Does Online Credit Card Processing Work The Same As In
In-store and online credit card processing work in the same manner, the only difference is the consumer doesn’t swipe a credit card. Instead, he or she inputs their credit card information while checking out online. This typically includes providing the card number, expiration date, the CVV number and the shopper’s billing address. Most credit card processors support both in-person and online payments. The latter is becoming more important as e-commerce and mobile commerce become more popular.
How To Request Credit Card Information Via The Client Portal
Once your Client Portal is set up for your practice, you can easily request credit card information from your clients so that they can access and pay off their balance using their credit card, directly through their secure Client Portal.
Tip: To get the Client Portal set up for your practice, see our guide: Setting up the Client Portal. See our guide on Using the Client Portal to make credit card payments to help clients with managing their credit card payments.
By default, the is selected in your settings if you do have a Stripe account linked to your SimplePractice account. This means that it will be included in the intake packet you send to a new client. You’ll have the option to deselect that form before sending the client intake when you save a new client’s information:
If you do not want to include the in the default intake packet, here’s how to remove it:
- Go to Settings > Client Portal > tab.
- Scroll down to find the Demographic & Credit Card Forms section. There you’ll see the form with the box selected to include the form in the intake.
- Deselect this checkbox so the form is not sent by default.
Your client will be able to update or add new credit card information as long as you request it again via the Client Portal. Here’s how:
- Navigate to the client’s Overview page.
- In the client’s box, you will be able to click to select the form to resend.
Open A Merchant Services Account
To process credit card payments, youll need to apply for and open a merchant services account .
A merchant account is essentially the liaison between your business account and the customers bank account, where money is first transferred before the payment is authorized and moved over to the business account for withdrawal.
To get a merchant account through a bank, youll need to prove youre a legitimate business and generally provide the following documents as part of your application:
- Business bank account details
- PCI compliance
- Other supporting documents including business plans, marketing materials, and more
With the documents in place, youll be ready to shop around for accounts that best serve your business.
Did You Know?
According to the Cash Product Office of the Federal Reserve, consumers used cash for only 26% of all payments in 2019, with the rest being made up of debit cards, credit cards, prepaid cards, and electronic payments . Accepting credit card payments is a must-have in todays consumer environment, whether youre a small business owner with a brick-and-mortar store, a stall at the farmers market, or an online shop.
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How Do I Stop A Company From Charging My Debit Card Bank Of America
Give your bank a stop payment order
Even if you have not revoked your authorization with the company, you can stop an automatic payment from being charged to your account by giving your bank a stop payment order . This instructs your bank to stop allowing the company to take payments from your account.
Open A Merchant Account
When youve selected the merchant service provider best suited to your particular business model, youll need to open a merchant account with them. A merchant account allows your business to accept and process credit card payments and receive those payments in your business account. Opening a merchant account through a reputable MSP is the simplest way for small businesses to accept credit cards, although its also possible to open a merchant account through a local bank.
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What Are The Basics Business Owners Should Know About Credit Card Processing
You have a lot of options when it comes to credit card processing, but there are some processors that are accessible for nearly every business even for solopreneurs and freelancers.
If you are an entrepreneur or a freelancer just starting out, consider a mobile credit card processing company like Square, which has flat rates, no contracts, a free mobile credit card processing app and affordable card readers that connect to a phone or tablet. Then, as your business grows and your processing volume increases, you can add more equipment and features, or you can switch to a more advanced payment processing service.
Here’s why we like mobile credit card processors for new businesses:
- Low startup costs. You already have a smartphone or even perhaps a tablet the only thing you need to buy to start accepting credit cards is a card reader. Some processors give you a free swiper when you sign up, but you want a model that accepts chip cards and contactless payments. These readers cost less than $100 .
- Pay-as-you-go fees. Most flat-rate processors only charge you when you run a card you pay a flat rate for each transaction. This rate looks higher than what some processors advertise, but that’s because you aren’t paying monthly account service fees. If you opt for a full-service processor, look for one that has interchange-plus pricing it’s more transparent and economical than tiered pricing structures.
What If Youre Not Selling Online
You can still use this method of accepting credit cards but its not bulletproof. Heres what you do:
- Your client gives you their credit card details, name, address, email and phone number.
- You create a web page that has the PayPal buy now button code on it
- You pretend to be your customer and click the buy now button and enter in all their details
- Submit the payment! Note: Sometimes this method can return an unknown error in PayPal. Errors seem to occur about 10% of the time. If thats the case, you can try submitting it in incognito mode or try a different device connected to a different Internet connection. If that fails, you will need to ask for a different credit card from your client or try one of the other methods on this page.
Tip: As a last resort, you can give the client your bank details for a direct deposit. This isnt ideal because you lose control of the transaction. But if you present your offer correctly, they will follow through with the purchase over 90% of the time.
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How To Accept Credit Card Payments Online For Free
Meaghan has provided content and guidance for indie retailers as the editor for a number of retail publications and a speaker at trade shows. She is Fit Small Businesss authority on retail and ecommerce.
This article is part of a larger series on Payments.
Businesses can accept credit card payments online without any monthly or startup fees using services like Square and PayPal, but there is no escaping transaction fees. Thats because card-issuing banks and credit card associations charge a fee whenever a credit or debit card is used as payment.
The standard transaction fee for online payments is 2.9% + 30 cents, though you can lower rates with volume discounts and opting for ACH payments or bank transfers, which typically have a 1% fee.
- You cant accept credit cards online for free. Learn more about why theres no such thing as free credit card processing.
- However, choosing the right payment processor can greatly reduce the amount you pay.
- There are also other methods you can use, including ACH and e-check payments, to help reduce costs.
Square is one of the easiest and more affordable solutions for accepting payments online. Its free to set up and comes with an online store, invoicing capabilities, a virtual terminal, and a point-of-sale app. Theres no application process or monthly minimums anyone can sign up and start accepting payments online for a standard 2.95 + 30 cent transaction fee. Visit Square to create your free account.
What Are The Typical Credit Card Processing Fees
The assessment or service fee is another non-negotiable cost. Payment processors must pay it to the card networks, and they pass that fee on to the merchant.
The payment processor’s markup is the fee you can negotiate, depending on your vendor. This is the fee the payment processor charges to use its services.
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Ways To Avoid Extra Fees And Interest
In a pinch, fast access to cash can help you cover an emergency or unexpected crisis. But one of the most unattractive aspects of is how expensive they can get. Not only is the interest rate usually higher than on regular credit card purchases, but youll typically have to pay a fee as well.
Special Rules For Surcharges At Gas Stations
Beginning July 2017, Michigan law requires gas stations whose advertised motor fuel price is subject to one or more conditions to post those conditions on road signs next to the advertised fuel price, with equal illumination, in lettering of the same style and of at least ½ the size used to post the sale price.
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How To Refund A Client
If you ever need to refund a client for any reason, you can perform a full or partial refund by:
- Go to Billing > Card Transactions
- Next, find the transaction youd like to refund
- Click the Refund button to the right of the charge amount:
- On the next screen that appears, you can enter the specific amount you’d like to refund your client
- Click the Refund button in the upper right to finalize the transaction
Important: Refunds will take 5-10 days to appear on a client’s statement. If you issue a full refund with SimplePractice, the entire amount is refunded to your client. There is no additional fee associated with processing refunds. However, you’re responsible for the processing fee that was incurred as part of the original transaction. The processing fee is 2.95% + $.30 for each successful transaction. This information is included in our Terms of Service under Section 11 Stripe Payment Service. In the future, you can charge your clients for credit card fees in SimplePractice as long as it’s legal in your state to do so. You can learn more here: Adding a credit card processing fee to invoice.
If a refund to a client fails for whatever reason , you will see that you attempted to refund the amount, followed by a Failed refund notification and an Adjustment. The Adjustment denotes that the funds were returned to you.
Secure The Lowest Credit Card Processing Fees For Your Business
Remember to choose a secure merchant services provider that offers a PCI-compliant payment gateway and integrated payment services to optimize your processing solutions. Also, ensure that your processor offers flat rate or interchange plus pricing and in-house customer support.
With these simple steps, youll be on your way to getting the cheapest credit card processing for small businesses.
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Merchant Accounts Make It Possible To Accept Credit Card Transactions
When a customer makes a purchase, their money must go somewhere. E-commerce credit card payment systems are not tied directly to your existing bank account, so funds wont go directly into your business bank account. Instead, youll need to open a merchant account.
A merchant account is a bank account with a merchant acquiring bank that businesses use in order to accept credit card and other electronic payments. The merchant acquiring bank acts as an intermediary between the business and the credit card company, facilitating the authentication of the payment and other technical aspects. Once the electronic payments are processed and approved, the bank distributes the funds into the merchant account.
Since money is transferred from the merchant account to your business account before the customer has paid their credit card bill, the merchant account covers those charges. Because of this, a merchant account is considered a line of credit.
If a customer requests a chargeback because they were unhappy with the product or service or had issues with their experience, you, as the business owner, are liable for those charges.
Since a merchant account is considered a line of credit, you may want to apply for a merchant account through your current bank or credit union. You might also save on fees and gain convenience by having all your business banking needs satisfied through one financial services provider.
- Business activities.
- Payment model.
How To Calculate Credit Card Convenience Fee
Convenience fees can be a fixed dollar amount or a percentage of the transaction amount and must be disclosed to the customer in advance.
Ways to charge credit card fees to your customers:
How to calculate a convenience fee:
If you want to earn $100 from a credit card payment, work backward from that amount, which is y:
x = / .971 x = / .971 x = ~103.30
To receive $100.00 from this credit card payment, you need to add a convenience fee of $3.30. In certain cases, youll need to double check the total for a missing $0.01 rounding error.
There are also online sources available to help you calculate a credit card convenience fee.
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What Fees Do You Charge Each Month
This question is deceptively simple since some processors might provide you with a seemingly small upfront monthly fee. But be sure to dig deeper some additional fees might be hidden in the fine print. These can include fees for batch processing or fund transfers from a merchant account to your bank account, as well as statement fees. Processors might waive some of these fees to get your business, but could add them back in after a promotional period.
Should I Avoid Tiered Credit Card Processor Pricing
Most of the time, the answer is yes. With tiered pricing, credit card processors bundle the interchange rate, assessment fees and markup into one pricing plan. Because it is bundled together, it’s difficult to tell what you are paying for each item. It also makes it hard to comparison shop. Unless the vendor is willing to break out its fees, it’s best to avoid a tiered pricing structure.
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Select Flat Rate Or Interchange Plus Pricing Avoid Tiered Pricing
Before you decide to do business with a merchant services provider, make sure they offer flat rate pricing or interchange plus pricing.
Flat rate pricing guarantees the same low monthly rate for any type of credit card and makes it easy to see exactly how much youll be paying in processing fees each month. This pricing is a fixed percentage based on what the credit card processor, card brand, and issuing bank charge.
In addition to flat rate credit card processing, interchange plus pricing is another option that can benefit small businesses.
Interchange plus pricing offers more transparency and can lower your costs. This pricing model is divided into charges based on the cost of interchange and assessments and includes an additional markup cost all three will be visible and separated on your monthly processing statement, so there are no surprises.
Steer clear of any provider that offers a tiered pricing option. Tiered pricing is a red flag.
With tiered pricing, processors typically offer a qualified rate, which is very low but can hide their margin behind a much higher non-qualified rate.
With flat rate pricing and interchange plus pricing, you can process credit cards at the same low rate each month without having to pay any additional transaction fees.
What Is A Credit Card Chargeback
In short, a chargeback is a reversal of a credit card transaction thats initiated by a card issuer .
You can request for a chargeback from your issuer in the event your credit card was charged for a fraudulent or problematic transaction, and the merchant you purchased from has proven to be uncooperative, unresponsive, or has failed to take any meaningful action to resolve the problem or provide some form of repayment or refund.
When requesting a chargeback, youll usually need to provide supporting documentation to prove youve been wrongfully charged. Your card issuer will then assess the transaction, and if successfully disputed, will reimburse your credit card.
Note though, a chargeback isnt guaranteed or instant and is meant as a consumer protection measure to safeguard cardholders from wrongful charges not a quick way to get a refund after a bad case of buyers remorse.
Disputing credit card charges usually happens for the following reasons:
- Double charges when you only bought a single item
- Getting charged for something you didnt buy
- You were charged the incorrect amount
- Your refund wasnt issued properly
- Items purchased were defective, faulty, or dont appear as originally described
- Items purchased were not delivered at all or services were not rendered
- Charges for a reservation or subscription service you already cancelled.
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Do Some Due Diligence And Dont Always Assume The Worst
Often times theres a perfectly reasonable explanation for that suspicious charge on your statement.
For instance, many retailers are registered under a different legal or merchant name, which means they could show up on your statement under a name youre not familiar with even if it was for a purchase you made knowingly. If you spot a transaction from a different city or country on your statement, it might be the case the retailer processes payments from a different location which may be particularly true for online purchases.
Transaction dates dont align? The purchase may have been posted a few days late or your previous charges couldve been amended. And if theres a purchase you dont remember making, try retracing your steps to ensure it didnt slip your mind and review your receipts. Oh, and if you share an account with an , ask if they made the purchase since all their transactions will appear on your statement.
In most cases, just Googling the merchant name as its shown on your statement, digging through receipts, or asking your authorized user will be enough to get some closure. If not, go to the next step.