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Welcome to our FAQs section, designed to provide you with comprehensive answers to common queries about our payment solutions and services at Merchant Industry. If you have additional questions or need further clarification, please feel free to reach out to our dedicated support team.

Card processing

This section will provide you with the tools needed to guide you towards making the most informed decision for your credit card processing technology needs. We provide information on various topics including choosing the best credit card machines or credit card software for your business and new trends in merchant accounts and technology, such as contactless payment solutions.

Does your business need a wireless credit card terminal?

Is your business suffering because you’re unable to accept credit cards while on the road? Or worse, are you losing sales to declined credit cards processed off-location, without the customer or card present? If so, your business may need a wireless credit card terminal.

For mobile businesses (i.e. Transportation and Towing services, Contractors, Delivery services, Direct Sales, Trade Show and Flea Market merchants, etc.), a wireless credit card terminal enhances business mobility and efficiency, simplifies the billing and payment process, and increases sales and revenue.

Wireless terminals allow mobile merchants to:

Accept payments from anyone, anywhere, anytime:

  1. Wireless terminals offer mobile businesses a solution for accepting credit card payments in real time and on-location.
  2. With connections to multiple cell phone networks, wireless coverage is provided throughout the country.
  3. To enable continued operation in low-coverage areas, wireless terminals have a Store and Forward” security feature that provides an offline capture of transactions.

Enjoy efficiency and convenience:

  1. Wireless terminals deliver a rapid check-out process, with verified transactions received in 2-3 seconds.
  2. Wireless terminals are compact, and easy to deploy and use.

Reduce the risk of financial losses:

  1. By accepting payments real-time, you can avoid losing sales from declined credit cards processed off-site.
  2. By accepting credit cards on-site, you can reduce the risk of carrying large sums of cash or receiving bad checks.

Operate with low processing costs:

  1. Wireless processing is an affordable solution for mobile merchants; since swiping a credit card with the customer present involves less risk, processing costs are lower compared to manually key-entering card information at a later time.


Wireless credit card terminals offer mobile merchants a simple and dependable payment solution from a handy device. So take advantage of the many benefits and capabilities supplied by a wireless credit card terminal, and start processing mobile credit card transactions today!

Ever wonder how credit card authorization really works? Where does the credit card information go once you enter it into a credit card terminal or POS?

When a credit card is swiped and a credit card authorization process is initiated, the information is sent directly to a credit card processor. From there, the information is transmitted to the card-issuing bank through a bankcard association, where the transaction is either approved or declined. Finally, the bankcard association transmits the approval or decline back to the terminal or POS device.

During the credit card authorization process, a card may decline if it is expired or has insufficient funds. The transaction may also be declined if the card has been reported missing or if there has been suspicious activity on it. To further protect your business, banks now require credit card authorization for all paper-based transactions.

In order to process credit cards and initiate a credit card authorization, a business must sign apply for, and receive, a merchant account. Once a merchant account is set up, credit card authorization may take place through the use of an equipment terminal/POS.

Deciding on whether you want to use a credit card terminal or some form of payment processing software to handle card transactions should is usually fairly straightforward. The answer generally depends on the physical environment in which you will be accepting the charges.

Most simply put, the decision usually boils down to whether or not you will have easy access to a computer when you need to charge cards and what kind of transactions systems you already have in place.

If a computer is readily available payment processing software often provides numerous benefits over traditional credit card terminals. Most users love the reporting features available to them and find it helpful to go back and look up a previous transaction. Payment processing software is also usually less expensive and more user friendly than most new credit card terminals.

There are logical reasons why many businesses may be better off with a terminal however. To start with, many businesses already have invested in some sort of cash register or POS system. While some of these can be integrated with payment processing software, many can not. In these cases, it is usually simpler to use a credit card machine rather than cluttering your valuable counter space.

Another circumstance when a terminal may be preferable is when your computer may not always be on or may be in an inconvenient location. If you need to take payments in real-time and can’t be inconvenienced with accessing your PC, then you may be better off with a credit card terminal.

While many online payment gateway options are feature rich you still want to spend some time comparing them. This article explains how to go about determining the best online payment gateway option for your business.

Some may prove better in different environments and the reasons can sometimes be quite technical. Take the time to read up on the specs and compatibilities of the different online payment gateway packages. If there is any confusion, or you aren’t certain what might be the best product for you, be sure to call and ask your salesperson questions. Any experienced sales person should be able to fit you with the correct product and describe the pros and cons.

If you already have an e-commerce website and a shopping cart, simply mention this to your sales person when you call. Most off-the-shelf shopping cart packages are compatible with all major online payment gateway products. If your company has built its own shopping cart and database systems you may want to consider having your technical person review the documentation for the gateway you choose.

Merchant Industry carries all of the major online payment gateways on the market today. You can browse through all of them in our section for payment gateways.

More and more merchants are taking advantage of the powerful credit card processing software products available to them. These are systems for virtually any type of processing environment from retail stores to websites.

All have their advantages, but selecting the right credit card processing software for your business is very important. Before making a decision merchants should ask themselves a few questions:


1. Will you be accepting credit cards over the Internet?

If so, merchants should lean towards using an online payment gateway in conjunction with their shopping cart. Payment gateways are a type of credit card processing software which is hosted by a third party on a server outside of your business. Your shopping cart, or other payment software, communicates with the payment gateway via the internet and it manages the actual transactions. Merchant Industry sells several payment gateways including: Authorize.net, VeriSign, and LinkPoint. We also offer our own product, MerchantWARE Payment Gateway, which has all the features, flexibility and compatibility standard to these products.

2. How many credit card transactions will you need to handle at any one time?

For most merchants the answer is usually only one, but some merchants who have more than one user or customer running transactions at the same time will need a more robust credit card processing software solution. If there are multiple internal users and they are on a network you can use PC Charge Pro. If the users are not on a network, then a merchant can use a virtual terminal such as the one offered by Authorize.Net. This virtual terminal will allow users to log in using their web browsers and charge cards from anywhere they have Internet access. Transaction information is centrally located and can be accessed from anywhere.

3. Will you be charging the same customer’s cards on a regular basis?

Merchants whose customers are frequently reordering or those who bill their customers on a monthly basis may wish to use credit card processing software that stores credit card information and can charge customers at specified intervals. PC Charge Pro has this feature built in and makes it easy to manage charging customers.


If you have any further questions regarding credit card processing software, please feel free to contact our sales team for information and advice on selecting software by calling the number at the top of your screen.

With so many different types of credit card equipment on the market these days, choosing the correct type for your business can be a confusing task. In order to help guide you towards the correct choices, here are some questions you should ask yourself when shopping for credit card equipment.

1. Will customers be using their credit or debit cards at my physical business location or will I be collecting the card information through another means?

If you will be swiping cards directly from your customers, your best option for credit card equipment is probably some sort of credit card terminal and printer combination. If you will not be swiping the cards manually, many merchants will want credit card equipment that is more suited to their specific needs. Software packages are available if there is a PC at the business location or a standard terminal and credit card printer may work just fine.

2. Is a contactless payment solution the right choice for my business?

Merchants who have “quick service” retail operations, and whose average ticket is $25 or less, may benefit from Contactless Payment credit card equipment. The “tap and pay” technology has proven to be most valuable for convenience stores, fast food restaurants, pharmacies, movie theaters and other merchants who rely on faster transaction times and shorter wait times for customers. Merchants can also upgrade their existing credit card equipment to a contactless payment reader without disrupting their operations.

3. Is there a phone line or broadband internet access available at the business location?

Most businesses have at least one phone line at their business location and, these days, most have some sort of “always on” internet connection. For these businesses, there are many choices for credit card equipment. Most credit card equipment can share a phone line with a fax, or even the main phone if calls are infrequent and some of the newer terminals can utilize broadband internet for even faster transactions. If no phone or intent is available, such as at a trade-show or for delivery companies, etc, merchants should consider either a battery powered credit card terminal or wireless credit card machines that work over the cell phone networks.

4. Will you be accepting PIN-based debit card transactions?

For those merchants that think they will be accepting debit cards they should consider adding credit card equipment like a PIN Pad to give their customers additional payment options. As described in this article about debit card processing, accepting PIN based transactions may save you money and add value to your customer’s experience.

5. How many merchant accounts will you need for your business?

For almost all businesses the answer is one. There are examples however where multiple merchant accounts are either desirable or a necessity. These merchants will want a piece of credit card equipment that can handle more than one merchant account. There are inexpensive terminals which handle two accounts and more robust units which can handle up to 99. A qualified merchant account sales person should be able to recommend the correct credit card equipment for your specific situation.

6. Which terminal brands should I consider?

Since most of the major credit card equipment manufacturers are producing high quality and feature rich products these days, you really can’t go wrong whatever brand you choose. That said, some of the processors may work better with a particular brand of credit card equipment and some newer pieces of equipment are not certified at every processor immediately upon their release. Again, this is a situation where it is best to let your merchant account sales representative guide you as to the best options given your particular processor and needs.

If you have any further questions regarding credit card machines, please feel free to contact our sales team for information and advice on purchasing equipment by calling the number at the top of your screen.

Contactless payment terminals have become the present and future of credit card transactions. Also known as “tap and pay,” contactless payment provides benefits to retailers and consumers alike, particularly in the areas of speed and convenience.

Contactless payments are simply transactions that do not require physical connection between your customers’ credit card and the terminal. Smart chip technology, otherwise known as RFID, is supported by a secure controller, internal memory, and a small built-in antenna that transmits information to a reader through radio frequency.

The primary advantages of a contactless payment reader over traditional swipe cards are speed and convenience. Consumers can just tap the contactless payment terminal, eliminating the need for a transfer of hands with a credit card and a receipt signature. In turn, check-out lines become shorter as transaction times become faster.

Contactless payments are best suited for quick-service retailers, such as convenience stores, fast-food restaurants, movie theaters, pharmacy / drug stores, and gas stations and for those whose average ticket is $25 or less.

Retailers with major POS terminal providers can easily upgrade their existing system with a plug-and-play contactless payment device.

Account information

This section provides detailed information about merchant accounts and merchant services on topics such as debit and online debit card processing.

What is interchange and assessments?

Merchant account statements can sometimes be confusing, especially for new merchants. Generally, questions and concerns pertain to the charging of monthly fees and the timing of account statements, so we hope that this article will help to explain some of these confusing aspects. As with any credit card processing company, merchant accounts typically becomes active within one business day of the account approval date. Once your merchant account is live, you are able to process credit card transactions and are also responsible for any fees assessed starting on that date. Therefore, any monthly fees will be charged, in full, for every month the account is open, regardless of your processing volume. Monthly fees are posted to your bank account generally within the first week of the month following your merchant account activation, and continue each month that your account remains live. A statement reflecting the charges for your previous month’s processing activity is then issued and should follow mid-month. If you do not receive your processing statement by the third week of the following month, you should contact customer service to confirm that we have the correct mailing address as specified on your merchant application. Please contact a customer service representative if you have any questions or concerns about your monthly merchant account fees or credit card processing statement.

Merchant accounts provide businesses with the ability to accept credit card and debit cards for purchases. There are several different aspects to a merchant account, which we will describe below.

A merchant account entails:

Processing services: To set up a merchant account, a business owner, or “merchant” must apply through a merchant service provider (MSP) such as Merchant Warehouse. Approval of a merchant account depends on factors which include, but are not limited to:

    • Applicant and/or Personal Guarantor’s Credit Score
    • Business Type (Goods or Services Sold)
    • Card Acceptance Method (Merchant Type)
    • Monthly Volume & Average Sales Ticket
    • Business’ Financial Condition & Bank Account Type
    • Business Longevity
    • Return/Refund Policies

Processing rates & fees:
 There are various fees associated with having a merchant account. These could vary, depending on the type and company providing the service, but all merchant accounts have 2 main costs:

Discount rates: With most merchant service providers, every processed sale is classified into 1 of 3 qualification levels (Qualified, Mid-Qualified, & Non-Qualified), and is charged a discounted percentage rate associated with that qualification. Each sale’s level and rate is determined by the type of card used, and/or how it is accepted and processed.

Transaction or authorization fee: This fee is charged for each electronic authorization request and transaction made, including all approved and declined sales, returns, voids, and batch settlements.

Processing capability systems: To process credit card payments, processing equipment or software is required to capture card information, make authorization requests, and close sales. Depending on business needs, equipment options include:

Terminals: Wireless, Contactless, Stand-Alone and Terminal/Printer Combination units

PC software: Stand-alone or integrated into other business systems

Internet gateway solutions: Virtual Terminal or eCommerce versions

To maintain customer satisfaction and increase sales and revenue, it is becoming essential for businesses to have merchant accounts and accept credit card payments. Fewer and fewer customers carry cash, checks involve significant risk, and sending your customers running to the ATM machine could lose you valuable business. For both your business’ and customers’ benefit, sign up for a merchant account today.

The definition of a chargeback is when a cardholder disputes a charge posted to their credit card account. Chargebacks can occur for various reasons, such as when a purchase was not authorized by the cardholder (fraud), or when goods or services are not provided as expected.

You should be able to avoid the vast majority of chargebacks by providing good customer service and ensuring that your products and/or services are advertised, and delivered, as promised.

For those chargebacks related to fraud, there are simple steps every business can take to help avoid any problems. It is up to every merchant account holder to be diligent in accepting charges, and to educate their staff about the precautions to take.

In environments where the business is accepting and swiping cards at the time of the transaction, there are several simple steps which can be taken:

  1. Always compare the signature on the receipt with the signature on the back of the card.
  2. Always examine the card to ensure it is not altered or suspicious looking.
  3. Request identification such as a license or some other picture ID.

In situations where the business is taking credit card without the customer present (over the phone or Internet, for example), the chance of fraud-based chargebacks is much greater. It is very important for these businesses to put systems in place to help determine legitimate charge activity.

  1. If appropriate, call customers to confirm their order if the billing and shipping or contact addresses do not match.
  2. Ask for the code number on the back of the card (or front with American Express®) to confirm that the card is in the customer’s possession.
  3. If you receive questionable orders, call to confirm the order with the cardholder.

If you have reason to believe that a card is fraudulent or otherwise questionable, always call the card issuing company for a voice authorization.

While many online payment gateway options are feature rich you still want to spend some time comparing them. This article explains how to go about determining the best online payment gateway option for your business.

Some may prove better in different environments and the reasons can sometimes be quite technical. Take the time to read up on the specs and compatibilities of the different online payment gateway packages. If there is any confusion, or you aren’t certain what might be the best product for you, be sure to call and ask your salesperson questions. Any experienced sales person should be able to fit you with the correct product and describe the pros and cons.

If you already have an ecommerce website and a shopping cart, simply mention this to your sales person when you call. Most off-the-shelf shopping cart packages are compatible with all major online payment gateway products. If your company has built its own shopping cart and database systems you may want to consider having your technical person review the documentation for the gateway you choose.

Merchant Industry carries all of the major online payment gateways on the market today. You can browse through all of them in our section for payment gateways.

Whether you are currently accepting credit cards, or plan on doing so, it is important to know how to save money by avoiding downgrades whenever possible.

A downgrade simply means that you are being charged a rate increase because the type of card your customer is using has a higher processing cost or because a transaction was processed incorrectly by you, the merchant.

You can’t always prevent downgrades from happening, but this article will show you what you can do to keep your transaction costs as low as possible.

As an example, for a Retail or “Swiped” Account where the customer is handing over their card for processinga transaction will get the Qualified Discount Rate (lowest rate possible) only if the card is swiped, the cardholder is present, and the card is a standard consumer credit card. If any of these criteria are changed, the account will “downgrade” to either the “Mid” or “Non” qualified level. These levels are each associated with a greater cost of processing.

Here is a more detailed description of what can be done to avoid many downgrades, and also what happens if certain criteria are not met.

Retail/Card swiped accounts

Qualified rate

The Qualified Discount Rate is charged when all of the following occur:

  1. Standard consumer credit card is used.
  2. Card is swiped accurately and data properly obtained.
  3. The customer’s signature is captured.
  4. The transaction is “Batched” or “Settled” within 24 hours.


The Partial/Mid Qualified rate will be applied when any of the following occur:

  1. The card info is manually entered, or “keyed” & all AVS info is entered.
  2. The consumer uses a Rewards card.
  3. Transactions are not settled/batched within 24 hours.


If any of the following situations occur, a Non-Qualified rate will be applied to the transaction.

  1. Card is manually entered with no AVS info entered.
  2. The consumer uses a Corporate, Government or International card.
  3. Authorization code is manually keyed in to your processing terminal.
  4. Transactions are not settled/batched within 48 hours.

Keyed “MOTO” or Internet Accounts

For these types of accounts, the merchant manually enters credit card information into a credit card terminal or software after the order is placed or is collected through an online payment gateway.

Qualified Rate

The Qualified Discount Rate is charged when all of the following occur:

  1. Standard consumer credit cards are used.
  2. All required Credit Card information is entered including AVS (address verification) for VISA® transactions.
  3. The transactions are “Batched” or “Settled” within 24 hours.
  4. The order/invoice Number entered.


For MOTO/Internet Accounts, rates usually fall directly to Non-Qualified, not mid-qualify, but these are the possible reasons why a merchant may be charged a Mid-Qualified Rate

  1. AVS information is not entered.
  2. Transaction/Batch is not settled within 24 hours.
  3. Card is a Rewards or Business card.


If any of the following situations occur, a Non-Qualified rate will be applied to the transaction.

  1. Any of the required card or transaction information is not entered.
  2. The consumer uses a Corporate, Government or International card.
  3. Authorization code is manually keyed in to your processing terminal.
  4. Transactions are not settled/batched within 48 hours.

As you can see, there are many factors involved in determining which rates are assessed to your transactions. Follow the tips above, and you will keep your processing rates as low as possible. A Merchant Industry representative is always available to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

As a merchant accepting MasterCard® and Visa®, there are basic card acceptance rules that you must follow. By adhering to these rules, you can increase customer satisfaction and ensure that you do not run into compliance issues, which may put your continued ability to accept credit cards at risk. The following are some of the rules outlined in the Visa and MasterCard manuals:

Card logos & acceptance: You must display the appropriate card logos for any card types that you accept and advise your customers of their payment options. You must honor all categories of cards (credit, debit, rewards etc.) within each card type that you accept.

Dollar minimums and maximums: You may not impose a minimum or maximum amount for any transactions. If you do not accept a customer charge, which is below a certain amount that you specify, the customer can notify Visa and/or MasterCard, who will take the appropriate steps to see that you understand and adhere to the card acceptance rules and regulations.

Surcharges: All credit card transactions must be treated like any other transactions. You may not impose any surcharge on a transaction because your customer is using a credit card. However, you may offer a discount to your customers for paying in cash provided the offer is clearly disclosed to your customers and the cash price is a discount from the standard price charged for any other type of payment.

Laundering: You may only process transactions for your own business. Processing transactions for a business that does not have a valid merchant agreement is called laundering and is considered a form of fraud.

To learn more about the rules and regulations of accepting Visa and MasterCard cards, please contact us or see the Visa and MasterCard guides available through the Visa and MasterCard websites.

While most merchants know they should accept debit cards, it is not always easy to understand how to take full advantage of debit card processing. Merchants can do debit card processing in one of the following two ways:

Offline debit card processing The most common way to accept debit cards is an “offline debit transaction.” In this type of sale the merchant accepts a debit card the same way in which they would accept a normal credit card. The card is swiped through the terminal and the customer signs the receipt. As far as the merchant is concerned, there is no difference in the way a credit card or an off-line debit card is processed. The one thing merchants must remember is that the debit card must have a VISA® or MasterCard® logo on it. Cards that do not bear the Visa or MasterCard logo can not be processed off-line and will not be approved.

Online debit card processing A potentially cheaper and more secure, method for accepting debit cards at the point-of-sale is called an “on-line debit transaction.” In this type of sale the card must be swiped through the terminal and external or internal PIN Pad is used to enter the merchant’s four digit PIN. The terminal will pass the encrypted number to the bank for verification. The merchant will then be paid for the transaction in the same manner and time frame that they would be paid on a credit card sale. The cost of this type of transaction is potentially lower due to the way in which the merchant is charged by the processing companies. Rather than paying a flat fee and a discount rate, or percentage of the transaction, as with a credit card or offline debit transaction, there is only a slightly higher flat fee.

Not all debit card transactions are the same! For those merchants able to use a PINPad along with a credit card terminal, online debit card processing can offer a big savings. The difference between “online” and “offline” debit card transactions is that “online” requires the merchant to input their 4 digit PIN number and have their card swiped while “offline” functions exactly the same as any credit card transaction.

So why is does online debit card processing have such potential savings? Consider the bank’s perspective. When a customer presents their card for payment and then enters a PIN number manually, the chances of fraud are extremely small. Because if this, the costs for pin based, transactions, or online debit card processing, can be much lower.

When conducting pin based transactions, merchants are charged a flat fee for each order instead of a percentage rate (discount rate) plus transaction a fee. Assuming a merchant takes 100 debit cards over the course of a month (about 3 per day) and averages $85 per sale, a conservative cost analysis shows that a merchant could save over $100 a month, or $1,200 a year.

Prohibited merchants

We've categorized prohibited merchants as businesses or industries that pose high risks or fail to comply with legal and industry norms. Transactions with these merchants carry notable risks, including increased chances of chargebacks, fraud, or legal issues. Consequently, we opt not to offer payment processing services to these entities.

Restricted merchants

Restricted merchants are businesses that face particular constraints or requirements when utilizing our payment processing services. These limitations may involve transaction volumes, specific transaction types, or increased scrutiny. The choice to impose restrictions on particular merchants might arise from factors like industry regulations, the business's nature, or past transaction records.

Prohibited & restricted merchant guide

Point-of-sale equipment financing

What is point-of-sale equipment financing?

Point-of-sale equipment financing is a type of financing that helps businesses acquire the necessary equipment for their point-of-sale systems, such as cash registers, card readers, and barcode scanners.

Point-of-sale equipment financing provides businesses with the funds to purchase or lease the equipment. The business then repays the financing company over a predetermined period, usually through monthly payments.

The benefits of point-of-sale equipment financing include:

  1. Preserving working capital: Instead of paying for the equipment upfront, businesses can spread the cost over time, preserving their working capital for other needs.
  2. Upgrading outdated equipment: Financing allows businesses to upgrade their point-of-sale equipment to newer and more advanced models, improving efficiency and customer experience.
  3. Flexibility: Financing options often come with flexible terms and repayment options, allowing businesses to choose what works best for their financial situation.

Yes, some financing companies offer options for businesses with less-than-perfect credit. However, eligibility requirements and terms may vary.

The application process for point-of-sale equipment financing can vary depending on the financing company. It typically involves submitting an application, providing necessary documentation, and undergoing a credit evaluation. The time frame can range from a few days to a few weeks.

It’s important to review the terms and conditions of the financing agreement to understand any potential fees or charges. These may include interest rates, origination fees, and early repayment penalties.

Point-of-sale equipment financing is specifically designed for acquiring point-of-sale equipment. Businesses may need to explore alternative financing options if they have other financing needs.

Remember to consult with a financial advisor or representative from a financing company to get personalized information and advice for your specific situation.

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