How Does Credit Card Processing Work
Have you ever wondered what happens immediately after you swipe your credit card through a merchant’s terminal to make a purchase? It’s a complex process that’s secure, takes just seconds and unfolds like this:
A credit card transaction begins when the customer’s card is read electronically by a merchant’s terminal; alternatively, the account information is entered manually, as occurs during online sales. The card data is quickly transmitted to the merchant’s credit card processor (also known as the merchant services provider or acquirer), who relays it on to the card issuer for confirmation and authorization.
Once authorization is received by the acquirer and passed along to the merchant, he or she completes the sale and issues a receipt to the cardholder. The issuer bills the cardholder’s account and pays the acquirer, who deposits the transaction proceeds into the business owner’s merchant account.
The power of modern technology, harnessed to process credit card transactions — think about that the next time you step up to a cash register and say “Charge it!”