Credit cards have gained so much popularity among the general public that no business can be called complete and effective without the use of credit card services. Really, without credit card services, most businesses would end up losing a large portion of their business opportunities. Some people even categorize such businesses (not using credit card services) as not serious businesses.
So, what are these credit card services we are talking about?
Simply put, by credit card services we mean the ability to accept credit cards as a form of payment. Then, we can also refer to the use of credit cards as credit card services. However, generally speaking, credit card services will include services that enable merchants to accept credit cards. Thus, for a store owner, using a credit card processor to accept credit card payments is a credit card service that he provides to his customers (and he himself receives this credit card service from the provider of the credit card processor and others involved in making the process so smooth). Since carrying cash is no longer a common practice, any store that does not use/offer this credit card service will eventually lose many customers because they cannot pay with something other than a credit card. Therefore, for most merchants, providing credit card services (or credit card processing services) to their customers has become a very important part of the business.
With the boom of the Internet, a large number of online businesses have emerged. These businesses exist as virtual stores (or e-shops), either only on the Internet, or as virtual extensions of physical stores. All of these businesses (some selling goods, some selling services), need a way to accept payments from customers. This has given rise to online credit card services. The simplest form of use for these online credit card services is a simple web page/web form that asks you to provide your credit card details. These details are then verified and processed, and the amount is charged to your credit card and credited to the merchant’s account. Since credit card details are sensitive information, these sites started implementing mechanisms/technologies to ensure their security and prevent them from falling into the hands of fraudsters. Such sites are now known as secure sites and form the backbone of e-commerce.
Apart from these basic ways of implementing credit card services, credit card services are also offered in a number of other forms such as using credit cards for phone payments, using third party online credit card service providers that provide you with an interface for accepting credit card payments.
Thus, there are many different ways to implement credit card services, and the range of these credit card services will certainly increase over time.