Even though technology is rapidly growing and evolving, sometimes there are situations where it may not be available for a period of time. When automatic credit card processing cannot be used for a period of time, it is important that a company is still able to run transactions when a customer wants to use their credit cards. This is where manual credit card machines and equipment come into pay, so that businesses can continue to run smoothly even when their usual equipment is down.
The main way to manually process a credit card is with a manual credit card machine. A machine like this utilizes the tool of carbon paper, which makes a copy of the credit card by copying the information needed onto a sales slip after using a block to swipe over the customer’s actual credit card. The merchant or business can then ask the customer to sign the sales slip with the copy of their credit card information to make the agreement that they will actually pay the amount that is being charged.
This is done because in automatic transactions, the transaction process is able to be run in a matter of seconds, and that is not available in this situation. The process involves the merchant’s bank contacting the credit card network, who then contacts the customer’s bank to see if there are funds available to actually make the purchase. If there are, the customer’s bank approves it, and if there are not, they decline it, and this decision is communicated back to the merchant in a matter of mere seconds.
This cannot be done when the automatic equipment is not working, which is why the customer signs the sales slip to agree that to the best of their knowledge, there are sufficient funds available and they will be able to pay off the purchase.
Once the signature is obtained, the merchant is able to run all of the different credit card information they have gathered throughout the day into whichever company they have their merchant account with. Some examples of this are PayPal and Quickbooks. These companies allow the business to run all of the credit cards that customers have used to make purchases during the day by inputting the card information and then initiating the transaction process as outlined above.
Even though it takes more time and effort than a regular automatic credit card machine, the manual credit card machine does save some time when automatic equipment is not available. If not for the carbon paper, the merchant would have to write down the customer’s credit card number, expiration date, and CCV as well as the address of the cardholder and then obtain the signature in order to later input the information into their processor. The manual credit card machine makes it so that instead, the merchant just needs to take an imprint of the card, and then they are able to continue on with the rest of their transactions.