The Merchant Service for QuickBooks offers both "card swiped" and
"key entered" credit card processing.
For a card-swiped transaction, the merchant swipes the credit card through a
terminal or other device that can read the data encoded on the card's
magnetic stripe. The magnetic stripe data is transmitted to the credit card
processor along with the transaction amount, which proves the card was
physically present at the point of sale.
Card-swiped transactions typically qualify for a lower
discount rate because they are less prone to
data entry errors and carry a lower risk of credit card fraud.
You can sign up for card-swipe processing when you
apply for the Merchant Service for QuickBooks. If you
already have a QuickBooks merchant account, you can
sign up to swipe credit cards at any
For a key-entered transaction, the credit card does not need to be
physically present to authorize the transaction. Instead, the merchant enters
the credit card information manually using a keypad or computer program, and
the information is processed over the Internet (as with the Merchant
Service for QuickBooks), over the phone, or by similar means.
When a merchant is unable to swipe a credit card (for example, if the card
has a damaged magnetic stripe), the merchant can often handle the sale as a
This processing method gives you more flexibility (for example, you can
accept credit card payments over the phone); however, using this method also
means that you, as the user of the merchant account, have full responsibility
for safeguarding against fraudulent transactions. To help reduce the risk of
fraud, QuickBooks performs an address verification
check for each key-entered transaction by comparing the customer address
you enter with the credit card bank records.
Key-entered transactions are typically subject to a higher
discount rate because they are more prone to
data entry errors and carry a higher risk of credit card fraud.