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Credit Card Processing Basics

A merchant account is a type of bank account that allows businesses to accept payments by debit or credit cards. A merchant account is established under an agreement between an acceptor and a merchant acquiring bank for the settlement of credit card and/or debit card transactions. In some cases, a payment processor or independent sales organization is also a party to the merchant agreement. Whether a merchant enters into a merchant agreement directly with an acquiring bank, or through an aggregator such as PayPal, the agreement binds the merchant to obey the Operating Regulations established by the card brands.

Methods of Processing Credit Cards

Today a majority of credit card transactions are sent electronically to merchant processing banks for authorization, capture and deposit. Various methods exist for presenting a credit card sale to "the system." In all circumstances either the entire magnetic strip is read by a swipe through a credit card terminal/reader, a computer chip is read, or the credit card information is manually entered into a credit card terminal, a computer or website.


Credit Card Terminal

A credit card terminal is a stand-alone piece of electronic equipment that allows a merchant to swipe or key-enter a credit card's information as well as additional information required to process a credit card transaction. A credit card terminal is a dedicated piece of equipment that only processes credit cards although it is common for related transactions including gift cards and check verification to also be performed. A credit card terminal typically must be plugged in to a power supply and connected to a telephone line. However, some terminals may be powered by batteries and communicate over the Internet or through a cellular phone data network. When a credit card is processed (either swiped through the magnetic stripe reader or keyed-in to the keypad), it contacts the network to verify if the credit card can be authorized. The transaction is then stored on the machine until the polling window is opened. The machine will either upload the electronic funds directly to the merchant bank, or a polling service provider will dial in to collect, process then submit the data to the merchant bank. The most popular credit card terminals consist of a modem, keypad, printer, magnetic stripe reader, power supply and memory card.


Payment Gateway

A payment gateway is an e-commerce service that authorizes payments for e-businesses and online retailers. It is the equivalent of a physical POS (point-of-sale) terminal located in most retail outlets. A merchant account provider is typically a separate company from the payment gateway. Some merchant account providers have their own payment gateways but the majority of companies use 3rd party payment gateways. The gateway usually has 2 components: a) the virtual terminal that can allow for a merchant to securely login and key in credit card numbers or b) have the website's shopping-cart connect to the gateway via an API to allow for real time processing from the merchant's website.

Habitat for Humanity - Smith County

Your Smith County Habitat is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing low-income working families the hope and transforming experience of homeownership. Smith County Habitat for Humanity offers this dream to those who would otherwise not be able to afford a home of their own. The new home owners help to build the house alongside many dedicated volunteers in the community. Habitat sells the house to the home owner at cost and finances the mortgage at zero interest.

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Habitat for Humanity - Cleveland

Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland brings people together to build and repair homes, communities and hope. Many families in Bradley County are in need of decent and affordable housing, which might be anything from overcrowding, homelessness, unsafe living environment, structural damage or a variety of other needs. Habitat provides a long-term impact that changes a family's life forever. Habitat homeowners partner with Habitat for Humanity through working sweat equity hours, completing homeowner education courses and paying a zero-percent interest mortgage on their home. Habitat works with families to build better lives in order to build stronger communities.

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Habitat for Humanity - Lafayette

Lafayette Habitat for Humanity is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seeks to put God's love into action by building homes, communities and hope. Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, durable place to live in dignity and safety, and that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all.

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Habitat for Humanity - HiawathaLand

Habitat for Humanity HiawathaLand is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seeks to put God's love into action by building and repairing homes, communities and hope. Habitat for Humanity HiawathaLand is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions.

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Habitat for Humanity - Battle Creek Area

Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price. Habitat for Humanity ReStores are proudly owned and operated by local Habitat for Humanity affiliates, and proceeds are used to build homes, community, and hope locally and around the world.

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Habitat for Humanity - Fresno County

Habitat for Humanity of Fresno County is committed to creating simple, affordable housing by building and renovating houses so that there are decent houses in decent communities in which people can live and grow. We depend on the support of individuals, businesses, community organizations, and faith-based communities to help us build homes for hard working low-income families and eliminate substandard housing.

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Habitat for Humanity - Greene County

Seeking to put God's love into action, Greene County Habitat For Humanity brings future homeowners and volunteer together to build safe affordable Homes, Communities, and Hope. Greene County Habitat for Humanity is located in Greensboro, GA

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Habitat for Humanity - Champaign County

Habitat for Humanity of Champaign County and ReStore is a nonprofit, Christian housing ministry that works to both eliminate poverty housing around the world and to make adequate housing a matter of conscience and action. Habitat welcomes partners from any faith - or no faith tradition - which are willing to help improve the lives of families needing safe, affordable, decent housing.

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Habitat for Humanity - Burlington County

Habitat for Humanity Burlington County is an independent affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Habitat operates through local affiliates so that all functions can have maximum relevance to individual communities. Habitat for Humanity internationals movement began in Americus, GA in 1976 with Millard and Linda Fuller. They founded Habitat with the conviction that every person deserves a decent place to live. They believed that communities can come together to make this possible for their neighbors in need.

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Habitat for Humanity - Watauga County

Watauga County Habitat for Humanity is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seeks to put God's love into action by building homes, communities and hope. Watauga County Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions.

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Habitat for Humanity - Darlington County

Started in 1996, Darlington County Habitat for Humanity is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seeks to put God's love into action by building homes, communities and hope. Darlington County Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, durable place to live in dignity and safety, and that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all.

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Habitat for Humanity - Monroe County

Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County's mission is to eliminate poverty housing by building simple, decent, affordable homes in partnership with qualifying families. Habitat homeowners pay interest-free, no-profit mortgages, which are used to build more Habitat houses. Because houses are principally built with volunteer labor, mortgage payments are affordable for low-income partners.

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Habitat for Humanity - Colville Valley

Habitat-CVP also builds in the mind and spirit: community, relationships, friendship, families, health, partnerships that grow to coalitions that revive neighborhoods, tolerance among different faith and ethnicities, training in construction skills, training in financial and legal literacy, advocates to speak for a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

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San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity

San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity transforms lives and communities by bringing people together to build, renovate, and repair affordable homes for families in need.

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Habitat for Humanity – Snohomish County

Habitat for Humanity of Snohomish County is seeking to put God's love into action. We bring people together to build homes, communities and hope.

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Habitat for Humanity – St. Joseph

St. Joseph Habitat for Humanity is a Christian Ministry, touching lives by revitalizing homes and neighborhoods in our community in partnership with God’s people in need.

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Habitat for Humanity - Okaloosa County

Habitat for Humanity Okaloosa County is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seeks to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities and hope. Habitat for Humanity Okaloosa County is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, durable place to live in dignity and safety, and that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all.

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Habitat for Humanity - Calaveras

Habitat for Humanity Calaveras provides home ownership to responsible local families who otherwise cannot afford a home on their own. Together with volunteers, these families partner with us to build simple but modern homes that they then buy on very favorable terms. Each family volunteers 400 hours of 'sweat equity' and then has a mortgage based on the cost of building the home and their ability to pay.

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Habitat for Humanity - Golden Empire

Habitat for Humanity Golden Empire is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seeks to put God's love into action by building homes, communities and hope. Habitat for Humanity Golden Empire is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions.

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Habitat for Humanity - Freeborn/Mower

Habitat in the Freeborn/Mower county areas use as much donated material and volunteer labor as possible. The homes we build are sold at no profit and not interest to families who would otherwise not be able to afford home ownership.

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Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity

Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seeks to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities and hope. Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, durable place to live in dignity and safety, and that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all.

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Habitat for Humanity - Loudoun

Loudoun Habitat for Humanity is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seeks to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities and hope. Loudoun Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide.

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Habitat for Humanity - Newnan-Coweta

Newnan-Coweta Habitat for Humanity (NCHFH) Inc. works in partnership with God and His people, from every walk of life, to develop Coweta County into a thriving community, free from poverty housing. Founded in January of 1994, NCHFH has completed more than 70 homes to date. These houses are now “home” for many local adults and children.

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Habitat for Humanity - Saint Louis

HFHSL was founded in 1986. At that time, a small volunteer staff supported the entire program, from initial homebuyer applications and mortgage processing to seeking funding. In 1988, the first two homes were proudly completed. Due to the hard work of volunteers and the support of the St. Louis community, more than 355 St. Louis families now have a safe and affordable place to call home.

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