Credit cards and Buy Stripe Account have changed the way people shop and the way companies do business. Few people remember the days without “plastic.” The earliest credit cards were used back in the 1920s. Hotels and oil firms offered cards to their customers, but they were more like today’s “loyalty” cards than credit cards. The first actual credit card was issued in 1946 by Diners Club. It targeted the restaurant industry and allowed customers to pay for their meals with their Diners Club card. It wasn’t until 1958 that American Express and Bank of America issued credit cards as people know them today. Visa and MasterCard soon followed. Merchants trying to keep up with all of these changes turned to merchant services accounts to provide the equipment, advice and expertise needed to keep up in an ever-changing economy.
Before computers were running the world, businesses used manual imprinters to record a customer’s credit card information. All the merchant had to do was place the credit card on the imprinted plate, lay down a carbon copy charge slip and then run the imprinter over the slip. The merchant mailed the slip to the bank and, after a few days, moneys were deposited in the merchant’s account. While this system worked – and, in fact, is still used as a non-electronic back-up system – it proved time consuming. Merchants wanted quicker access to their funds. And they need to know if the credit card would accept or decline before any merchandise was release.
Next up, merchant accounts introduced electronic authorizations. This system offered quicker approval than imprinted slips, but it still took as long as five minutes for a clerk to send in the credit card number over the phone and get approval. For large sales, it was worth the wait, but for smaller sales, it often wasn’t. But, by not waiting, the merchant ran the risk of handing over merchandise without knowing if the card would accept, allowing him get pay.
Enter point of sale terminals in 1979. These were bulkier than what is use today, but they were based on the electronic capture of data used with today’s systems. In 1979, MasterCard was the first to include the magnetic information stripe on the back of its cards. Everyone else soon followed. Each step of the way, merchant services accounts have been working to make the merchant’s job easier – and simpler for the customer. That hasn’t changed, and today’s merchant service accounts can do far more for the business owner than accept credit cards.
For those customers who prefer to pay by paper check, a merchant services account has equipment that quickly converts a check into a secure electronic document. The result is that the merchant gets pay immediately, and the days of worrying about bouncing checks are over.
Merchant services accounts let business owners accept payments anywhere, from the great outdoors to a basement office. When you have a wireless terminal, you don’t need a bricks and mortar operation to make sales. After all, some businesses are on the road. If you’re an artist who travels the outdoor art show circuit, you can sell your works right from the booth at the fair. Or maybe you sell your wares at trade shows. If so, a wireless terminal lets you make sales on the spot. Stop sales from walking away with a wireless terminal.
Even some bricks and mortar shops will benefit from wireless terminals. It is perfect for the business that wants to be able to make sales anywhere inside the building. Let your customers pay for their meal at the table of the restaurant, rather than handing over their credit card to a stranger. You don’t need a landline or power source to process sales.