Processing Credit Cards and Debit Cards On Websites
For at website to be able to process credit cards they need to be integrated into a payment gateway. Payment gateways such as PROTX enable the website to take the sensitive credit card information such as the number, csv number, start date, expiry date etc. This is done on a secure server. A secure server encrypts all information sent and received making it very hard for anyone to see this information in cyber space.
Once the payment gateway has taken this information they then check to make sure it is valid and that the card is ok to make the necessary payment. This includes making sure the card has enough funds to cover the transaction and making sure the card is not cancelled. Also today they often access the card for risk analysis, just in case the credit card or debit card is stolen, but has not yet been reported stolen.
Once the card has been approved the transaction information is sent to the merchant account of the business making the sale. This information includes the transaction value and all the credit or debit card details. The merchant account then uses this information to retrieve the money from the issuing bank.
Once the merchant account has the funds they will then transfer the money to the business account.
Some companies find it hard to get a merchant account and therefore need to goto a bureau. A bureau will charge more for their services than a merchant account and payment gateway put together and will often keep the funds longer before passing them onto the business account. A bureau will deal with the merchant account and payment gateway in one package to seamlessly collect funds via credit cards on your website. An example of a bureau is WorldPay.