Card machines play an key role in high street transactions, they have become an underlying yet essential part of our lives, but do you know how they work? Here at Compare Card Processing, we are the go-to-guys for card machines. From how the payment is authorised to how it gets into the retailer’s bank account we help you understand the process. Read how card machines manage countless transactions, seamlessly. 

The Process

While credit card readers may seem like magic, there is quite a simple process that takes place in less than a few seconds. We have broken the card processing down into 5 simple steps below:

Step 1 – Payment Authenticated

Once you have placed your card into the reader and entered your pin, the machine sends out a request to a merchant bank via a broadband or telephone line.

Step 2 – Transaction Submitted

As soon as the merchant bank receives the request. It then seeks authorisation from the customers’ bank by using the debit or credit card provider as the go-between.

Step 3 – Authorisation Requested

Once the card provider has verified the card details, they’ll relay the authorisation request over to the customers issuing bank.

Step 4 – Authorisation Response

The customers’ details will be checked by their chosen bank to verify they have sufficient funds in their account to make the payment.

Step 5 – Retailer Payment

Once the bank has ensured the customer has enough cleared funds, a signal is sent back to the card machine. It is at this point that a receipt is printed as proof of payment. While this process is completed in merely a few seconds, there is a bit more that the customer doesn’t see. The payment will have left the customers’ account but can take 2-3 days to end up in the retailers’ pocket (the acquiring bank account).

How Does Contactless Payment Work?

Contactless is a secure way to make and accept payments quickly. The customer simply waves their card at the card machine and the in-built microchip emits a short-range radio wave signal to send over the card information to the payment machine. Contactless payment does however lose the added security of the four-digit pin code. Thus there is no way to verify that it is the cardholder using the card.

Where We Come In

Here at Compare Card Processing, we are passionate about helping our customers find the best suited card machine for their business, for the best possible price. With our lowest price guarantee and personal consultations, we’ll make sure you find the perfect provider for your business needs without overpaying. You can even look at our simple card machine comparison page to quickly decide which reader best fits your business.

Contact Us – Compare Card Processing

At Compare Card Processing, we love to help all forms of businesses to achieve excellence and provide them with the best card processing system, tailored to fit their specific needs. If you have any questions or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to answer any queries you might have. Get a free quote today by giving us a call on 02034900097 or by emailing