Credit card processing for firearms is not much different than processing for other types of businesses. There are a few additional requirements of merchants, such as providing a copy of your FFL license, to be approved by the bank and credit card network. Overall though, the process is the same. Here’s how
How does Credit Card Processing work?
There are several steps to processing a credit card, but most of them happen without the merchant or the customer even noticing.
- The customer presents their card for payment
- The information about the transaction is sent through the card network (VISA, MasterCard, AMEX, Discover) to the card-issuing bank (the customer’s bank).
- The bank will verify all of the transaction information, including the identity of the purchaser and the availability of funds.
- Information about the denial or approval of the sale is sent back to the payment gateway terminal where the merchant and the consumer are informed about whether the transaction has been completed.
- If the transaction is approved, the merchant will need to settle that transaction at the end of the business day. When the merchant begins the settlement process, the payment processor will deduct the money from the cardholder’s account and deposit it to the merchant’s account.
How to Find a Credit Card Processor?
Finding firearms friendly credit card processing is also fairly simple. There are a number of them in the marketplace today. Here are some shortcuts you may want to consider.
- Ask your banker. Most banks have preferred partners with whom they like to work. They may even cut you a deal on processing fees.
- Conduct an online search. Type FFL merchant account or FFL credit card processing into Google and see what comes up. From there, you can read reviews, find someone close to you, and find other information about those processors.
- Ask for recommendations from others in the business. If you’re part of a firearms trade organization or other professional group, ask who they recommend. They likely have processors they work with and would be happy to make the introduction.
How to Choose the Right Payment Processor
Once you narrow the list to a few providers with great reputations, you need to figure out which one is the best for you. In most cases, this is a personal preference based on the needs of your business. Consider what you need for your business and then find the processor who is the best fit.
- Services and Equipment – Make sure that the services and equipment that you need are offered by the vendor you’re considering.
- Costs – Take a look at the fee schedule and make sure it’s in line with what you can afford to pay for processing.
- Reputation – Check out online reviews and ask for referrals. Specifically, look for feedback about the customer service offered by the processor. It won’t do you any good to have a processor with all the best features if their customer service is terrible.
- Contract and terms – Be sure to review the length of the contract, the terms and conditions, and the cancellation policy. Check to see if there are costs associated with the early termination of the contract.
Payment processing for firearms can be a tricky thing because the industry is so highly regulated. However, there are some great processors out there with excellent reputations in the industry. Do your due diligence to find the one that’s best for your business.