So many things that used to take minutes, hours, days, or even weeks, are now completed in the blink of an eye. Nowhere is this truer than when it comes to processing merchant transactions. Merchants and customers alike expect to be updated immediately when a transaction is made. The days of balancing checkbooks have been replaced with checking our mobile banking app.
So what exactly is real-time transaction management? While the name might be clear enough, the devil is in the details. Today, we will review how small business owners can use real-time transaction monitoring software to stay up-to-date with their business, track purchases, and other activities, and what all of these look like from a practical standpoint.
Merchants Transactions 101
Before we dive into real-time transaction management software, we must first understand what exactly “transactions” mean to small business owners and managers. Merchant services providers offer a number of services to help businesses complete transactions. Generally, these transactions are credit card payments, debit card payments, NFC payments, recurring payments, or another type of electronic transaction.
So the bulk of “transactions” can be thought of as processing card payments for goods and services. However, the story doesn’t end there. Credit card payments generally take a few days to settle. There is also the potential for certain complications such as chargebacks or fraudulent behavior.
So when we talk about transactions, it needs to be understood that we aren’t just talking about successful transactions. Businesses are responsible for tracking all electronic transactions that come in or go out. With this in mind, let’s take a look at how real-time transaction monitoring software works.
Real-Time Transaction Monitoring, Management, & Processing
A “real-time transaction” is exactly how it sounds: a transaction that takes place and is processing as they occur. This is opposed to “batch transactions”, which take transactions over a period of time, lump them together, and process them in a batch. This is very similar to how any large data group is processed. Where batch data is generally viewed as more efficient, real-time data is better for the end-user.
Small businesses are essentially required to track their credit card, debit card, and other financial transactions in real-time. Customers do not want to wait until a transaction has been batched, and neither will you! Real-time transaction POS systems or other transaction systems allow you to view, edit, and even reverse transactions virtually immediately.
Tracking Credit and Debit Card Purchases
It is also important to understand that credit card and debit card purchases are not immediate. No matter how quickly your system tracks and stores the information, small business owners should be aware that these types of transactions take time.
Debit card transactions must run through the debit card network, issuing bank, an authorization process from a PIN or require a signature. This is all done in just a few seconds. In terms of payment processing, debit cards are closer to accepting a check than a credit card.
On the other hand, credit card transactions take multiple days to settle. Therefore a credit card transaction that occurred yesterday will almost certainly still be waiting on funds to actually come into the merchant account. This is just something to keep in mind when viewing real-time transaction systems.
Real-Time Transaction Management with CardPointe
So how exactly can you integrate real-time transaction management software into your business? Ideally, your real-time transaction software will be just one part of your overall merchant services package. An example of this would be CardPointe. With CardPointe: you will receive the following:
Virtual terminal: you will be able to use a computer to process credit cards, debit cards, and other electronic payments including phone orders and in-app purchases. This terminal also is customizable for employee permissions, customizable receipts, and more.
Real-time transaction management: as we have reviewed above in greater detail, view and manage transactions in real-time including the ability to void, capture, and refund purchases.
Mobile app: accept mobile payments with the CardPointe app. The mobile CardPointe card reader is fully protected by CardSecure.
CardSecure: our solution for electronic payment security. Make sure your business is PCI compliant and fully protected!
A dedicated credit card processing machine: last but not least, an Ingenico payment terminal for POS transactions allows you to accept chip cards, swipe, and NFC payments such as Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and Samsung Pay.
Real-Time Transaction Monitoring and Management with True Merchant
At True Merchant, we believe in offering a suite of merchant account services to best meet the needs of our clients. That is why we offer real-time transaction management as part of our CardPointe services. Small business owners using CardPointe get the full security of CardSecure, the reliability of latest-generation hardware, and powerful software which allows for real-time transaction management.
To learn more about how we can help your small business grow or even get off the ground, feel free to contact a member of our highly qualified merchant services team today. We will be happy to walk you through the process of getting started with CardPointe and looking towards a more profitable future!