Merchant services 101 | A complete Payment Services Guide

Monday, October 12th, 2020

Getting your business ready to collect credit card payments can be trickier than you imagine.

Acquiring the right merchant services calls for in-depth knowledge of what the process entails. 

For instance, you must first choose how to collect payments and then procure the vital technologies to process those transactions.

Understanding merchant services

The term merchant services is a wide-ranging description for the various money services built for businesses.

These money services include stuff like payment processing, preparing gateway setups, as well as loyalty programs.

Partnering with a competent merchant service provider (MSP) who simplifies all processes can offer your business a competitive edge.

The best vendors help businesses with efficient software, quality transaction processing hardware, and unswerving support to streamline payment processing.

Which Services Do MSPs Offer?

Below are the benefits of MSPs to small, medium, or large business;


  • Credit card processing


Collecting card payments is a must-do for any business. Apart from one-on-one transactions, Merchant service providers also enable online credit card processing.


  • Payment gateways


A safe payment gateway is a must-have for any business collecting payments online. Merchant service companies offer these in the form of payment software integrated into your eCommerce to ease transactions.


  • Point of sale systems


The Point of Sale or POS system includes hardware to help collect payments and payment software to process transactions, 

This combination streamlines the payment collection process while helping merchants monitor their inventory.


  • Online transaction processing


Just as with the gateway, processing online transactions involves some back-end processes. 

Online transaction processing is database software that supervises shopper orders, processes transactions, and keeps track of stock for order fulfillment.


  • Check services


Apart from cash and credit card capabilities, many Merchant Service Companies will enable you to take check payments.


  • Credit card terminals


If you need to take credit card payments one-on-one, then a credit card terminal is your best friend.

Your vendor will provide the right equipment to enable customers to pay by tapping or swiping their cards.


  • Loyalty programs


Merchant services can help organize loyalty programs for brands with a reward program. In such programs, the company autonomously sends a gift token to shoppers after specific purchases. 

Given the complexities involved, MSPs come in to organize loyalty programs.

Final Words

Though these remain the primary roles of a merchant service provider, offerings and fees often vary from vendor to vendor.

Merchants must compare companies and double-check service fees before sign up, 

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