How to Accept Credit Cards at Your Business

Accepting credit cards is a major step for any business — let First Merchant Payment Systems guide you through the process with expertise, providing products, services and solutions customized for your business.

Start with a Merchant Account

A merchant account is your passport to accept card payments for your business, whether online, over the phone or in a face-to-face situation. The purpose of a merchant account is to enable you to accept credit card payments.

The first step in setting up a merchant account is to choose a reputable processor like First Merchant Payment Systems. Our commitment to outstanding customer service, our desire to build meaningful relationships and our view that merchant service is more than just an agreement — that’s why thousands of businesses trust us to provide the payment processing options, support and security they need to grow.

There are two basic types of merchant accounts to choose from: card-present, where both the cardholder and payment card are physically present at the point-of-sale (POS), and card-not-present, or CNP.

  • Card-present transactions are the norm in traditional retail environments and mobile situations where the cardholder swipes, dips or taps their card or device at the terminal and the card reader collects the data.
  • CNP transactions occur when the card is not physically present, as is the case with online and mail order/telephone order (MOTO) sales where cardholder information is entered manually into the system.

Diversified businesses that deal in both card present and CNP transactions will typically require both types of merchant accounts.

Options for Accepting Credit Cards

Businesses today have a variety of credit card processing options to choose from. Choose the right solution for your unique business needs.

POS Terminal

The POS countertop terminal is your choice for accepting credit cards in face-to-face retail settings.

Online Credit Card Processing

Custom e-commerce solutions rely on an electronic device like a computer or tablet, an internet connection and an electronic payment gateway.

Mobile Credit Card Processing

Mobile processing utilizes an app-equipped tablet or smartphone plus a plug-in card reader to accept credit cards anytime, anywhere.

Wireless Processing

Wireless credit card processing uses software, a portable terminal and secure wireless network to connect to the processor.

Telephone Processing

Businesses that receive orders over the phone or by mail often rely on telephone processing to handle transactions.