What Business Owners Need to Know About Wireless Credit Card Processing

If there’s one recent event that has transformed the payment processing industry, it’s the switch to wireless credit card processing. With more and more consumers trying to pay via contactless methods, accepting payments on the go is now a must-have feature for many merchants.

Does all this terminology around wireless technology seem a bit overwhelming? If so, here’s a brief overview of how wireless processing works and whether your business needs it.

How Wireless Credit Card Processing Works

Wireless credit card processing is a relatively straightforward process. It consists of five steps:

  • Authorization: A customer presents their credit card information, which is verified for validity and authenticity.
  • Batch processing: The transaction is batched and sent for processing. This consists of the processor collecting several to several hundred payments, depending on your transaction volume. The processor then sends the batch to card networks for approval.
  • Settlement: Your bank account is credited with the transaction amount, while the customer’s card is charged for the same amount. This usually happens 24-48 hours after the transaction is made.
  • Clearing: The transaction data is sent to the customer’s bank. The bank verifies the customer has enough credit and runs checks to ensure the card wasn’t stolen.
  • Funding: Once the transaction is approved, you receive the funds in your bank account.

Differences Between Wireless and Mobile Processing

Though they share similarities, wireless processing and mobile processing aren’t the same. Mobile processing involves downloading an app from your payment processor to your phone and using it to process transactions. You may also need to attach additional equipment to your phone to accommodate a variety of credit card processing types.

With wireless processing, the phone isn’t involved at all. You use a wireless terminal to process transactions and print receipts. Since mobile processing doesn’t support printed versions, wireless processing tends to be a better option for bigger operations.

Choosing a Wireless Processing Machine

As mentioned, all you need to enable wireless credit card processing is the wireless terminal. These terminals look very similar to traditional terminals, except there’s no cord. The wireless credit card model you use will depend on your payment processor. Talk to them, and they’ll list their available equipment that works with the payment solutions they offer.

As for whether your business needs wireless processing, consider your use case. If you want to offer mobile payments, for example, wireless technology is the perfect way to enable them. Food trucks, pop-up shops, and delivery businesses are all natural fits for this purpose.

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