What Are Merchant Services and How Card Processing Works

Not to confuse with the financial services or freight forward services, merchant services here mean the system that enables businesses to accept payments over credit/debit cards. It includes both the hardware and system that combine for processing payments at checkout in hotels, restaurants, spas and service stores. According to the latest research Central Bank of Ireland, Card payments accounted for 64 % of the total number of payments. In volume terms, card payments continued to be the most popular payment instrument in 2020.

With businesses going cashless all over the world, especially in Europe, your business also needs an upgradation, and buying a suitable merchant service like NPI to enable your customers to pay via their cards is the best upgradation you can do today. But for that, you should have a good understanding of what exactly merchant services, how do card processing works, and what are the benefits of introducing them to your business.

What Are Merchant Services?

In simple words, merchant services mean the tools, technology, and systems a business incorporates to accept/process payments from cards and keep a track of them. Further, these services can be broken down as:

  • How do these services work: These services make all the behind-the-screen systems and processes that are in place for accepting and processing payments for a business.
  • What tools are required: The tools and technology comprise hardware and software that businesses require to accept/process card payments.
  • What are merchant service providers: The companies who provide merchant services both hardware and software for business owners
  • How much does it cost: the pricing plans of different merchant services vary from one another but if you are an Ireland business and looking for economical merchant service, NPI is the way to go!

How Merchant Services Work

The moment your customers take out their cards for payments, the process of merchant service has already started. These cards then go to the payment terminals and the funds are then deposited into the businesses’ bank accounts. You take the help of your merchant services to choose what modes you would use to accept payments, type of payments, and service provider.

Typically, a transaction through a merchant service looks like the following steps:

  • A customer sweeps the credit card and all the information on that credit card is sent into the card processing terminal.
  • The payment processing terminal then transmits this data and checks with your customer’s bank account before accepting/denying the payments.
  • If the customer’s bank account has sufficient funds and the respective bank approves the transaction, the payment processor accepts the payment through your terminal and the transaction is completed.
  • Once the payments are approved and done for, the merchant service payment provider takes its fees (predefined) and sends the rest of the funds into the business account of the merchant.

How to Choose Merchant Services for Your Business

If you are buying a merchant service for the first time, the process of choosing the best suitable merchant service could be overwhelmingly confusing. With so many stakeholders, service providers, companies, and products available. You are bound to knock your head once in a while. But we have got you covered. Following are the key points that you can remember before exploring the options for your best merchant service:

  • Mode of accepting payments: Do you want your business to accept only online payments or you can also settle for taking in-person payments too?
  • Type of payments accepted: Are you going to be taking debit cards, credit cards, and contactless payments?
  • Type of hardware or software required: Does your business require a full POS system or a simple credit card terminal?
  • Pricing plans: What kind of pricing plan is your business comfortable with? What costs are you willing to pay besides processing fees? How much is your budget?


If you are looking for a merchant service to upgrade your business’ payment methods, NPI is the most suitable and secure service provider you will find in Ireland, and Europe. With NPI, your business will be able to not just be able to process online payments from all major credit card networks but enable your customers to complete the transactions more securely.

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