ETC (electronic ticket capture) systems are the actual devices that a retailer or merchant uses to swipe a card during a credit card processing transaction. The device reads the card’s account information off the magnetic strip located on the back of the credit card, adds the correct date, amount, and kind of purchase being made, and proceeds to code and transmit that specific information along to the processing system.
During the 1970s, there weren’t any available electronic ticket capture devices. Credit cards were swiped using a manual machine that copied the specific data from the card onto a carbon-paper, multi-sheet sales form. The yellow-colored customer copy was then separated from the original and given to the customer along with the receipt from the cash register.
At day’s end, all the sales slips were painstakingly entered into the merchants accounts and then taken to the appropriate bank. Next, they were then entered manually again into an outdated processing system that took literally days in order to process. The funds were finally credited to the merchant’s financial account while the cardholders’ accounts were ultimately debited based on their purchases and the credit card processing transaction after the long, labor-intensive process was completed.
With advances in technology and growth came a much better streamlined process overall, along with the devices in order to facilitate it. The creation of innovative electronic banking services, with its computerized communications and batch transfers, launched the means to handle several credit card processing transactions in a very short amount of time. Money can flow in and out of merchant accounts much easier today due to the advancements in innovative technology.
When the magnetic strip was introduced on the back of credit cards as well as the devices to compute and process the data stored there, established a whole new era for both credit card commerce and merchant accounts everywhere. The device simply reads the data on the back of the credit card, the retailer then enters the account number along with the amount of the said transaction, and last the data is transmitted to the approval/completion process in order to complete the sale.
Several different kinds of devices have readily become available to retailers, each one offering better service due to ever-evolving technology. Those initial ETC devices progressively advanced to the point where the scanning device and cash register were finally linked together. Today, the same procedure that was started with a manual carbon copy of the credit card, went on to become a multi-level process, making is easy for the merchant overall.