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What small business merchants need to know about card processing

credit card processingSo you’ve started a business, say one that sells gourmet homemade ice cream at community fairs. Customers love the product, queues snake far into the distance and the crumpled notes and grubby coins are filling up your cash register. It would certainly make life a lot easier to be able to accept a variety of payment options, yet many small business owners are still unnecessarily wary of credit and debit card processing machines.


Here’s what you need to know about one of the fastest-growing cashless payment solutions and why it makes business sense:


  1. Card processing jargon is, with a bit of help, easy to understand


Accepting cash seems easy enough: all you need is knowledge of the currency you’re dealing with and a calculator. But card processing lingo can be a little daunting for a business owner to wrap their head around. Business News Daily offers a summary of some of the jargon such as:


  • Merchant bank: The financial institution that provides merchant account services to facilitate transactions to bank accounts.
  • Card processor: The third-party middleman that takes on merchant bank responsibilities, facilitates credit card transactions and routes credit card information to the right merchant bank.
  • Issuing bank: The financial institution that issues credit cards to consumers.
  • Card payment brand: Credit card brands like Visa, MasterCard and American Express.



  1. There are a variety of card processing methods, such as mobile point-of-sale, that are suitable for small businesses


Small business owners have a variety of choices when it comes to card processors. Apart from the traditional point-of-sale machines, businesses on the move and those that want the flexibility of accepting card payments anywhere, have the option of using their smartphone as a point-of-sale device. Even though traditional card machines are very useful and can be used anywhere within the place of business, they lack the mobility that can now be provided by a fully mobile card machine such as ZipZap.


ZipZap has the advantage of being the only mobile app to work across all smartphone platforms.


In addition ZipZap mobile POS now provides a card reader that enables businesses and retailers to connect to a Windows computer via a USB port as well as the standard Bluetooth capabilities. Portable, light and durable, ZipZap has an excellent battery life. Built on state-of-the-art point-to-point encryption and fully Visa and MasterCard certified and compliant, it meets all global payment security standards.


  1. Transaction fees are easily broken down


As with any payments processor, there are fees to consider. While these may differ between card processors or merchant banks, these are usually the fees you can expect:


  • Initial once-off set-up/installation fee
  • Once-off manual imprinter set-up fee
  • Monthly terminal rental
  • Monthly communication fee
  • Monthly transaction or merchant services fees
  • Monthly minimum merchant service fee charged


  1. Card processing technology is advanced enough to minimise data and security breaches


When it comes to selecting payment solutions for your business, the safety of your customers’ data is paramount. Fortunately, the latest chip and PIN credit and debit cards are a lot safer than their magstriped predecessors. A business can also assure its customers that their information is safe by only using a safe point-of-sale machine. Businesses should familiarise themselves with the card processor’s mobile point-of-sale devices and other products in terms of quality, security and support.


Crucially, a small business should ensure that its card machine vendor adheres to the PCI DSS compliance code. Compliance with PCI DSS, version 3 means that explicit requirements and procedures to protect the cardholder have been met. It ensures that service providers are operating in accordance with best practice guidelines for security and that all instances of cardholder data are properly identified and documented.

EFTPOS, for instance, has followed PCI DSS compliance since 2011.