New and Expanding Merchant Services in Illinois

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With Merchant Data Systems (MDS), a client can open up a credit card merchant account and subsequently benefit from a variety of services. Headquartered in Miami Beach, Florida, MDS is open for anybody with a business, a computer, and Internet connection, and thus services are now available to Illinios.

Credit cards are probably the most common form of payment made in the United States today. Except for a few places that display a sign saying “Cash only” or something of the sort, every company accepts them; and indeed, merchants can almost always make more if they also sell on credit than they could if they did not.

For all these reasons, there are also economic entities—of which the best is Merchant Data Systems (MDS)—where a client can open up a credit card merchant account and subsequently benefit from a variety of services, as described below. Headquartered in Miami Beach, Florida, MDS is open for anybody with a business, a computer, and Internet connection, and thus Illinois merchant services are now available. Founded in 1997, it is what is called a payment gateway—an application service provider that authorizes payments made to businesses. Once an account has been opened, the merchant may accept credit cards of all major lines (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Diners’ Club, and JVC), provided, of course, they are valid.

At least five types of credit card machines are sold at MDS, and they range from simple ones with relatively few keys, such as the Verifone, and more complex and sophisticated devices with more keys to perform more functions, such as the Hypercom. Only those with an online merchant account may purchase anything at MDS’s store.

Smartphones are fast becoming a popular way to transact online business, since they provide a convenient way to connect while "on the go”. For mobile credit card processing, MDS has invented a device called ROAMpay, a small half-moon shaped device with a slit in the center where the card is slid through, and a part for attaching it to the top of the phone. ROAMpay works with all smartphone lines— iPhone, Blackberry, Android, and more.

Let us say that Gerald McDuff, the well-known owner of a jewelry company in Chicago, has an iPhone and an MDS account, has just received his ROAMpay from them, and has installed the app required to run it. While having lunch in a restaurant, he runs into a customer who has his credit card on him and wishes to buy an $11,435.75 platinum bracelet. Mr. McDuff turns on his iPhone, logs in with his secure credentials, and attaches the swiper to the top. Then he selects “Credit sale” and enters $11,435.75, hits “Swipe,” and slides the card through the slit in the ROAMpay with the stripe facing the front. Instantly the customer’s information appears on the screen. Mcduff hits “Next” and may enter his own notes, which only he can access and which are important only to him—perhaps something like “Ship item to customer’s address.” To ensure that a receipt will be emailed to the customer, McDuff then checks the box next to “Send receipt,” types it the correct email address, and hits “Submit.” It will take no more than a few seconds for the transaction to be authorized, and he will be notified of whether it is valid or not.

Online merchant payment gateways, through which merchants accept credit cards over Internet Protocol connections, are also available. Merchant Data Gateway and First Data Global Gateway are the main ones, and there are other providers with which MDS has relationships and is willing to connect with clients who need them. First Data deserves special treatment here; when it comes to credit card processing, it towers above all the others. The customer initiates an in-person, over-the-phone, or online transaction, which Global Gateway then captures over a secure connection and submits to First Data to be processed. The information is passed, again securely, to the customer’s bank, check processor, or other payment issuer to be authorized or declined; the result is relayed back to First Data. The whole process takes only a few minutes, and all data is completely secure.

If the shear length of time that somebody remains a customer at a given company can be used as a criterion for determining their satisfaction with what they get there, then MDS is one of those credit card processing companies with many satisfied customers indeed. MDS likes to say, “A happy customer is a long-term customer.” Client industries range from Internet businesses to petroleum producers to restaurants and retailers, and MDS has tailored its solutions to each type individually. Thus, mail and telephone order companies benefit from fraud protection, a multiplicity of hardware and software solutions, and database programs that can be used to manage installment bills; Internet companies get web processing and e-commerce hosting, in addition to encrypted processing; and for everyone, there are low rates and gift card programs.

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Adelard Gasana

Eric Rosado
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