Online Merchant Accounts : Reviews and Expectations
The primary costs to a merchant of merchant accounts are discount rate and transactions fees. The merchant account provider has a lot of latitude in the pricing structure.
Three tier pricing of Online Merchant Accounts is one of the most common pricing schemes. Using 3 tiers pricing, the merchant account provider groups the transactions into 3 groups (tiers) and assigns a rate to each tier. The three tiers are qualified, mid-qualified and non-qualified rates.
A qualified rate is the lowest tier. It is what a merchant is charged when processing a consumer credit card in a way that has been defined as standard by the merchant account provider. The qualified rates is what is usually quoted by merchant account salespeople. A mid-qualified rate is what the merchant is charged if processing a transaction outside of standard parameters. A mid-qualified rate may apply to rewards or corporate cards, which can comprise up to 40% of the cards used for purchases. The Online Merchant Accounts, of course, has no control over what card a consumer uses.
Accepting Credit Cards
As a small business or a small-small business (under 10 employees) it is important that you consider accepting credit cards if you don't do so already. People expect to be able to pay with plastic. They can pay with credit cards at fast food restaurants, gas stations, coffee shops and more. It is just expected, fairly or not, that a business be able to accept credit cards.
The first thing you need to do is evaluate Merchant Acounts. You may naturally assume that it is just easier to use your bank to set up your account. Well, that is convenient, but is it really in your best interest.
Many small businesses fall into the trap of latching onto their first merchant account and staying with them because of the convenience. They do this to their detrement. Over the past few years rates have lowered, while these small companies, out of loyalty or convenience, have been stuck paying the same rate they had when they first started.
Online merchant accounts are another consideration. You will need virtual versions of the credit card processors described above:
- Secure Gateway: This translates the information entered onto your website into data that can be read by an electronic card processing system.
- Virtual Terminal: This eleminates the need for a physical point-of-sale card processing system.
- Online Shopping Cart
- Virtual check processor
- Wireless terminals
Go into acquiring a Merchant Account with your eyes open. It is a service that you will need if you plan on being competitive, so make sure you do it right.
Online Merchant Accounts : Reviews and What to look for in a Merchant Account ?
A merchant account is a type of bank account that permits businesses to recognize payments by debit or credit cards. A merchant account also serves as an agreement between a dealer, a merchant bank and payment processor for the settlement of credit card and/or debit card transactions.
There are three main types of merchant accounts that you might be able to choose from.
Retail merchant accounts - This type of account generally have the lowest transaction fees, but often have preventive rules. With this type of account, this requires that a very high percentage of credit card sales must be performed with the card present and that the card must be swiped through a physical credit card terminal. Businesses such as restaurants, grocery stores, and small hotels are usually linked with retail accounts. This type of account would be best for merchants who are not planning on handling business through the mail or online at any point.
MOTO merchant accounts - Mail Order - Telephone Order accounts has a tendency of charging a higher transaction fee and are used when credit cards cannot be physically swiped. Merchants usually process the payments of the credit card by entering the information of the directly into a terminal installed on a computer, or through the use of a Web browser to process transactions on a web site of the payment service provider.
Internet accounts - Internet merchant accounts are parallel to MOTO accounts, but are only used for internet transactions. A virtual terminal or payment service gateway is used by merchants who have internet accounts to process credit card payments. These payment service gateways are included with a good number of business web hosting packages, and have custom-designed HTML forms.
If you are in UK, you might have limited choices as to the variety of accounts open to you. Normally this type of accounts for UK and other European companies have very high rates. That is why it is important to choose the right type of account and payment processor for the type of business you will be handling. Although there is a great deal of service providers available these days, but you should always read their terms of service very carefully, for most of them charge excessive fees and have stringent rules regarding transactions. Do not hesitate to ask questions, it is important that you understand their terms and policies. Shop around and research different companies of accounts service providers. Consult people you know and ask if they could recommend this type of account's service provider with good rates. Before signing anything or agreeing to anything make sure that you do understand everything there is to know about their terms and policies.
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