Behind the scenes, payment processing can be complicated. There are a lot of moving parts that payment processors manage in order to move money from one bank to another when a customer makes a purchase.

But payments should be mostly invisible to the businesses and customers that are using them. One way to judge the quality of a payment processor’s services is by the level of involvement required by you, the business owner, to keep things running smoothly. The less complexity for you, the better the payment processing solution is for your business.. Even further, the more all of these aspects of payment processing are integrated into every point-of-sale transaction, the more pain-free every customer experience will be.

Basic payment processing features:

  • Payment device—If you’re not using an integrated Point of Sale system, your processor can provide you with a number of credit card terminals to choose from.
  • Payment software—The software or API (application programming interface) in your terminal or Point of Sale system enables you to connect to a payment processor’s network for transaction processing.
  • Data security—Transactions communicate sensitive cardholder information that needs to be protected from data thieves throughout the process.
  • Real-time reports—Having visibility into your real-time transaction history can help eliminate errors and prevent unnecessary chargebacks.
  • Payment gateway—Some processors have a direct connection to the authorization network. Others connect to a payment gateway to access the network.
  • Transactions—Making credit/debit/gift card transactions is the main purpose of a payment processor, so make sure yours has consistent up-time.
  • ACH transfers—Your payment processor is integral in the movement of funds from the cardholder’s account to your business’ bank account.

Before you sign up for payment processing services or engage a gateway provider, be sure to read along for helpful tips about identifying quality credit card payment processing for any kind of commerce.

Credit card payment processing for any kind of commerce


Connect from anywhere

In-store, online, and on the go—you can accept payments wherever your customers are shopping


Connect to any payments

Credit, debit, gift, and stored value cards. Plus mobile wallets and EMV chip cards.


Connect through any device

Smart terminals, wireless terminals, integrated point-of-sale (POS) systems, mobile devices and virtual terminals.

Carefully consider your choices

Here are the top four must-have qualities to look for in a payment processor:    

It’s flexible

Your payments software and your checkout process should integrate. That’s to say, the device, terminal or Point of Sale system you use should reflect how your business operates, as well as the types of payments you want to accept and the back-end systems that you want your payments to connect to. The more integration available the better.  You want your payments to work in the interests of your business and your customers.   

It’s scalable

Most businesses want to grow. Your payment processing system should be an agent in that growth, not an inhibitor. As you grow, your payment processing—the equipment and the provider—should expand with you. Even the smallest business can reach   great heights with a point-of-sale solution that grows with the business— without the expense and hassle of time-consuming, costly upgrades and infrastructure changes.

It’s well-supported

A payment processor is only as good as their customer support.  If you can’t resolve problems quickly, you may miss out on sales. Your provider should not only be on point when it comes to reliability and up-time, but quality customer and technical support should be available at the other end of a phone, an email or live chat whenever you need help. Day or night, 24/7, including weekends and holidays.

It’s secure

Credit card data security protection and fraud detection and prevention must be a top  consideration for  your payments provider and their solutions.  From chip card acceptance at the Point of Sale , to advanced fraud detection and card data security tools such as encryption and tokenization—take a hard look at how your payment processor is securing your business and your customers.

Read more of the resources and companion stories in the sidebar as you consider and evaluate your payment processing options and possible providers.

Get Vantiv Payment Processing: Sign Me Up