If you want to accept credit card payments on your website, you need to engage the services of a credit card processing company. What these companies do is process the credit card payments that generate from your site including following through on approvals or denials so that your shipping department knows what to ship. The credit card processing company notifies the company by email when they have received an authorization from the credit card issuer as well as notify them if the sale is declined.
Using the services of a credit card processing company can save you a great deal of time because you will not have to worry about obtaining authorizations or making sure that the payments are credited to your bank account as your processing agent takes care of all of that for you. Of course, you will pay for credit card processing, but the extra sales you can make because of your ability to accept credit cards online will make it worth the cost. Without the ability to accept credit card payments, you limit yourself to the methods of payment you can accept, meaning you have to wait for your customers to mail a check or money order. The problem with this antiquated way of accepting payments is that your customer will not likely be receptive to it and will go elsewhere to shop.
You do not want to accept the services of just anyone who offers credit card processing, but you want to do some research and locate the one who best suits your needs. Each company has its own set of fees per transaction in addition to whatever the card issuer charges for the transaction fee, which is a percentage of the sale. In addition, you want to ,make sure that the credit card processing services meets your needs for volume and type of payment options you desire including debit card processing. After all, credit card processing is to help with your business, so the processing company you choose must be willing to work with you and develop a program that best suits your needs and those of your customers. They must be able to customize your services so that you have the most important payment options for the type of merchandise you sell.
Why bother with a credit card processing company? You could, realistically, bypass the credit card processing company and manually process your credit card payments, but it would take a credit deal of time. This would mean calling for authorization and filling out the forms and submitting them to your bank the way it was done before the Internet became a big issue. Even with the use of credit card terminals, a merchant had to close out his sales for the day, and write a deposit slip for send to his bank. Credit card processing has changed all of that, thus eliminating a great deal of time, effort, and paperwork on the part of the merchant. Saving time and money means more income potential for the merchant as well as more time to devote to the customers.