How does Payment Processing Work

How does Payment Processing Work?

The Digital Payments Market boasts outreach of US $513.10bn transaction value in 2024. That’s massive! To remain competitive and provide customers with seamless, secure, and convenient payment options, businesses, regardless of their size, need to grasp the intricate mechanics of payment processing.

For businesses, handling customer payments holds immense importance. Payment processing not only facilitates cash flow management but also bolsters customer satisfaction and safeguards against fraud risks. In today’s dynamic landscape, marked by rapid technological progress and evolving consumer habits, businesses must remain abreast of industry trends, regulations, and security protocols to remain adaptable.

In the following sections, we’ll delve into various facets of payment processing, elucidating its components, operational mechanisms, recommended practices for businesses, and the critical role of selecting the right provider. Armed with this knowledge, businesses can make informed decision regarding their payment-processing strategies and solutions, thereby fostering growth through an optimized payment experience.

What is payment processing?

Payment processing is like a series of steps that safely move money from one person to another. It includes checking if the payment is allowed, making sure it’s correct, and then finalizing the transfer using electronic systems.

These systems handle different kinds of payments, such as credit cards, bank transfers, and mobile payments. Many groups, like banks, companies that process payments, and regulators, work together to make sure these systems work smoothly. It is convenient to process payments with smart POS systems like EPOS. Explore it with What is a Point of Sale (POS) Transaction?

Payment Processing Steps: How does payment processing work?

Payment processing involves many steps and people. Here’s how it works:

1. Starting the transaction: You give your payment info, like a card, in a store or online.

2. Using a payment gateway: Your payment info goes to a secure place called a payment gateway. It makes sure everything is safe and sends your info to the right places.

3. Checking if it’s okay: The payment processor gets your info and checks if it’s right. Then, it asks your bank if it’s okay to pay.

4. Checking with your bank: Your bank checks your account to see if you have enough money. If it’s all good, they say yes. If not, they say no.

5. Getting an answer: Your bank tells the store if it’s okay to take your money or not.

6. Finishing the transaction: If everything’s okay, the store gives you what you bought. If not, they might ask for another way to pay. Don’t you want to learn how to improve cash flow in business?

7. Paying the store: At the end of the day, the store sends all the approved payments to their bank. The bank asks your bank for the money, and if everything’s fine, they send it to the store.

8. Checking the records: The store checks all the payments they got and any fees they had to pay. You and the store get records of what happened.

Best Practices for Payment Processing

Following good practices for handling payments can make customers happier, reduce fraud, and keep your business following the rules. Plus, it helps you manage your money better and make fewer mistakes.

Here are some important things to do when handling payment process in business:

1. Keep things safe

safe & secure payment - Axcess IT epos

Use strong security methods like encryption and SSL certificates to protect payment info. Follow rules like PCI DSS to keep payments safe.

2. Offer different ways to pay

Give customers choices like credit cards, debit cards, and digital wallets to make shopping easier.

3. Use a trusted payment system

Pick a reliable payment processor (like CleanTouch EPOS) that offers good services, helps prevent fraud, and gives good support.

4. Keep everything updated

Make sure your payment systems are always up to date with the latest security and technology improvements to keep things running smoothly and safely.

5. Train your team

Teach your employees about how to handle payments safely and what to do if they spot any problems.

6. Use tools to stop fraud

cvv - axcess it

Use tools like AVS and CVV checks to help spot and prevent fraud when taking payments.

7. Keep an eye on things

Regularly check your payment records (be it online payment processing or cash) for anything unusual that might be a sign of fraud, and set up alerts to tell you about any problems quickly.

8. Have clear rules for refunds and chargebacks

Make sure your customers know what to expect if they want a refund or if there’s a problem with their payment. Learn more about electronic funds transfer at the point of sale.

9. Make payment-tracking convenient

Have good processes in place to keep your payment records accurate, get your money quickly, and watch out for any issues.

10. Stay updated

Keep learning about new payment methods, the best ways to handle payments, and any changes in the rules to keep your business running smoothly and legally.

The Takeaway

Processing payments is an integral part of any business and when done right, it is not a hassle anymore. In case you are hunting for accurate payment processing systems, Axcess IT CleanTouch EPOS could be the right choice. Our team is ready to assist, get in touch today!


1. Why might a card transaction be declined and what actions should be taken in such instances?

A card transaction can be declined due to various reasons. Errors, insufficient funds, or technical issues are common causes. If declined, retrying the transaction is advisable. However, if the issue persists, overdraft fees may be incurred if swiping again for insufficient funds.

2. What defines a credit card association?

A credit card association, like Visa or MasterCard, is a network facilitating debit and credit card transactions. They don’t issue cards directly; instead, banks do. Associations process payments, charging fees per transaction. However, some companies, like American Express and Discover, issue cards directly.

3. Is payment processing secure?

Payment processing poses risks like identity theft. However, secure devices encrypt user data, minimizing risks. PCI-compliant devices further enhance security. Despite precautions, data breaches may occur. In such cases, issuing banks typically provide new credit cards to affected customers.

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