Card-Present vs. Card-Not-Present
First, there are numerous ways to accept a credit card. They can be divided into two basic groups, card present and card-not-present.
As the name implies, a card-present transaction would include retail transactions where a customer completes the transaction in person, with their physical credit card. A card-not-present transaction would be any transaction where the card information is entered manually, either by the merchant or by the customer, like when a customer buys something online or has entered into a recurring billing cycle.
We will cover the pros and cons of each method in more detail below in the next section of this guide. Regardless of which method is used to accept the card, the same types of transactions can be performed.
- It can be swiped using the magnetic stripe on the back of the card.
- It can be accepted using the chip (EMV) on the front of the card.
- It can be manually entered into a virtual terminal, terminal, or website.
- It can be stored and used repeatedly in the future.