The Basics of Merchant Services

Published on

Written by


Whether your customers use cash or prefer contactless payments, mastering payment acceptance is crucial for any business. If merchant services seem confusing, no worries—this straightforward guide has you covered.

Think of merchant services as the behind-the-scenes magic trick that turns a customer’s purchase into money in your bank account. It’s a system that connects your business with banks and payment networks, making sure everything runs smoothly.

Here’s the cast of characters:

  • You: The business owner offering goods and services.
  • Your Payment Partner: A company that provides you tools and services to accept payments (credit card terminals, points of sale, self-ordering kiosks, online payment, etc).
  • The Bank: They handle the money flow, making sure everyone gets paid (you and the card company).
  • Payment networks: Think Visa or Mastercard, they’re the highways for your payments to travel safely and securely.

What you need to get started:

  • A merchant account: Your temporary money house before it gets deposited into your real bank account.
  • A payment gateway: The secure tunnel that sends your customer’s payment information to the bank.
  • A payment terminal: The device where your customer swipes their card or clicks “pay.”

Bonus features you might want:

  • Fraud prevention: Keeps your payments safe from bad guys.
  • Automatic billing: Great for subscriptions!
  • Data insights: Learn how your customers spend.
  • Marketing tools: Find more customers and grow your business.

Choosing the right payment partner:

  • Think about your business: Do you have lots of small transactions or a few big ones? Do you need online payments?
  • Compare prices and features: Search for a company that assures you no hidden fees will be charged, and try to avoid at first long-term contracts. Then choose a plan that fits your budget and needs.
  • Ask questions: Make sure they have an effective customer support.


  • Do your research before signing up.
  • Read the fine print: understand fees and service terms.
  • Choose a partner with strong security.

With this knowledge, you’re ready to start accepting payments the right way! Whether it’s cash, card, or a split alterative, you’ll be offering the payment service that fits best to your business.

If you have any questions, BikPays is happy to help businesess of all sizes take a step forward. You can reach out our team here: or (925)-350-9453 .

Share this post

Explore More

Open chat
Can we help you?