Card Processing and Merchant Banks

Dave McNamara
Dave McNamara
  • Updated

This article is about processing card payments and Merchant Banks. We’ll explain what you need to do before you can take card payments in Spektrix and online. You’ll also find links to other helpful resources.

Before you read this article, you should be familiar with:

 

What do I need to process Card Payments?

To take card payments, you’ll need the following:

 

Merchant/Acquiring Bank

A Merchant Bank (also known as an Acquiring Bank) is responsible for facilitating card processing and the transfer of funds to your Business Bank Account. Without a Merchant Bank, you won’t be able to take card payments in-person or online.

Merchant banks will charge you a fee for processing card payments.

TIP: The method in which you’re charged depends on your payment solution.

Spektrix Payments: You’ll receive an invoice showing fees charged. This is for information only. The fees are deducted from the amount paid into your business bank account.

Opayo: These fees are included in your Spektrix service charge.

Worldpay, Authorize.Net or Moneris: You'll receive an invoice from your Merchant Bank

Several factors may influence the amount you’re charged.

  • Type of business and industry: Higher risk businesses can incur higher Merchant Account fees than their lower risk counterparts.
  • Volume of transactions: If you process high volumes of transactions at a frequent rate, you may be able to negotiate lower fees.
  • Accepted card types: Certain types of card payments may result in higher fees. For example, credit cards have higher interchange fees than debit cards due to their increased risk of fraud.

Merchant Bank Fees can consist of

  • Transaction Fees.
  • Monthly, Quarterly or Annual Fees: Many Merchant Banks may charge a fee to maintain your Merchant Account.
  • Chargeback Fees: A one off fee paid for each Chargeback. You’ll pay this fee if a Customer files a chargeback.

TIP: A chargeback is the potential result of a transaction disputed by the cardholder.

A chargeback could result from goods or services not as described, charged twice for an item or card used without the cardholder's knowledge.

 

Transaction Fees

Transaction fees consist of the following:

  • Transaction type: Online or Customer Not Present transactions can be subject to higher fees than in-person transactions. These types of transaction tend to carry a higher risk of fraud.
  • Card Type: Credit Card transactions tend to carry a higher fee due to the increased risk they carry.
  • Card Network: Visa, Mastercard and American Express charge different interchange fees for using their network.

This list of fees isn’t exhaustive, contact your Merchant Bank for more information.

 

Merchant Account and Merchant Numbers

When you open an account or request a new payment channel with a Merchant/Acquiring Bank, you’ll need to request Merchant Identification Numbers (also known as MIDs). 

A Merchant Identification Number is a unique identifier used to identify your organisation.

Card Payment processing involves different companies, where data is exchanged at every step of the process. Your Merchant Number registers that transaction to your organisation.

When using Spektrix, you’ll process sales through the following channels:

  • MOTO: (Mail Order/Telephone Order): Used when performing any transactions over the phone
  • Ecommerce: Used for online sales
  • EPOS: Used for in person card payments

You’ll need to request Merchant Numbers for all of the above.

TIP: Some Merchant Banks will combine some or all of the Merchant Numbers into a multi-channel number (also known as Omnichannel).

If you want to accept payments via American Express you will also need a separate Merchant Number which you can get directly from AMEX.

If you want to take recurring payments, for Auto Renewable Memberships, for example, you’ll need to request a fourth number for Continuous Authority (also known as Recurring Payments/Recurring Billing).

Once your Merchant/Acquiring Bank have set up your new Merchant Number, the process differs depending on your region and payment solution:

 

Continuous Authority

  • Spektrix Payments (all regions): No additional Merchant Number is required. Contact Support to activate this in your Spektrix system.
  • Opayo (UK and Ireland): Once you have your Merchant Number, contact Support. You’ll be asked to complete a form which Support will forward to Opayo to add to your account. It usually takes Opayo around  to add to your account. Once added, Spektrix Support will update your system.
  • Worldpay/Authorize.Net/Moneris (US and Canada): Once you have your Merchant Number, contact your Payment Service Provider and ask them to add the Merchant Number to your account.

 

MOTO/Ecommerce/EPOS

  • Spektrix Payments (all regions): These Sales Channels are configured when you go live with Spektrix Payments. No further setup is required.
  • Opayo (UK and Ireland): Once you have your Merchant Number, contact Support. You’ll be asked to complete some forms which Support will then forward to Opayo to add to your account. It usually takes Opayo around five working days to add to your account. Once added, our Support Team will get in touch with next steps.
  • Worldpay/Authorize.Net/Moneris (US and Canada): Once you have your Merchant Number(s), contact your Payment Service Provider and ask them to add the Merchant Number to your account.

Once you start taking card payments, your Merchant/Acquiring Bank will pay your transactions into your business bank account. These payments may be on a daily basis. Payments to your business bank account may already have fees deducted, or no fees deducted. If no fees are deducted from the payout, your Merchant Bank will send you an invoice.

 

Payment Service Provider

A Payment Service Provider (also known as a Payment Processor) enables you to process card payments. A Payment Service Provider also provides features such as fraud protection, 3D secure and Address Checking.

Spektrix integrates with the following Payment Service Providers:

  • Spektrix Payments: All Regions
  • Opayo: UK and Ireland
  • Worldpay: US and Canada
  • Authorize.Net: US and Canada
  • Moneris: Canada

 

Payment Gateway

A Payment Gateway is the technology responsible for transmitting payment data securely between the customer, the Payment Service Provider and your organisation. 

You might like to think of a Payment Gateway as a bridge between all of the parties involved in a card transaction.

A Payment Service Provider may provide a Payment Gateway as part of its solution.

 

Hardware

To take in-person payments, you’ll need Payment Terminals/Chip & PIN/Chip Readers.

Spektrix works with integrated devices which connect wirelessly or through USB using locally installed software and the Box Office App to your Spektrix system.

Read the following articles for more information:

 

Card Payment Process

The image below shows how a Payment Gateway and Payment Service Provider work together to process a card payment:

 

  1. Customer makes a purchase and pays by card. This information is sent to the Payment Gateway.
  2. The Payment Gateway encrypts the payment data and sends it to the Payment Service Provider.
  3. The Payment Service Provider receives the payment data from the Payment Gateway. The Payment Service Provider sends this data to the Issuing Bank (the customer’s bank) to request authorisation
  4. The Issuing bank verifies the payment details, checks for available funds and approves or declines the payment. The issuing bank sends this response back to the Payment Service Provider.
  5. The Payment Service Provider sends the response back to the Payment Gateway.
  6. The Payment Gateway sends the response back to the vendor. The Customer is informed whether the payment has been authorised or declined.

This article should give you the information you need to understand Card Processing and Merchant Banks. To learn more about payments, visit the Manage Payments section of the Support Centre.