Merchant Account Responsibilities For Credit Card Processing

A credit card processing merchant account comes with a great responsibility. There are rules you will need to follow, not to mention that you must always exercise the highest level of care when it comes to all credit card transactions that your business performs. If you do not understand and adhere to set policies you could find yourself with a huge headache to sort out and worst case scenario you could also have your merchant account terminated.

Data Security

The most important responsibility to you is the security of your customer’s data. When you accept credit cards from your customers you have access to their data and you must protect it. It is essential that you follow ethical practices when conducting your business and you should never use your customer’s credit card numbers for any purpose other than verifying information and charging their sales. Credit card numbers also need to be stored securely so that no one else can gain access to them.

Guarding Against Frauds

While you must do everything in your power to protect your customers, at the same time you must also make sure that no one gives you a fraudulent card number. When you use a credit card machine, this protects you from accepting fraudulent cards but when on line payments are accepted there are times fraudulent cards can go undetected. This would mean a customer might receive items that they do not pay for, causing a loss to your business. This is something to watch out for, especially if your business is new to credit card processing. You should always make sure that you have the money credited to your account before the customer receives their product, as this will protect your business from a loss.

Charge Backs

Another responsibility that comes along with your credit card processing account is to try to prevent or at the very lease minimize charge backs. Charge backs can affect the profits of the credit card processing company as well as yours and too many charge backs can mean trouble. While some are not preventable, like when a customer has a return for one reason or another, other preventable charge backs should be minimized. These include simple charging mistakes, like overcharging a customer or having product quality issues that lead to returns.

Misuse of Credit Card Processing

While it may be tempting, you should never use your credit card processing account to do transactions for any other business. At the time is may seem like no big deal however, you can end up with numerous complications and worst case scenario your account could be flagged and closed. Additionally, you should never use your credit card processing system for buying items for yourself with your credit card and you should also never use your account for obtaining cash for yourself from any of your credit card accounts.

In summary, as a merchant you do have a lot of responsibility when you set up a credit card processing account. At the same time however, the benefits you receive from accepting credit cards usually far outweighs any extra responsibility the account brings.

Posted on Sunday, February 20th, 2011