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restaurant credit card processing

A Summarized Guide to Restaurant Credit Card Processing

restaurant credit card processing

Learn about the different aspects of restaurant credit card processing and why so many businesses are gradually shifting towards this.

Cash payments have gradually become a thing of the past as digital payments and credit card transactions have more or less become the common norm. This trend is expected to skyrocket further thanks to the rise of COVID-19 that’s been proclaimed as a global pandemic by the year 2020. 

The increase in credit and debit card usage has become less of a surprise to restaurant operators as over the years they have managed to get more comfortable and less reliant on cash. These square pieces of plastic have made transactions between customers and retail or restaurant owners feel seamless and simple as all a customer needs to do is either insert, tap or swipe their credit or debit card at a restaurant’s card reader instead. 

As a restaurant merchant services provider it comes as no shock that you would want to learn all you can about restaurant credit card processing procedures, tips, and tricks. Listed below, in no particular order, we’ve compiled some information on how credit card transactions work especially once a POS system for bar and restaurant are involved:

Full authentication

The goal of this process is to ensure the validity of your customer’s payment card in terms of having the requisite amount of available funds. The issuing bank is then in charge of approving or declining transactions all while sending results of any authorizations made back to the merchant through any and all channels that it has previously gone through. Normally, this is done after undergoing the process of authorization.

Payment authorization

The moment your customer presents a debit or credit card to pay for the food and service that your restaurant has provided, with a swipe, dip, or tap of the card, this is where it all begins. Once an interaction has been between the customer’s card and your terminal, instantaneously information regarding the cardholder will automatically be sent to the bank electronically. The bank then receives the information being wired and sends the details to the corresponding card network.

The card network then inspects the details and sends an authorization request that includes the following details: card number, expiration date, billing address, security code, and the amount being requested. All these details are forwarded to the Issuing back to undergo an authentication and approval process.


Once both authorization and authentication processes have been completed, which typically takes less than a minute to do, a settlement is reached. Each receiving what is due, as the merchant aggregates all approved authorizations that are made in a day into a batch that is then sent out to the acquiring bank which is then sent through the appropriate channels that take care of each individual approved transaction made. 

In less than 24 to 48 hours the issuer will then transfer the funds, less any fees that are shared with the assigned card network. As the merchant, your hard-earned money is then transferred into your bank account for safekeeping. The debit and credit card transactions that you encounter in your restaurant every day involve a ton of steps from various channels that are there to ensure that retail or restaurant merchant services and processing fees are assessed and secured. 

What you need is someone that can offer you a quality POS system for bar and restaurant services to ensure that your future transactions are fluid. Luckily for you, we here at Savvy Merchant have the tools and system to help you navigate through the murky waters of your business by providing you with a means to keep up with your customer needs. If you want to learn more about the restaurant credit card processing services that we offer, don’t hesitate to contact us, our professionals will be more than happy to help you and your business today.

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