Merchant Partners Debit Transactions
Debit is an electronic payment method that allows cardholders to access funds from their bank account at the point of sale using a debit card and a Personal Identification Number (PIN). The cardholder must enter a PIN to authorize payment of goods, and once the transaction is authorized, the money is debited from the cardholder's bank account and credited to the merchant.
This service allows customers to securely purchase products and services using their existing bank account while allowing businesses to expand their online payment options beyond credit cards and significantly reduce their processing fees.
Merchant Partners is a pioneer in the transaction processing arena, and we continue to consistently provide our customers with leading edge products, ensuring every competitive advantage.
Advantages of offering PIN based debit transactions:
- Reduced Processing Fees
- Merchants are charged a flat fee for each on-line (PIN based) debit transaction instead of a percentage rate (discount fee) plus transaction fee.
- Reduced Fraud
- Purchases are authorized at the time of sale, reducing the potential losses inherent with other types of payments, such as paper checks.
- Transactions cannot be downgraded
- PIN based debits are not subject to the downgrade fees that sometimes apply to credit card transactions that did not qualify for the best rate.
What is a PIN pad?
To process PIN based debit transactions, the debit card must be swiped through a PIN Pad terminal that has been programmed with a unique encryption security code. Instead of signing the receipt for the transaction the customer will be prompted to enter his or her PIN number into the PIN Pad. The terminal will encrypt the PIN number and pass it to the bank for verification.
See the Compatible Hardware List to view all compatible PIN-Based Debit hardware.
I'm already processing debit cards without a PIN pad. Isn't that sufficient?
There are two types of of debit card transactions: PIN-based (online) and signature-based (off-line). Debit cards that have a VISA or MasterCard logo on them can be processed without entering a PIN code. These types of transactions are referred to as "off-line" debit transactions. In this type of sale the merchant accepts a debit card the same way in which they would accept a normal credit card. The card is swiped through the terminal and the consumer signs the receipt. As far as the merchant is concerned there is no difference in the way a credit card or an off-line debit card is processed. Funds are transferred from the consumers bank account just as in a PIN based ("on-line") debit transation. However, the main disadvantage to the merchant is that the same discount fees charged to credit card transactions also apply to off-line debit transactions, significantly increasing the expense of processing.
- The cardholders ATM, debit or check card, Personal Identification Number
(PIN) and a magnetic-stripe reader are used at the point of sale to provide fast, efficient
online debit transactions. The POS terminal dials for an authorization directly to the card
issuer, and the cardholders checking account is immediately debited for the transaction. Your customer receives a speedy and
convenient payment choice, while you reap the rewards of immediate funding, a low transaction fee and chargeback protection.
- MasterCard and Visa-branded debit cards, often referred to as check cards, may be accepted at any credit
card POS terminal. Unlike PIN-based debit transactions, signature-based purchases are debited to the cardholders checking
account within 2 to 3 business days rather than immediately. With signature-based debit, youll pay a little more to process a
transaction, eliminate the customer cash-back option and receive little protection against potential chargebacks.
What do I need to start accepting PIN-based Debit transactions?
Contact your Merchant Account provider and request that your account be configured to accept Debit/ATM cards. Then contact Merchant Partners customer service and we will activate the debit payment type for your gateway account. After activating your account and receiving a PIN pad swipe terminal, you can start processing debit transactions using the Process Debit option in the Online Merchant Center Virtual Terminal. For technical documentation describing how to add debit transaction processing to your POS application, download the Card Present Transactions Guide.
Note: PIN-Based Debit payment processing is currently only available for merchants processing through the following authorizing networks:
Additional fees may apply.
- First Data Nashville Host Capture
- First Data North
- Global Payments East
- Vantiv Litle XML
- WorldPay ISO 8583
- WorldPay LISO Certification
- WorldPay Lynk
- WorldPay TCMP