PPS Credit Card: Using a PPS (payment protection system) credit card can offer consumers and merchants several unique benefits compared to traditional credit card processing. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore what PPS credit cards are, who offers them, their pros and cons, costs, and frequently asked questions.
What is a PPS Credit Card?
A PPS credit card is a type of merchant services account that allows you to accept credit card payments securely. PPS stands for Payment Protection Systems – the processor that popularized this type of payment processing.
With a PPS credit card account, each transaction is backed by a cash reserve or bond held by the processor. This protects both the merchant and the customer if there are any disputes or chargebacks.
How PPS Credit Card Processing Works
Here is a quick overview of how PPS credit card payments work:
- The customer pays with a credit card at the point of sale just like any other transaction
- Payment is authorized against the cardholder’s available credit limit
- Processor deposits the funds into an FDIC-insured bank account under your business name
- If an issue arises, the reserve covers any disputes or reversals
- You have access to the funds quickly, often by next business day
Top Providers of PPS Credit Cards
While PPS Financial introduced this type of processing, several other providers now offer their versions of PPS credit card accounts. Here are some top providers:
As the original PPS processor, PPS Financial continues to offer merchant services accounts backed by cash reserves. They work with businesses in many different industries.
Clearent offers its PerkUp program that includes PPS processing. It comes with interchange-plus pricing, next-day funding, and strong customer service.
Fattmerchant’s version of PPS credit card processing is called Fattreserve. It emphasizes simplicity, transparency, and helping businesses get paid quickly.
Square offers expedited funds access to help merchants get paid faster. While not a traditional PPS system, it does provide many similar benefits.
Helcim features its Secure+ payment acceptance program. It uses both reserves and insurance to protect against losses and chargebacks.
Benefits of Using a PPS Credit Card
PPS credit cards and accounts offer some unique advantages over regular merchant services. Here are some of the top benefits of using PPS:
Faster Access to Funds
With a PPS credit card, you can get paid much faster, often by the next business day. This improves cash flow for businesses.
Protection from Chargebacks and Fraud
The cash reserves with PPS credit cards help protect your business from losses due to disputed charges, fraud, or non-sufficient funds returns.
Improved Approval Odds
Since transactions are backed by cash reserves, merchants considered higher risk may have an easier time getting approved.
Accept Payments Anywhere
Most PPS processors offer mobile card readers to accept payments on phones or tablets. This allows payments on the go.
Robust reporting makes it easy to reconcile transactions and track sales data. Reports can be accessed anytime online.
Many PPS providers highlight customer service and offer US-based support for merchants when needed.
Potential Drawbacks to Consider
While PPS credit cards have many benefits, there are also a few potential drawbacks to consider:
The added security and improved cash flow come at a cost – PPS accounts typically have higher processing fees.
The cash reserves that protect merchants also mean you won’t have immediate access to all your funds. A percentage will be held.
Early Termination Fees
Changing processors or closing your account too soon may result in early termination fees with some providers.
Some PPS accounts only allow swiped transactions. Newer options offer mobile and online payments.
Right Fit Important
It’s crucial to choose the right PPS provider for your business type, industry, and processing needs.
PPS Credit Card Costs and Pricing
The pricing for PPS credit card processing varies among providers. Here are some typical costs merchants can expect:
- Account setup fee– This can range from $0 to a few hundred dollars to open an account. Some will waive this with a longer agreement.
- Monthly fee– Ranges from $0 to $25+ per month for the account itself and includes services.
- Transaction rates– Typically interchange-plus pricing around 0.5% – 1% above interchange for swiped/dipped cards. Higher for keyed entries.
- Card network fees– These include assessments from Visa, Mastercard, etc. that all processors must pay.
- Reserve amount– The percentage of each transaction held can range from 5% – 20% or more depending on risk factors.
- Early termination fee– This can be several hundred dollars if you close your account before the agreement term is up.
Always compare pricing between providers as costs can vary significantly. Many PPS processors are transparent with no hidden fees.
Choosing the Right PPS Credit Card Provider
If you feel a PPS credit card account is right for your business, here are some tips for choosing the best processor:
- Make sure the provider services your industry or business type. Some specialize more than others.
- Compare costs like monthly fees, transaction rates, and reserve amounts.
- Look for month-to-month agreements if possible to avoid early termination fees.
- Understand the funding schedule and timing for deposits to your bank.
- Consider the hardware and POS options available – mobile card readers, terminals, etc.
- Evaluate fraud protection and security measures.
- Check provider reviews and complaints with the Better Business Bureau.
- Ask about customer service and support options.
Taking the time to research and compare PPS providers can help you find the right fit.
PPS Credit Cards: The Bottom Line
For many businesses, using a PPS credit card account can provide big benefits like faster funding, chargeback protection, improved cash flow, and predictable costs. Just be sure to weigh the pros and cons carefully when considering providers. Choosing the right option for your business needs can provide security and convenience when accepting payments.
Frequently Asked Questions about PPS Credit Cards
What types of businesses use PPS credit cards?
PPS credit cards work for all sorts of industries, including retail, restaurants, e-commerce, professional services, contractors, and more. High-risk merchant types often benefit the most.
Do customers know my business uses a PPS credit card?
No, PPS processing is completely invisible to paying customers. They pay with their credit card as normal during checkout.
What credit cards can be accepted with PPS?
Most PPS providers allow you to accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and other major card brands. Debit cards can also often be used.
Can I use a PPS credit card with my current POS system?
In most cases, yes. Many PPS processors offer integrations with top POS systems. Mobile card readers are also available.
How long does it take to get funded with a PPS credit card?
Funds are available much quicker than traditional merchant accounts, often by the next business day after the sale.
Is a PPS credit card account right for my small business?
PPS accounts are best for businesses that want to speed up funding, reduce risks, and predict costs accurately. The benefits must outweigh the higher processing expenses.
Are there contract length requirements with PPS accounts?
Some providers require 1-3 year contracts. Others offer month-to-month terms but may have higher account fees as a result.
Can I use a PPS credit card account for online payments?
Certain providers only work for in-person payments. Newer options allow e-commerce and mobile processing. Check capabilities before signing up.
Who offers the lowest fees for PPS processing?
Fees vary between providers. Compare monthly costs, transaction rates, and reserve amounts closely to find the lowest option.
Do I need good credit to get approved for a PPS account?
The cash reserves with PPS processing help merchants with bad credit get approved. Approval is often more likely compared to traditional merchant services.
A PPS credit card account enables fast, predictable payments for merchants while also protecting them from risks and losses. While PPS processing costs more than typical merchant accounts, the benefits around cash flow, security, and transparency may make it the right choice for many businesses. Comparing providers closely allows you to find the best option with the features, technology, and pricing to match your needs. With the right PPS credit card account, you can focus on running your business knowing your funds are secure.
Faizan Ahmad is a financial analyst and writer who specializes in investments, banking, and corporate finance. He has over 7 years of experience working in the finance industry in various roles.
He leverages his strong financial modeling and data analysis skills to provide insightful commentary on business, markets, and economic trends.
At Ventures Money, Faizan covers topics including Credit Card Reviews, Loans, Insurance, and Mutual Funds in the banking sector. He provides in-depth analysis of the latest news and trends to help readers make smart investment decisions.
Outside of writing, Faizan enjoys following the stock market, rooting for his favorite sports teams, and spending time with his family.