C-TAP payments: what is the C-TAP protocol, and how can it benefit your business

Point of sale or in-person payments are seemingly simple compared to the fractured European E-commerce payment scene with many regional payment methods. Across Europe, there are multiple protocols to support accepting various debit and credit cards in-person, and for the Benelux market, MultiSafepay has chosen to support C-TAP next to our SmartPOS solutions.

With C-TAP powering over 80% of all payment terminals in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg, it is the predominant protocol.

In the following paragraphs, we will explore why C-TAP is so popular, where it differs from SmartPOS, and the advantages of utilizing C-TAP through MultiSafepay.

Main advantage of the C-TAP protocol for the merchant

The protocol has been set up between terminal manufacturers and acquirers to standardize payment processing and security – greatly reducing the cost of introducing new devices and services to the market and promoting innovation. Secondly, participants are not charging interchange fees as is common practice, significantly reducing transaction costs. It allows merchants to incur low costs in handling in-person payments. 

Terminal devices are built to last and are quite expensive on initial purchase, especially historically. This means that switching from one supplier to another would entail high switching costs. To avoid this, the C-TAP protocol mandates that merchants can switch between acquirers without switching devices. Removing this barrier and promoting freedom of choice, and flexible pricing towards the merchants. 
This helps merchants to choose the most suitable setup for their business. 

Managing C-TAP payments with MultiSafepay

Although integration between the different payment channels (online and in-person) is the key to well-optimized business management, many providers still need to implement a connected and integrated system for their merchants. Instead, they've built different systems for each payment channel. 
What we learnt from our experience is that a perfectly connected payment system allows companies to improve their business management. In our set up, companies of all sizes can benefit from a single platform where both in-person and online payments are available in real-time in the same system. It ensures them full flexibility and integration at a competitive pricing.
As we’ll see in the next paragraph, managing a single dashboard and working through a single connection entails several operational benefits that help the merchant to streamline and optimize the business.
As an example, it ensures that all transactions (offline and online) are more accessible than ever. Searching for a specific transaction or customer does not need to be done in multiple systems, just one.  

The benefits for the merchants processing POS payments 

What does it mean to choose a PSP (Payment Service Provider) that also acts as an acquirer following the C-TAP standard, like us? Let’s dive into the benefits for merchants processing POS payments.

  • Companies already owning a payment terminal and processing payments with another party can easily switch to MultiSafepay by installing our software on their existing hardware. Furthermore, while benefiting from low switching costs and all the advantages and services we provide for those who already use our terminals. 
  • C-TAP-only merchants (not owning any ecommerce or limited ecommerce business) also have access to the same benefits.  
  • On the other hand, we provide a solution to merchants looking for practical, efficient, and state-of-the-art devices to process their in-person payments. They can rely on our range of SmartPOS terminals, including Handheld, Stationary, and Kiosk models designed to meet the needs of any business of all sizes and verticals, including local shops and restaurants.
  • Our single and intuitive dashboard offers simple and optimized management that allows merchants to:
    • Have a unified and more efficient overview of the business and of all the customer data, which helps in building better customer journeys.
    • Obtain better insights to check the business trends.
    • Streamline accounting and reporting operations, and automatize complex procedures such as reconciliation, resulting in significant time savings.
    • Monitor all the transactions in real-time.
  • The opportunity to quickly add C-TAP payments to the platform as any new payment method without building a new dedicated platform. Combining different payment methods through one system helps to simplify considerably business management.
  • Finally, merchants can benefit from our reliability, coming from over twenty years of experience, building a secure, flexible, and user-friendly payment system for all kinds of businesses.

What makes MultiSafepay the perfect partner to work with?   

Our role as a payment provider extends beyond just our relationship with merchants themselves; we’ve also taken an increasingly prominent role as a payment partner. 
In the last years, by implementing payment solutions for POS and aligning with the C-TAP protocol, we've created further strong relationships, especially in the Benelux markets, playing a distributing role to various providers in the food & beverage and ticketing industries. 
This success is mainly due to the complete solution we enable them to offer their clients.

Our capacity to handle C-TAP terminals gives merchants an easy, low-cost option to switch acquiring. Once switched, we offer them one platform for both their online and in-person payments. That one platform leads to one dashboard for managing and viewing all payment information and handling critical operations such as accounting and refunds.
Lastly, our customer service is hands-on and always prepared to help our partners solve issues.

When asked, "Why choose to work with MultiSafepay?" our partners will have no doubts: the answer lies in our reliable and innovative payment system that simplifies merchants' lives by allowing them to manage payments across all their touchpoints easily. 
And this is certainly the best prerequisite, as well as the added value, for lasting and successful partnerships.

Are you currently processing POS payments through a C-TAP terminal and thinking of taking the next step for your business? Contact us to discover the possibilities for your business.

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