What is RTWare.net?
The RTWare.net system is a real-time transaction processing system
that functions as a payment service using a secure transaction
server on the Internet. Merchants with a valid merchant
account can use the system to submit, authorize, capture,
and settle credit card or eCheck transactions without the
need for a separate transaction terminal or processing software.
There are three main methods of processing transactions through the system:
Virtual Terminal is hosted completely on our transaction servers, where
merchants simply login using their favorite web browser
and perform live transactions using their merchant account.
A merchant can enter a transaction manually and Virtual
Terminal will process the transaction in real-time just
like a physical card terminal would.
WebLink allows a merchant to link their web site to the system in order
to accept credit card payments from customers in real-time
with complete automation.
(Automated Direct Connect)
ADC (Automated Direct Connect) provides a simple and straight forward
mechanism to link more complex web sites with the transaction
gateway server, including support for the merchant's own
Complete technical details of these methods can be found in the Developers Guide
How credit card processing works
This section is provided for information purposes only. The system is
separate from your merchant account. The terms and conditions
of your merchant account are between you and your bank or
merchant provider, and should be consulted for specific
information related to your merchant agreement with your
bank or merchant provider.
A merchant account is required to accept credit cards using the system.
A merchant account is a special account with a bank that
is a member of the Visa and MasterCard associations. Such
a bank has been certified by Visa and MasterCard associations
and can provide you, the merchant, with all of the services
related to your merchant account. Once your merchant account
is setup and "live" on the credit card system,
you can accept credit cards from customers generally as
A customer presents their credit
card for payment
Using their credit card number,
you submit an electronic request to the processing network
for "authorization to capture funds" from the
cardholder's credit card account in the amount of the purchase.
Traditionally, one would submit this request by swiping
a credit card through an electronic transaction terminal
provided by the bank. With the system, this request is provided
electronically to our payment gateway servers, which then
route the request along the processing network.
The processing network immediately
receives your electronic request and determines if the cardholder's
account is valid and if the funds are available. If they
are, the processing network returns an electronic response
to your terminal or computer. This response is called an
"authorization code", and is your guaranteed authorization
to capture the funds. Typically, this code is a six-digit
number. The transaction and its associated authorization
are stored in a "batch", where other transactions
for that day reside.
You print a receipt for the
customer using the electronic terminal or your computer
and the customer signs the receipt. As far as the customer
is concerned, the transaction is complete. As far as you
the merchant are concerned, there is one more step to complete
At the end of your business
day (usually), a final request is submitted to the processing
network to go ahead and "capture the funds" that
you obtained authorizations for during the course of business
that day. This is called "settlement" or "settling
your batch". With a traditional physical credit card
swipe terminal, this settlement process must be initiated
manually. One of the key advantages of our system is that
this settlement process is initiated automatically every
day on our end.
At settlement time, the processing
network immediately receives your response electronically
and determines if the capture amounts contained in your
request match the authorizations for each item. If so, the
request is granted and an "Accepted" response
is returned to your electronic terminal or computer. A settlement
report can be printed showing the grand totals by card type
(Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, etc.) for
the settled batch. Note: any corrections to your batch,
such as voiding a transaction, must be made prior to settlement.
Within 48 to 72 hours (usually),
the funds associated with the batch you settled are deposited
electronically into your business bank account. Typically,
the discount rate you pay to your merchant account provider
are deducted from the deposit before it transferred to your
bank account, resulting in a "net deposit" of
At the end of the month, your
merchant account provider will mail a statement to you,
detailing the credit card activity for the month and the
associated fees you have been charged for such.
Now that you understand the basics of how a credit card merchant account
works, you can see the role that the system has in the processing
of your credit card transactions.
your merchant providers rates and fees
All banks and merchant providers require "transaction fees"
from you for accepting credit cards. Typically, these fees
are broken down into 3 categories: a discount rate, a transaction
fee, and monthly fees. For the bank's purposes, a transaction
is usually defined as any communication between you and
the processing network. A "credit" transaction
is treated the same as a regular transaction. Settling a
batch is usually considered a transaction as well, as it
involves communication with the processing network.
This is the percentage of the total transaction amount that the bank will
usually deduct prior to transferring your deposit into your
bank account. Typical discount rates range from 2.5% to
5%, depending on your type of business and other factors.
A higher rate may be charged on individual transactions
if the transaction doesn't conform to certain qualifications,
as described by your bank or merchant provider. For instance,
accepting a "Visa Business Card" credit card may
cost you 1% more than regular transactions. The reasons
for these non-qualified transaction surcharges and complete
details on all transaction qualifications should be discussed
with your bank or merchant provider. Address Verification
(AVS) may also fall into this category when not used properly.
Address Verification (AVS) is described in the Developer's Guide.
This is a flat amount that you pay for each transaction. Typical transaction
fees range from 30 cents to 50 cents per transaction.
These are fees charged for other account related services, such as customer
service, your monthly statement, network access fees, and
minimum monthly fees.
All the fees and charges are required to be disclosed to you prior to
your commitment to the merchant agreement between you and
your bank or merchant provider, and are usually enumerated
carefully to you in the merchant agreement itself.
Last updated: Monday,
September 27, 19991:45 PM MDT