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What are Payment Processors? Everything Your Business Needs to Know About Card Merchant Accounts. - Acumen Connections

Payment Processing for Small Business. How to Get a Merchant Account.

Here is your quick guide on payment processors. After reading this, you will understand what payment processors are and how to start accepting credit cards today. We hope this guide is all-inclusive to answering your payment processor and merchant account questions.

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Understanding what a payment processor is

A company that processes transactions for your company. They allow your customers to use their debit or credit card to make purchases. They provide a service. The processor communicates and relays purchase information between banks. They take information from the customer’s bank account and send it to your company’s bank account.

A glance at additional payment processor benefits

They also offer added security to your store by checking for fraud. They can help if a customer complains that they were charged incorrectly. They can help if a customer wants to make a return. They may even catch typos on transactions before they go through. They can also provide credit card machines and terminals.

Defining what a merchant account is

Merchant accounts allow online stores to accept money online. It is a type of bank account that allows companies to accept online card payments.

A look at payment gateways and what they do

The payment gateway is what actually connects the customer’s finances to your account. It helps the transaction part of a credit card, or debit card, purchase. With a payment processor, they work with the credit card company to get the payment to go through.

The 6 key parties in any transaction

There are usually six consistent parties in any credit card transaction or debit card transaction. Customer, their bank account, the payment processor, the business, their bank account, and the credit card company.

How to start working with a payment processor

There are many different ways to find and start working with a payment processor. At Acumen Connections, you can simply give us a call or send an email. We are happy to explain your business’s options. We work with companies in Kansas and across the nation.

How to find the lowest prices

It is important to do your research. Every company has different fees. However, there are many payment processors out there doing some shady stuff. At Acumen Connections, we can provide a second look at your current payment processor’s bill. We will point out any charges that seems strange or inflated.

Do not just go off price alone. Also consider what other services they offer. Consider batch processing times, customer support, and additional support. For example, Acumen Connections also offers free resources to customers.  We have free weekly blogs chock-full of information. We also provide free marketing with our use of Merchant highlight videos. 

A look at which types of payment can be accepted

It really depends on the company you work with. Usually Visa and Mastercard will be accepted. Some companies will also accept American Express. At Acumen Connections, we can help you accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, and JCB.

Common payment processor fees

Here are common fees that occur when using a payment processor. Acumen Connections does NOT charge the highlighted fees below.


Annual fee

Monthly statement fee

Discount rate

Transaction fee

Minimum monthly fee

Monthly credit card processing equipment charge *

Gateway fee for internet transactions

PCI Compliance Fee

Chargeback fees

Address verification fee

Termination fees

*we do not charge this fee for equipment that you have purchased – we only charge a fee like this if you are renting equipment

What happens when businesses choose not to work with a payment processor?

If you have ever been to a store with a “cash only” sign, then you are familiar with stores that do not have a payment processor. Without a payment processor, you will not be able to accept credit cards. A credit card machine will not work without a payment processor. You might only be able to accept cash, check, money order, or store credit. Without a payment processor, customers are restrained to only paying with cash. Working with a payment processor can really boost your sales. It allows customers more options of payment.