The buzzword for today is eCommerce; people spend so much time “surfing the web” that you just cannot be in business in this era without having an online presence. And a big part of being in business, online as well as offline, is credit card processing; with the exceptions of a few merchants who will conduct their transactions with cash only, all of them accept credit cards. This is where Merchant Data Systems comes into play.
For fifteen years and counting, MDS has been offering merchant services to companies, both new and established ones. Among these services are merchant processing, merchant cash advance, payroll solutions, and POS integration (for “point of sale”). They serve clients of all kinds, from cosmetic stores to restaurants to retail stores and mail order companies. Credit cards of all major lines—Discover, Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, JCB, and Diners Club are accepted. MDS charges low, affordable rates, and its software compatible with all major POS systems. Applications for an account are accepted immediately, and a host of other useful features are in place—fraud protection devices, address verification service (AVS), and database programs that enable billing by installments. They also do eCommerce, web design, and multiple software programs.
One of Merchant Data System’s most valuable services is Check by Net, which is especially useful when we consider that of the billions of transactions made yearly over the web, a great portion of them are done by e-check. The way this system works is, the customer is given a list of payment options, of which e-check is one; and should he choose this option, he can then fill out the check, which is approved instantly.
Any credit card processing system can be processed by MDS, which only sells the most “state of the art” credit card machines. Two of their credit card terminals are the relatively simple, Verifone and the more sophisticated and elaborate Hypercom. Hypercom supports “value added services” and check imaging, and its dial transactions are the fastest in the industry. Both process the cards and print out receipts.
Customers can use Merchant Data Systems to accept credit cards and e-checks over Internet Protocol; or better yet, there is the First Data Gateway terminal, for which no special software is required to install. Here, besides the previous services of card and e-check acceptance, clients can schedule bills that occur regularly, and eliminate the necessity of maintaining and upgrading software. Communications solutions are also offered, so that merchants can conduct transactions over wireless connections from “non-traditional” locations.
For those merchants who wish for a convenient method of mobile payment, MDS provides a piece of equipment called ROAMpay, which comes in the form of a half-moon shaped device that the user attaches to the top of his smartphone (it is compatible with all of the major lines, including iPhone, Blackberry, and Android). He then logs in with his credentials, selects “Credit sale,” the total amount of the buyer’s shopping cart, hits “Next” and “Swipe,” slides the card through the slot with the stripe facing the front, and sees all the cardholder’s information. He then hits “Next” and can enter his own personal notes, which only he can view; clicking “Send receipt” and typing the buyer’s email address will cause a receipt to turn up in the buyer’s inbox. Then he clicks “Submit” and the transaction will be authorized within a few seconds.
In addition to credit cards, MDS software can also enable its clients to accept debit cards, which are basically similar except that the funds are taken directly out of the cardholder’s bank account. This does, incidentally, provide a major advantage over credit cards. There is no interest accrued on the transaction thus made, or on cash withdrawals made from an ATM, however, there are also a few disadvantages, such as lower levels of protection against PIN theft and fraud, since the holder has less time to report a stolen debit card.
To set up a merchant account with MDS, the applicant need only provide his name, phone number, and email address, and optionally, he can also give the name of his business, what he sells, the types of transactions he conducts (retail, online, mobile, gift card, pay- at- the- table, B2B/ G2B, nonprofit, or other), and ask questions or make any comments that he might happen to have.
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