Merchant Accounts v.s. Payment Gateways + Harbortouch Merchant Services
What really is the difference between a merchant account and a payment gateway? This article will answer this very question with detailed explanations that will allow you to learn more about both and make decisions accordingly for your specific business.
Starting off with a merchant account. This can be thought of as a type of bank account that allows you, the business, to accept multiple forms of payment that include both credit and debit cards, as well as ACH payments. It is a middle ground between your business and the individual customers’ card-issuing banks. These banks will gain the amount needed for the purchase and place this into your business bank account. The merchant account is a specified account where information on payment transactions is collected and held.
A payment gateway on the other hand utilizes an online transaction that occurs through a secure hosted payment form on the purchasing website or through an integrated shopping cart. After the initial purchase, customer payment information enters the gateway where the cardholder’s information is encrypted and then sent to the payment processor. This information is then routed through the card network to the customer’s card-issuing bank, who either approves or denies the payment back to the gateway, which then alerts the merchant and customer. The payment gate acts as the linking factor between your business’s merchant account and the customer’s bank.
Which one would align with your business truly depends on your needs. While a merchant account allows businesses to accept credit cards, along with other payments and improves sales and cash flow, a payment gateway is a great choice for eCommerce and mobile retailers for an effortless purchasing experience including integrating payments within accounting, CRM, or ERP software and contactless payments with NFC devices.
We offer a number of value-added services to complement your payment solution! When you establish a merchant account with us, you are able to take advantage of a number of FREE equipment offerings or be able to utilized existing equipment with competitive processing rates. Along with this, your business will have access to the Lighthouse Business Management System where you will be able to manage your entire POS system from any device. This includes access to Marketplace, which allows integration for several third-party apps, such as DoorDash and QuickBooks.
Check out the check services, that enable you to avoid bounced checks and bank fees endured by accepting nonsufficient checks (NSF). The check guarantee system will alert you of any negative and NSF check risks and the check conversion system will automatically deposit into your bank account. Get hold of your unique gift card and loyalty cards by starting with 50 FREE customized cards. Choose or create the best design for your business.
Take advantage of the working capital, which is a business cash advance that will allow you to generate the working capital needed without negotiating with the bank and instead utilizing your future credit card receivables. Look into our ATM solutions where you are able to receive equipment, cash replenishment, and processing for your own ATM near your business location!
Our e-Commerce solution is worth a look! Authorize.net is a perfect way to securely accept payments over the internet. This payment gateway is the best solution for e-Commerce that integrates directly with your existing website.
We are here to help you make optimal decisions for your business. Contact us at 678-551-5837 or [email protected]. Check out https://terminalsplusetc.net/new-merchant-account/ for more information!
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Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns. Our purpose is to best serve you, the customer, so if we could be of any help, do not hesitate to contact us.
We thank you for visiting our store at this time and are looking forward to serving you in any way possible. Stay tuned for future blog posts featuring our products and brand!
Are You Taking Advantage of Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans?
Complete details on the PPP, including a list of participating lenders, is available on the US Small Business Administration’s (SBA) website here. To find your closest participating lender, click here.
We also included direct links to online applications and PPP landing pages for some large financial institutions below:
The SBA is also offering an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance. The loan advance provides up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties. You can learn more about the EIDL Emergency Advance by visiting the SBA’s website.
We encourage all of our customers and partners to take advantage of this loan program and apply for these funds as they are being fulfilled on a first come, first served basis.
Understanding Contactless Payments
Contactless payments can provide speed and convenience when compared to the traditional card swipe or EMV chip, and they offer a safer payment alternative in our post-COVID world. There are several types of contactless technology, all of which have different hardware and software requirements. It’s important that merchants and software providers are familiar with the various contactless payment options to ensure that they implement the best solution for the business.
Near-Field Communication (NFC)
Typically, when people mention contactless payments, they are talking about NFC transactions, which allow the cardholder to “tap” their card or mobile phone on the payment terminal. When the card is close enough to the receiver, it transmits the payment information without needing to swipe it (hence contactless). There are two main ways to accept NFC payments:
Both of these are still considered card-present transactions and require the merchant and cardholder to have a few specific tools to complete the transaction in this way. The merchant needs to have a payment terminal that is equipped with an NFC sensor to read the card data and the cardholder needs to have a contactless card or mobile wallet that can act as an NFC transmitter.
QR Code Payments
Quick response (QR) code payments are a fast-growing alternative to NFC. For these types of transactions, the customer scans a unique QR code — which is basically a square barcode – with their mobile phone. When scanned, the QR code directs the customer to a URL, opening a web page or an application to complete payment. This has been adapted to payments in a few different ways:
QR code payments are popular for a few reasons. They don’t require the merchant or customer to have as much specialized hardware as they would with an NFC transaction. The cardholder just needs a smartphone, which typically has a QR scanner built right into the camera application. The merchant doesn’t have to have a particular POS terminal with a physical NFC sensor, just a device that is able to display the QR code, or the ability to print the QR code on a receipt. And since that functionality is typically software-based, it is possible to update some existing hardware to add that capability.
As part of our offerings for solution, Terminals Plus ETC offers free contactless EMV terminals that support all of the above-mentioned types of NFC- and QR code-based transactions. These free terminals include our innovative SkyTab® mobile point-of-sale solution as well as a variety of third-party device options. We also offer SkyTab Online, which is fully integrated with the POS system for a seamless online ordering experience and is available completely free!