Merchant Card Processing Services: What Merchant Accounts are Right for Your Business?

As consumers move away from cash purchases, merchants increasingly need payment options offered by a merchant service. According to research, the average cash purchase is $9, while the average credit card purchase is $40. This statistic alone proves the efficacy of payment processing accounts. But the type of accounts you need depend on how you sell products or services. Below, we look at five types of merchant card processing services in terms of how a business sells.


For a retail processing account, card terminals are stationed at in store points of sale (POS). From traditional card swiping terminals to contactless card readers, retail processing has different equipment options. In each case, the equipment best serves businesses that conduct a high volume of in store sales, although businesses that have a low volume of in store sales, but sell primarily in store, can benefit as well.


An Internet processing account allows merchants to accept payment by card or electronic check over the Internet. Ideal for companies that sell shippable products or render online services, Internet processing also benefits companies whose products are not shippable, or who render services locally, as the convenience of online payment also drives local sales. For many businesses, online credit card processing accounts for the majority of their revenue.


A touchtone processing account is a type of mail order / telephone order (MOTO) account that lets you to turn a touchtone telephone into a transaction device. After accessing your account by calling an 800 number, and keying in a PIN, you engage an automated voice response system, and proceed to key in the customer’s payment information. Due to its higher discount rate than a wireless processing account, touchtone processing is typically used by businesses that conduct a low volume of low-ticket sales transactions.


A wireless processing account serves businesses that conduct sales at changing locations, such as outdoor public events, or at residences after rendering a service. To conduct sales, merchants use a wireless card terminal that operates like a stationary terminal. Due to its higher transaction speed and lower discount rate than touchtone processing, a wireless account is ideal for businesses that conduct a high volume of low-ticket transactions, or a low volume of high-ticket transactions.

Mail order / telephone order

In addition to facilitating payment by touchtone telephone, MOTO accounts facilitate payment by postal mail, fax, and over the telephone. Although the value of accepting mail payments is often debated, the fact remains: many customers send payments by mail due to habit, or to avoid online identity theft. The same applies to payment by telephone.

Call AVPS to learn more about merchant accounts

The sections above give a brief overview of the benefits of certain merchant accounts for certain types of businesses. To learn more about the benefits of merchant card processing services, and how merchant accounts work, call AVPS today for a free consultation. We have 25 years of experience serving merchants, and 16 years of experience serving small businesses.

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