A Quick Evolution of the Payment Processing Industry

With constantly emerging technology on the horizon, it’s an exciting time to be in the payments processing industry.

Looking back, it’s most certainly an environment that has dramatically evolved over the last 20 years. Consider this: More than two decades ago, credit card processing was still a relatively new concept, and it was common practice for a merchant or business to not even accept credit cards for common transactions.

However, in today’s digital world, practically every merchant accepts credit cards. Yet, payment processing can vary when comparing large corporations and small businesses.

The biggest differentiator main is the type of payment technology utilized. For example, for a small business, a standard POS system or credit card terminal will often suffice. And if the merchant accepts online payments, a virtual terminal may also be required.

On the other hand, for a larger enterprise, an integrated payment solution is often required. This means integrating credit card acceptance into the business management software or ERP on which the business runs.

There are many key areas that payment processing companies today must offer in order to stay ahead of the competition. At the end of the day, a payment processor must always be transparent, flexible, educated and technologically innovative. These elements should be part of every stage of the merchant-customer relationship. And business owners should always know where there money is at any given time – from the moment a customer swipes a card to the point where it’s deposited into the business’s account.

One critical area where this can be particularly important is security. Every payment processing company should provide merchants with a payment gateway that encrypts customer card data, is compliant with PCI standards and ensures that a data breach never occurs.

It’s no surprise that the nature of business transactions has changed dramatically in the last couple of decades, with a greater percentage of the population choosing to use credit cards as their primary method to buy goods and services. In fact, in 2014, between 25-30 percent of American consumers reported they did not carry a single dollar on them a daily basis, according to a recent survey.
BillingTree’s virtual terminals are web alternatives to physical credit card terminal or Point-of-Sale (POS) machines. Software applications hosted online, these virtual terminals permit entering a customer’s credit card information directly into a web-based payment form, which is then used to process an electronic transaction.