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Automated Response Unit
An automated response unit, also known as ARU, is used in case a merchant account holder transfers information to authorize sales. This happens through a telephone, and no operator is involved in the process, hence the name. But let us see how it works, in detail.

Business owners with a merchant account can accept credit card payments even if they do not have a credit card terminal in their shop. Although most of the merchants have credit card terminals, in some businesses it is not so important. This is the case of MOTO merchant accounts, or online shops. Smaller business owners will not buy an expensive credit card terminal; they will use the automated response unit, where they can get access by a simple telephone call, it does not matter if it is a mobile or even a pay phone. Now let us see how it works. First of all, the merchant should have a merchant account, and then he has access to a toll free number offered by the merchant account providers. By calling this toll free number a merchant can give credit card payment information to an automated response unit.

What an automated response unit does is the following: it allows you to manually authorize the credit card transaction by entering keys over telephone. The merchant will give all the necessary information on the customer’s credit card to the ARU, and if everything is all right, the ARU will process the transaction instantaneously. All this happens through a telephone conversation, and the transaction is processed within seconds. It is interesting because the merchant does not have to talk to an operator, everything is automatic, and thus it works much faster than with human operators. And it rules out the human errors too. Although it might seem more difficult than entering the necessary information on the computer, or in the credit card terminal, it is a quick and safe way to process credit card payments only with the use of a telephone.

Most business owners have a merchant account, but only some of them make use of the ARU. In case of the retail market, it is much easier to swipe the credit card through the terminal than calling an ARU, so merchants who have a shop, a restaurant will not use this type of credit card payment. But in case of some businesses this type is perfect, because the merchant does not have to buy any equipment; all he needs is a telephone. So making credit card transactions is used by merchant with mobile businesses like street vendors for instance. He can not stay in a shop and sell his goods, but he can still accept credit card payments, as long as he has a merchant account opened. But this method could be used by MOTO account holders too; it is not a problem if the credit card is not there physically, as long as the merchant knows the personal information of the customers. It is important to mention that basically all merchant account holders can process transactions using an ARU; this information might be very helpful if a business owner encounters some problems with the equipment.

Automated response units are a safe and quick way to process credit card transactions without the need to buy expensive equipment. The merchant has to call the account provider’s toll free number and  he will be able to make credit card transactions with the help of an ARU.