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.
What is a Merchant Account? A retail establishment is able to accept credit cards, debit cards, electronic gift and loyalty cards through the medium of a "merchant account" established with a credit card processing firm. Merchant accounts or credit card processing services are provided by merchant banks or Merchant Service Providers (MSP).
A merchant or retail establishment benefits from subscribing to credit card processing services by tapping into the huge potential held by sales generated through card transactions. Retail establishments with card processing services are a preferred choice among shoppers. Providing such payment options invite the shopper to spend a little extra than planned.
Credit Card Processing
The technology used to make acceptable credit card transactions involves a credit card terminal. This is a single piece of electronic equipment with a telephone like keypad connected to a power supply and a telephone connection. A credit card can either be swiped on this machine or details of the card can be manually keyed -in. The telephone connection is required to verify the validity of the card and authorize the transaction. Advancement in technology allows the same verification process to be completed through the internet or cellular networks.
Considerations in Subscribing to a Merchant Account
The financial gains and expenditures must be taken into account to devise a successful method to accept card transactions profitably or at a low cost. The key aspects that must be considered in deciding a favorable merchant account must include:
- The cost of the credit card terminal
- Charges or rates specified by the Merchant Service Provider
- Scope of Transactions
- Application and Setup costs
- Acceptability of major credit cards and
- Security of transactions
Online Merchant Accounts : Reviews and What to look for in a Merchant Account ?
A high risk merchant account is a merchant account or payment processing agreement that is tailored to fit a business which is deemed high risk or is operating in an industry that has been deemed as such. These merchants usually need to pay higher fees for merchant services, which can add to their cost of business, affecting profitability and ROI, especially for companies that were re-classified as a high risk industry, and were not prepared to deal with the costs of operating as a high risk merchant. Some companies specialize in working specifically with high risk merchants by offering competitive rates, faster payouts, and/or lower reserve rates, all of which are designed to attract companies which are having difficulty finding a place to do business.
Businesses in a variety of industries are labeled as 'high risk' due to the nature of their industry, the method in which they operate, or a variety of other factors. For instance, all adult businesses are considered to be high risk operations, as are travel agencies, auto rentals, collections agencies, legal offline and online gambling, bail bonds, and a variety of other online and offline businesses. Because working with, and processing payments for, these companies can carry higher risks for banks and financial institutions they are obliged to sign up for a high risk merchant account which has a different fee schedule than regular merchant accounts.
When a merchant applies for a merchant account with a bank, payment processor, or other merchant account provider, there are many factors to consider before settling on a particular merchant provider. It is often possible to negotiate lower rates, and one should always request multiple quotes before choosing which high risk merchant account provider to use for their processing needs.
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