Merchant Learning Center

Straight-Through Processing (STP) Explained

Straight-Through Processing (STP) Explained

In a perfect system, all payments distributed and received by a business would be accurately reported and require no human intervention. A customer would pay through an online portal, and the payment would be applied to an existing balance and/or would initiate a product delivery. Straight-through processing aims for this payment utopia, and today we’re going to talk a bit about what straight-through processing really means and how your business can start applying its principles.

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Bank Lockbox Services: Benefits, Costs, & More

Bank Lockbox Services: Benefits, Costs, & More

Curious about lockbox services? We’ve got your back. Lockboxes can be a great way for businesses to speed up their collections processes while offering faster service to their customers, but it comes at a cost. We’re going to cover what a lockbox is, how they work, the typical pricing for lockbox services, and how to decide if your business should use them. What is a bank lockbox service? A lockbox is an official drop-off point that businesses can direct their customers’ physical payments to, which are then collected by a bank and processed.

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Cash Application Process: What It Is and How to Improve It

Cash Application Process: What It Is and How to Improve It

Cash is oxygen. It seems a bit juvenile to stress the importance of cash in a business context, but having liquid assets on-hand to move around and make strategic decisions with is critical to a business’s function, and you can’t do that unless you’ve collected the cash owed to you and applied it to the correct accounts. Otherwise, it’s just this big, convoluted batch of miscellaneous payments in accounts receivable.

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Interactive Teller Machine (ITM): Pros, Cons, & Future

Interactive Teller Machine (ITM): Pros, Cons, & Future

As the world gets more and more comfortable with technology like video chat and continues to prioritize speed over more traditional processes, it’s natural for industries to adapt to those preferences. Interactive teller machines are a great example of modernization in personal financing. These machines are essentially an evolved ATM, and while somewhat limited in utility, they’re providing an interesting option for financial institutions to serve customers in extremely rural or urban areas.

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Invalid Transaction: Declined Code 12 Explained

Invalid Transaction: Declined Code 12 Explained

Few things are more frustrating than having a customer who’s waiting to pay but can’t because of some error code, especially when there is a long line of customers behind them. Or, if you’re running an eCommerce business, error codes could be dramatically lowering your checkout conversion rates — and you may not even know! Staying on top of error codes and diagnosing them quickly is key to running a successful business.

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What Does Billed (or Paid) in Arrears Mean?

What Does Billed (or Paid) in Arrears Mean?

Being billed in arrears is an awkward-sounding term, and it’s that semantic clumsiness that makes it more confusing than it should be. It’s a noun, and it really feels like you should add “an” before it, but you don’t. Unfortunately, we don’t have the ability to rename arrears, but we can explain it in a way that makes sense. What does paid in arrears mean? Paid in arrears is a payment that is purposefully or accidentally behind.

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Acquiring Bank vs. Issuing Bank: What's the Difference?

Acquiring Bank vs. Issuing Bank: What's the Difference?

People typically look under the surface of the modern payment infrastructure when attempting to obtain their own merchant account or when creating a partnership with a merchant services company. Some of the first terms people will run into when diving into this world are acquiring banks and issuing banks. So what are these banks, and what’s the difference between an issuer and an acquirer? Acquiring Bank vs. Issuing Bank In short, an issuing bank is the credit card holder’s bank and the acquiring bank is the merchant or business’s bank.

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15 Credit Union Marketing Ideas That Work

15 Credit Union Marketing Ideas That Work

So you’re looking for your next big credit union marketing idea? Awesome. Nailing down the exact plan of action before digging into the weeds is the way to go, and we’re here to help you get the gears moving. Each of these ideas is rooted in the latest marketing strategies, and if you execute them correctly, you could have a great marketing push for your credit union. Your best bet is to pick a few that excite you the most, check them against your budget, and get to work.

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An Issuing Bank Defined and Explained

An Issuing Bank Defined and Explained

Almost everyone in the modern world has a relationship with an issuing bank. They are a fundamental component of our modern payment ecosystem, and the competition between them will grow for years to come. We’re going to cover what an issuing bank is, the role they play in the payments ecosystem, and exactly what you need to know without getting bogged down in payments jargon. What is an issuing bank?

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Forced Credit Card Sale: What It Means

Forced Credit Card Sale: What It Means

Fraudulent opportunities often lie at the intersection between convenience and security, and forced sale transactions are a perfect example of that. While they do provide a certain convenience to merchants, they have been increasingly subject to fraud in the past few years. We’re going to tell you exactly what you need to know about forced sale transactions. What is a forced sale credit card transaction? A forced sale is a type of offline transaction that can bypass the authorization tokenization process that accompanies normal transactions.

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