What Is An EPOS Merchant Account?

By Aimee Bradshaw | Writer and researcher

EPOS Merchant Accounts And How They Work

As personal bank accounts are not designed to receive either credit card or debit card payments, a merchant account, a basic trader’s account, can be created that allows such electronic payments to be processed.

Setting Up Your Merchant Account

A merchant account, sometimes referred to as an MID, is a relatively simple account to set up. Banks are usually very willing to give the go ahead to such processes as there are invariably set up and usage costs involved, hence why, as a customer, you are often charged a small amount if your items do not exceed £5 at your local corner shop.

There are also independent sales organisations, or ISOs, that offer merchant accounts, and services related to them, with far more competitive rates. These need to well researched before you commit to a contract or hand over sensitive information, however.

epos merchant account

Secure Payment Gateways

After you have set up your EPOS merchant account you will need a secure payment gateway to process each transaction securely. As with any online payment, there is a security risk when sending money electronically. There are many ways to set up such a network and many companies offer complete packages for those that are not confident in their ability to do so. Integration is important as well as security so it pays to research this part of the process thoroughly and make sure the system that you will be using allows payment from all the major cards on the market. There is little use in spending money on the infrastructure of an EPOS system only to be able to receive payments from a small percentage of your customers.

Receiving Payment

Once the payment has been sent through the intermediary of the secure gateway, the merchant account will either inform the customer that the payment could not be sent, this can be due to errors in filling in the payment information or insufficient funds, or that the payment has been processed. EPOS card processing is instant and means that the customer’s payment will be ring fenced in their account and received by the vendor within 3-5 working days. This largely depends on the type of bank account or credit card the customer has used to send payment.

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Types Of Payment An EPOS Merchant Account Can Receive

As online shopping becomes ubiquitous and central to almost all retail sectors, the options for payments over secure networks has become more and more diverse. The main principles, however, remain the same.

EPOS Card Processing

The most widely used method of online payment is with a credit or debit card. As long as the payment was made via a secure gateway, there is very little can go wrong and all payments are easily reversible. Payments go through instantly but do take a few days to clear. All transactions are easily tracked and recorded by the system that your particular EPOS and merchant accounts use.

Payment Via Phone

Although most online retail processes do not use phone payments as a matter of course, there are some businesses in which the ability to take payment via the phone is vital. Take away restaurants receive the vast majority of their transactions this way and customers often express satisfaction in being able to converse with the merchant and be able to ask advice before parting with their money. Phone payments are perhaps not as efficient as credit and debit card transactions as the vendor has to input the information as it is dictated but once in-putted the process is precisely the same as the online method.

Payment Via EPOS Terminals

An EPOS till is able to take payment instantly. These devices can be handheld, wireless or even self-service, as you might find at a supermarket. With the advent of contactless payment technology, the speed of transaction with these terminals has become ever more efficient, convenient and secure.

Next Steps

As with all things EPOS, merchant accounts and their corresponding systems vary greatly. Before undertaking the process, either the signing of an account contract or hire surcharges, it is vitally important that you should research all possible options.

By filling in our simple web form, which will take under a minute, you can compare EPOS systems and components while discarding those that might not be relevant to your industry, size and budget.

Aimee Bradshaw Writer and researcher

Aimee is Expert Market’s resident telephone systems, point of sale, and field service software go-to. If she’s not writing about business products, you’ll find her daydreaming about Dorset beaches.

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