What is a card processing service?
Whether you are a new business or you are looking to upgrade your existing system,
choosing the right card processing services for you can be a tricky decision and it is one of
the biggest to be made for your business – no pressure!
Payment processors vary, but they are all companies that action credit and debit card
transactions. They connect merchants, merchant banks, card networks and customer bank
accounts to facilitate card payments. Choosing the best merchant card services can be tricky
but fear not, we’re here to help.
At this point, you might ask ‘how do card processors work?’ This is a good question. Despite
taking only a couple of seconds, it’s not by magic. Credit card processing is a complex
process involving multiple steps and, vitally, an internet connection. For ease, this can be
simplified to three steps: authorization, settlement and funding.
Credit card processors are important partners for your business that allow you to elevate
your transaction procedures. You don’t need to become an expert, but you will be able to
offer better merchant card services and better consumer experiences if you know how
credit card processing actually works.
What are the key differences between services?
There are two main options to choose from.
- A simple credit card processor where card charges are paid per transaction
- A merchant account solution, this has monthly fees but overall card processing costs are reduced
A General Processing option means that the chosen processor acts as a middleman between the business and the banks, this is a great merchant card service.
What are the top 5 card processing services?
Established in 1998, PayPal operates in over 200 countries worldwide and delivers
approximately 30,525 transactions per minute through merchant card services.
Pro – PayPal is a well-known and trusted household name. A considerable number of
consumers are familiar with PayPal and have accounts set up making the transaction
process simple and straight forward.
Con – PayPal take a transaction fee on transfers and withdrawals; this can range from 2.9-
Square operates the world’s most popular mobile card reader. It is a fantastic merchant
card service, both in terms of payment processing and for POS (point of sale) opportunities.
Pros – Square has a flat pricing structures – great for SME’s. There are lots of customer
support possibilities. Android and iOS compatible.
Cons – Quick to freeze suspicious transactions which can result in delayed processing. Set
fees can be higher for large businesses.
Stripe is a relatively new player in the market. This has enabled it to only operate with the
latest technology, they launched in line with current market expectations and can be
considered to be advanced in this area compared to competitors.
Working from a cloud-based system, Stripe has an in built analytics package that
compliments their payment processing and fraud prevention services.
Pros – Stripe accepts credit card, debit card and Bitcoin from over 135 countries. The fees
are competitive and thy have high security technology to prevent fraud.
Cons – Stripe cannot process PayPal payments. You would need different gateways for
online and offline payments.
Sage Pay is a card payment processor that offers full merchant account services including
online, face-to-face, phone and invoice payments. It is integrated with accounting facilities
meaning you can simplify the financial management of your business.
Pros – Integration of accounting and processing, helping to save money on overall business
costs. There are a lot of different service options and lower transaction fees are available
depending on the size of your business.
Cons – Sage Only offer monthly billing options and the cancellation period is 3 months.
Launched in Canada in 2017, now breaking the US market and set to come to the UK. They
have gained fast momentum through their transparent policies and limited fee system.
Pros – Helcim have a transparent transaction system meaning there are no surprise fees
throughout the journey with them.
Cons – They are newer to market and currently offer limited service locations and fewer
Do you have more questions about deciding which system is best for you?
At Compare Card Processing we want to help all sorts of businesses to have the right card
processing system that works for them. Just answer our online questionnaire to get
started or get in touch today for more information. Get a free quote today!