Pricing Works

Square Payments has commonly been chosen by businesses that run transactions at less than $15, such as coffee shops, quick-serve restaurants, and farmer’s market vendors. The flat pricing generally meant that their processing rates were lower.

For instance, on a $5 transaction at 2.75%, the business would be paying Square Payments $0.13. Under the new pricing model, a $5 transaction will cost $0.23.

While 10 cents doesn’t sound like a huge jump, let’s use an example to look at the cost over time:

Old Square Payment Processing Costs:

$5 transaction x 2.75% fee x 100 transactions per day x 365 days = $4,745 per year

New Square Payment Processing Costs

$5 transaction x (2.6% + 10¢ fee) x 100 transactions per day x 365 days = $8,395 per year

With Square’s new pricing, that’s a 77% increase in fees.

Who Does Square Processing’s New Payments Pricing Affect?

This pricing update is for card-present transactions – swiped, dipped, and tapped. Anyone using physical readers will see this change in their transactions beginning November 1. The biggest impact of this change will be felt by businesses with smaller transactions. Here’s how the processing fees break down for different transaction sizes:

Old Square Pricing Fee New Square Pricing Fee 2.6% + 10¢ Difference
$1 Transaction $0.03 $0.12 + $0.09
$3 Transaction $0.08 $0.18 + $0.10
$5 Transaction $0.13 $0.23 + $0.10
$10 Transaction $0.28 $0.36 + $0.08
$20 Transaction $0.55 $0.62 + $0.07
$50 Transaction $1.38 $1.40 + $0.02
$75 Transaction $2.06 $2.05 – $0.01
$100 Transaction $2.75 $2.70 – $0.05

As you can see, you will be paying more per transaction until you have average ticket sizes of $75 and above. For card-present businesses like restaurants, nail salons, and convenience stores, these fees will add up quickly.

You don’t have to be susceptible to Square’s price hikes on your business.

Request a complimentary analysis, and Stax will use your past statements to find out how much you’re truly spending on credit card processing. With the results, you can make the best decision for your company.

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What are NFC Contactless Payments?

NFC payments, or “near field communication” are what you might call Apple Pay, Android Pay, or a contactless mobile wallet. NFC contactless payments are convenient if you’re short on time and don’t like digging around in your wallet for exact change or to find your credit card. They’re also vital for businesses because today NFC is how customers want to pay.

In fact, there are more than 383 million people utilizing Apple Pay around the world. Starbucks developed its own way for customers to use their app to pay at the register as early as 2009. All you have to do is scan a QR code at the register, and your venti iced latte is paid for.

Today, the risk of not accepting NFC payments is losing out on any of those 24 million potential customers. Here’s how it works.

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Just Tap and Go With NFC Contactless Payments

To make an NFC payment, all a customer has to do is open their mobile wallet or app and tap their phone to a terminal. NFC-enabled terminals only communicate with the phone and the information is encrypted. This makes it more secure than swiping a card. The reader only connects with one phone at a time, so a customer can’t accidentally pay for someone else’s purchase.

To accept payments, you need an NFC-enabled countertop terminal or mobile swiper and a credit card processor that can facilitate contactless payments. If you’re not sure if your current processor can support NFC mobile payments, or if they charge an extra fee for it, sit down and discuss it with your merchant services provider.

Go Beyond Cash Registers

Tapping your phone at the register goes beyond retail chains. Restaurants have begun adapting NFC contactless payments too. 72% of mobile payment users are Millennials or Gen X’ers, so if your business caters to these demographics, you should look into NFC payments.

Your payments rep can recommend a terminal or mobile solution for you if you’d like to begin accepting contactless payments.

NFC contactless payments are on the rise across industries since they’re such a convenient and secure way to pay. Providing your customers with a wide range of payment options is the foundation of a smooth checkout. Easy checkout is just one part of providing a great customer experience that they will want to come back to.

This type of payment is also one of the fastest ways for customers to pay. With just a tap of their phone, your customer completes their payment. And because it’s an in-person transaction, interchange rates are lower than they would be if you keyed in a card. You can offer your customers a convenient way to pay while saving money at the same time.

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FAQs about NFC contactless payments

Q: What is NFC contactless payment?

NFC contactless payments are digital transactions that use near-field communication technology to facilitate payments through mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Examples of NFC payments include Apple Pay and Android Pay.

Q: Who uses NFC contactless payments?

NFC contactless payments are popular among a broad demographic, with over 383 million people utilizing Apple Pay worldwide. As per Pew Charitable Trust, 72% of mobile payment users are Millennials or Gen X’ers.

Q: How does NFC contactless payment work?

To make an NFC payment, customers must open their mobile wallet or app and tap their phone to a terminal. The NFC-enabled terminal communicates with the phone, encrypting the transaction information for secure processing.

Q: Why are NFC contactless payments important for businesses?

Accepting NFC payments allows businesses to cater to a sizeable customer base that prefers this form of payment. Additionally, businesses that don’t accept this type of payment risk losing out on potential customers.

Q: In which industries are NFC contactless payments being utilized?

NFC payments are increasingly popular across industries, primarily in the retail and food service sectors. They offer a convenient, secure, and efficient payment method for customers.

Q: What are the advantages of adopting NFC contactless payments?

Security is a key advantage of NFC payments—the encrypted communication between a single phone and the terminal ensures safe transactions. Plus, transactions are swift, offering a smooth checkout experience to customers and saving businesses time.

Q: How can businesses start accepting NFC contactless payments?

To accept NFC payments, businesses require an NFC-enabled terminal or mobile swiper and a credit card processor adept at facilitating contactless payments. If unsure whether your current processor supports NFC payments, consult with your merchant services provider.

Q: Are NFC contactless payments cost-effective?

Yes, since NFC payments are in-person transactions, their interchange rates are often lower than keyed-in credit card transactions. This keeps the cost lower for businesses.

Q: Do all smartphones support NFC contactless payments?

Not all smartphones support NFC technology. It’s advisable for consumers to check their phone’s specifications or settings to see if it’s NFC-enabled.

Q: Are there any transaction limits for NFC contactless payments?

The transaction limit for NFC contactless payments may vary depending on the customer’s bank and the country’s regulations. It’s advisable to check with the respective bank for accurate information.


 

What is a Payment Gateway and How Does It Work?

A payment gateway is a must-have for online stores. In fact, research shows that 74.3% of Americans made an online purchase in 2021 alone. And the best way for online businesses to start accepting payments is with a payment gateway.

Payment gateways facilitate online transactions while protecting sensitive cardholder data. This means customers can securely buy items from your store without the risk of identity theft.

In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of payment gateways including how they work and how you could go about implementing them in your business.

What Exactly Is a Payment Gateway?

Simply put, a payment gateway is a solution that securely reads and transfers a customer’s payment information to a merchant’s bank account—both for online and in-person transactions. Think of it as a cash register, except that the payments it processes are non-cash. These may include credit cards, debit cards, eChecks, and digital wallets (like Google Pay, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, PayPal, Venmo, etc.).

Essentially, it’s a piece of software that creates a secure tunnel for customers to connect with and transfer funds to merchants in online transactions. It’s also the software in your POS system or card readers that processes the customer’s payment data in a brick-and-mortar setting. The job of the payment gateway is to capture payment info securely, make sure that adequate funds are available in the customer’s account, and get the merchant paid.

You can think of payment gateways as a middleman between your store and your customer’s credit card. Such solutions are increasingly important as eCommerce and online transactions continue to rely on credit card payments and other mobile payment solutions to simplify payments.

Popular payment gateways include Authorize.net, Stax, Stripe, Adyen, Square, etc. Some of them also offer a merchant account (besides the payment gateway). Most payment gateways come with features like fraud detection and data encryption that are specifically geared towards keeping your customers’ payment information secure.

The modern business owner must think about aspects such as payment processor partners, PCI DSS compliance, and point of sale transactions in addition to various payment methods as credit card transactions and general commerce continues to evolve.

Thankfully, those who run retail stores, have instances to process credit card payments, and seek to grow their business in a simple and straightforward fashion, can rely on partners like Stax to guide them and simplify their payment processing operations.

Payment Gateways vs Payment Processors

Before we proceed further, it may be worthwhile to understand the differences between a payment gateway and a payment processor as these are often confused.

Payment processors facilitate the transfer of payment data between card-issuing banks and acquiring banks to transfer funds to your merchant account. However, they would need the help of payment gateways to authorize the transaction and communicate with the other moving parts.

What Is a Payment Gateway Account?

It’s an account or a payment processor solution that allows you to accept debit card and credit card payments from your customers in online and brick-and-mortar settings.

When connected to a website or a point of sale (POS) system, the gateway processes the credit card’s keyed-in or physically-captured information safely and securely. If the transaction is authorized, the solution initiates the process of transferring funds into your merchant account.

This is a simple solution that works for businesses and their customers. However, there are a lot of moving parts involved. To understand this better, first, let’s take a look at the key stakeholders involved in the process.

Key Stakeholders Involved in Payment Gateway Processing

The following stakeholders are involved in any payment processed via a payment gateway:

  1. The customer (or cardholder) who makes a purchase.
  2. The merchant (or business) that makes the sale.
  3. Card networks (like Visa, Mastercard, etc.) that manage the customer’s card.
  4. The customer’s card-issuing bank that holds their credit card account.
  5. The merchant’s bank (or acquiring bank) that holds the merchant’s business account.

How Does a Payment Gateway Work?

As discussed above, payment gateways are the intermediary between your store and your customer. The gateways authorize the customer’s payment and encrypt the cardholder information. It then confirms the payment with the issuing bank and deposits the money into the merchant account. The gateway itself, besides being secure, is an easy way to facilitate online transactions for your store.

The gateway performs this function by connecting to debit card/credit card networks such as Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express. It also reaches out to the credit card issuer, which is the issuing bank or financial institution that provided the card to your customers.

After connecting to the network and issuer, the gateway verifies the validity of the customers’ credit card information and overall transaction data.

Once the gateway receives an answer from the issuer regarding the availability of funds and the authenticity of the information, it passes on the acceptance or the rejection of the transaction to you and your customer. This allows you to confirm whether a transaction has been validated.

Here’s a more fleshed-out look at how payment gateways work:

How Payment Gateways Work Infographic_Body Image

  1. The customer initiates a transaction by entering their data on the merchant’s eCommerce site or by using their credit card in a brick-and-mortar store.
  2. The payment gateway passes along the customer’s credit card information to the acquiring bank (i.e., the entity that processes payments on behalf of the merchant).
  3. The payment processor interfaces with the customer’s card network (e.g, Visa, Mastercard), which then routes the transaction to the issuing bank (the bank that issued the credit card to the customer).
  4. The issuing bank verifies that there are funds available in the customer’s account to cover the purchase amount. This step is also used to determine whether or not the transaction is fraudulent. From there, the bank will approve or decline the transaction.

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Benefits of Using a Payment Gateway

While the process involves intensive PCI compliance security, and encryption methods to connect with the credit card issuer, the gateway ensures a simplified process on the front end. This ensures that customers don’t have to go through complicated procedures to complete transactions at any point in time.

For instance, if the customer is processing the credit card payment online by themselves, they can enter the card details and then wait for just a few seconds before learning whether their credit card payment has gone through or not. Since the gateway is usually integrated within your website or app, this doesn’t require your customer to go through any complicated processes. They need to enter necessary information such as their name, card number, card expiration date, and CVV code.

Similarly, suppose the transaction is being performed through payment hardware such as a POS terminal. In that case, it only takes a few seconds after swiping, dipping, or tapping the card to know if the transaction is authorized or not. This process also doesn’t ask for any complicated details and requires the card to be present with an authorized user.

Due to this mechanism, the gateway acts as the backbone of any merchant account setup. Without the payment gateway’s encrypted and robust connection to the card issuer and network, it’s not possible to authorize or confirm transactions. Keeping this in mind, a gateway account is essential to every business and organization that wants to accept credit card and debit card payments.

Can Payment Gateways Be Bundled with Other Merchant Account Services?

Many standard merchant service providers bundle these services with their online or in-person hardware solutions from the start. These offerings are mostly seen with online payment gateways.

However, they are also available for brick-and-mortar solutions that ensure you don’t have to run to one provider for POS hardware to another for a gateway account and to another for a gateway account. With that being said, this model can sometimes limit your flexibility in terms of choosing a combination of solutions.

There are many hardware manufacturers that need a third-party payment gateway providers for their POS equipment to come to life. The process to benefit from these types of offerings is made easier by contacting payment providers rather than equipment manufacturers. These providers can help you find the right combination of hardware and software solutions that are the perfect fit for your needs.

Whether you want to use your gateway account in an in-store or online setting, you must pick your gateway account with support for multiple networks in mind. This makes sure that you can easily accept payments from major networks and don’t have to turn away any customers.

Why Should You Use a Payment Gateway?

Payment gateways secure your transactions so you can stay PCI compliant. Any business that handles cardholder data needs to be compliant with PCI Data Security Standards. Using a gateway is the best way to do this for your online store. The gateway encrypts the cardholder’s data so the information stays safe and secure.

Payment gateways also give your customers a quick checkout experience. Adding too many steps, like creating an account to check out, can bring down a customer’s experience. This can make them less likely to want to shop at your store again–and less likely to finish their transaction. But payment gateways don’t disrupt the checkout process.

Instead, they allow you to seamlessly accept payments and encrypt the information so checkout is easy and secure.

What Is a Payment Gateway Fee?

The payment gateway fee largely depends upon the provider that you choose. That being said, the fee payment model usually stays the same across different payment gateway providers.

For instance, it is a usual practice for payment gateway service providers to attach a fee to each transaction that gets processed by the solution. In many cases, this includes a percentage of the whole transaction amount and a flat rate on top. Some providers can also include their additional pricing on top.

Transaction fees can also change due to various other factors. For instance, if you are processing a Visa or a Mastercard payment card, the fee may stay on the average rates mentioned above. But if you accept payments through an American Express card, the charges may rack up to a higher amount.

Different tiers of payment cards also play their part. Some credit cards that fall under the processor’s rules are considered “qualified” and have their payments processed at a lower fee. Whereas, other cards are deemed “non-qualified” and have their transactions completed at a higher charge.

Other charges such as monthly subscription fees may also apply to a payment gateway solution. This particular fee is usually quite nominal and may fall across a wide range. With that being said, these estimates can easily change depending on the provider that you end up selecting. While this is usually a small charge, it’s important to compare it with other providers to make sure that you are not paying more than your fair share of costs.

There are also several other fees that may relate to a payment gateway account. Some services set a monthly minimum threshold for processing payments at their usual transaction rate. If this threshold is not met, you may need to cover additional charges out of pocket. Many payment gateway services maintain this model to protect their expected revenues. If a business cannot fulfill its expectations with the number of transactions, these payment gateway solutions tend to recover their losses through this monthly minimum fee.

There are also other fees related to payment gateway solutions that can depend on the provider and your business industry. While most of the additional fees are not high in cost on their own, they can run past a certain level when you add them all together. That is why it is important to remember these charges and see what other providers might offer in terms of the overall cost.

As mentioned above, the overall fee for your payment gateway account varies on the provider themselves. This makes it incredibly important to do your due diligence and learn about all the involved costs before you sign up for such a service.

What Should You Look for in a Payment Gateway?

When it comes to choosing a payment gateway, security is a huge concern. You need to be PCI compliant as a business owner, so ensuring the payment gateway you are using encrypts cardholder data is a must.

You should also make sure your payment gateway integrates with your shopping cart. Many online shopping carts allow for customization so you can create a branded experience from end to end.

Stax’ payment gateway easily integrates with major commerce platforms like Vend, WooCommerce, and Shopify. Stax also offers a payment API, allowing you to set up custom integrations for your specific needs.

Your payment gateway and payment processor should allow for easy integration when it comes to using their technology. Some merchant service providers charge a fee for setting up or providing you with a payment gateway, with a recurring charge every month. Be on the lookout for this extra fee.

Payment gateways are absolutely necessary for online stores and eCommerce. And the right processor can help you save money on credit card processing without adding on extra fees.

How Do You Integrate With a Payment Gateway?

Integrating a payment gateway solution into your business isn’t difficult. Several payment providers come with an integrated option, which means you do not have to buy your hardware POS equipment and your payments account from different solutions. This is especially true for online payment gateway services, which are offered directly by payment processors without hardware requirements.

Whether you are finding a best payment gateway solution for a brick-and-mortar solution, an online store, or a hybrid business that caters to both models, you do not have to go through strenuous processes if you know what you are doing.

While a payment gateway for an in-person solution often comes in a ready-to-use offering, setting up an online payment gateway is also not difficult. You need to sign up with the service and integrate its back-end solutions on your website.

From there, you can quickly start accepting credit card and debit card payments on your terms through your shopping cart. Payment gateway solutions also allow you to accept recurring payments conveniently, which adds to their overall ease of use.

Different Types of Payment Gateways

With that, it is essential to remember that you might have to choose between different types of solutions when it comes to online payment gateways. Some payment gateways may allow you to integrate the interface within your website itself. Whereas others might redirect the customer to the payment gateway’s page.

In general, there are three types of payment gateways:

  • On-site (or Self-hosted). In this case, the checkout and payment processing is entirely handled by your own servers (which is usually the case with larger businesses).
  • Off-site (or Hosted). In this case, the checkout happens at your site or physical store but the payment processing takes place on your payment service provider’s servers.
  • Redirects. In this case, the customer is redirected to a processor (like Stripe or PayPal) to complete the transaction.

How Simple Is It to Optimize Credit Card Payments Through a Payment Gateway?

Overall, integrating a payment gateway into your day-to-day solutions is not a necessarily challenging task. While the first few steps may seem stressful, you can breeze through them with the help of the right provider. As long as you reach out to a solution that strikes the perfect balance between a user-friendly and cost-effective approach, you can process customers’ payment transactions with the utmost peace of mind.

If you are thinking about fees or payment types, in addition to PCI compliance and securing payment information, remember that payment solution providers like Stax are there to help.

Stax ensures that you understand more about merchant account providers and the payment options available so that you can best optimize your eCommerce sites, process payments, and have easy-to-use solutions that help your small business thrive.

With Stax Pay, it’s now easier than ever to implement payment gateways and online shopping carts, with no setup fees or contracts.

Whether you’re starting up an online store or looking for a better-integrated payments solution, the right payment gateway will make checking out convenient for customers.

Learn more about our retail payment processing solutions. To see if Stax Pay is a fit for your retail business, contact us to set up a consultation.

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Quick FAQs about Payment Gateway

Q: What is a Payment Gateway?

A payment gateway is a secure solution for transferring customers’ payment information to a merchant’s bank account during online and in-person transactions. It acts as an intermediary by capturing payment data securely, confirming adequate funds in the customer’s account, and processing payments on behalf of the merchant. Popular payment gateways include Authorize.net, Stax, Stripe, Adyen, and Square.

Q: What is the difference between a Payment Gateway and a Payment Processor?

While payment gateways authorize transactions and communicate with banks, payment processors facilitate the actual transfer of payment data between card-issuing banks and acquiring banks for fund transfers. Both payment gateways and payment processors work together to complete online transactions.

Q: How does a Payment Gateway work?

payment gateway connects to debit/credit card networks such as Visa and Mastercard and verifies customers’ transaction data. It authorizes the transaction, confirms funds’ availability, and deposits money into the merchant account, securely facilitating online transactions for the store.

Q: What are the key benefits of using a Payment Gateway?

Payment gateways offer a secure, PCI-compliant method of processing online transactions. They make it easier for customers to complete transactions without going through complicated procedures while also providing security through encryption and fraud detection features.

Q: How do I integrate a Payment Gateway into my business?

Integration can be simple if you choose a provider that has an integrated solution. For online payment gateways, sign up with a service and integrate their back-end solutions on your website. For in-person solutions, many payment gateways come with a ready-to-use offering that easily syncs with your POS system.


 

Basic Credit Card Processing Terms Defined

Do you know all you should about basic credit card processing terms? Credit card processing can be a confusing industry. There are many terms and a lot of players, but it pays to understand how it all works to make sure you get the best services for your business. A lot of companies who provide payment processing don’t want business owners to know how it works – this way, they can get away with charging very high markups and unnecessary fees without argument from their customers.

Below is a brief list of some key terms you will find in the credit card processing industry. This list is by no means exhaustive but will provide a good summary of key players and institutions you may encounter as you research the best options for your company.

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Merchant Services

These are authorized financial services organizations that allow businesses to accept credit or debit cards online or in person. Any business that wishes to accept credit cards must have a merchant services account.

Independent Sales Organization

This is a third-party company that is authorized by banks to handle merchant services accounts for businesses. Banks also offer their own merchant services for businesses, but oftentimes you will experience better customer support, lower rates, and more advanced technology with Independent Sales Organizations.

Cardholder

If you have a debit or credit card, then you are already pretty familiar with this role. This person holds a card from an issuing bank that can be presented for payment.

Card Association

Card associations are made up of VISA, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover. These are not banks, but rather governing bodies with responsibilities such as setting interchange fees, arbitrating between issuing and acquiring banks as well as maintaining and improving their card networks.

Interchange

Interchange is the lowest possible cost of accepting cards for business owners. Card associations charge interchange in exchange for the business to be able to accept their cards. Every merchant pays interchange if they accept credit cards, regardless of size or industry.

Acquiring Bank

The acquiring bank is the merchant’s bank. These banks hold the merchant’s funds and acquire the money from purchases made. In the context of credit card processing, acquiring banks accept the money from a card transaction once the card is authorized and deposit that money into the merchant’s business account.

Issuing Bank

The issuing bank is the cardholder’s bank. They issue cards to the cardholders and are members of associations like VISA or Mastercard. Issuing banks pay the acquiring banks for the purchases their cardholders make. The cardholder then has the responsibility to pay back the issuing bank in accordance with their credit card agreement.

In some cases, acquiring banks will contract with merchants and set up merchant accounts. These accounts allow the merchant to accept credit cards. The other option merchants have is processing credit cards through an Independent Sales Organization, or ISO. As mentioned above, these companies are certified and handle the day-to-day activities of merchant accounts and have unique benefits over bigger banks.

Stax is one of the only ISOs on the market that is dedicated to the success of businesses of all sizes. With leading technology and dedicated customer support, Stax helps small businesses stay competitive and grow with the ability to accept credit cards.

To learn more about our suite of payment processing solutions or to request a custom quote, speak to a Payments Consultant today.

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