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Swiping your credit card through a reader … How does it work?

When you make a payment, the merchant runs your plastic through the point of sale unit, and several steps of the transaction follow.

1) Your card number and transaction amount are sent for authorization, so that both the acquirer of the payment and the issuer could answer back to the merchant that the transaction is possible (the account number is valid, there is enough funds in the account). It takes no more than a minute.

2) After authorization, your transaction, as well others, is placed in a batch. It is stored there until the merchant sends batch to the bank-acquirer to receive payment (usually once a day).

3) The issuing bank is requested for payment, and after the authorization data is verified once again, the issuer is debited for the amount of transaction.

The acquiring bank receives the funds, paying the interchange fee.

4) The acquirer pays the merchant that receives the amount of the transaction excluding bank service charge. The process described above takes minimum 2 maximum 7 business days.

In case of a chargeback (due to an error in processing or the buyer disputing the transaction), the issuer makes a return of funds to the acquirer, the latter requesting the merchant for chargeback. If the merchant agrees to chargeback, the customer is not billed.

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