Merchant services 101: A complete guide – Bankrate.com

When running a business, knowing how to accept credit card payments can be more complicated than it sounds. You first need to decide how you’ll accept payments and then get the necessary technology to process them. Merchant services, in particular, are a simple and efficient way to set payments up.

What are merchant services?

Merchant services is a broad term used to describe a range of financial services tailored to businesses. These services generally include things like processing payments, setting up payment gateways and even loyalty programs.

Finding a solid merchant service provider who can help you take payments with ease is invaluable. Merchant service providers can support your business with intuitive software, efficient payment processing hardware and more to take the hassle out of payment processing.

What do most merchant services include?

Credit card processing

The way businesses accept credit card payments is crucial to the day-to-day functioning of the company. Merchant services usually offer both online and in-person credit card processing services.

Payment gateways

If your business accepts online payments, you’ll need a secure payment gateway that a merchant service provider can offer. This is a piece of software that works in tandem with your website or e-commerce store to help you take payments.

Online transaction processing

Similar to a payment gateway, online transaction processing requires some work behind the scenes. Online transaction processing is essentially a piece of
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