Credit Card Processing : 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 Credit Card Processing 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 Credit Card Processing, of course, has no control over what card a consumer uses.
High-risk merchants such as telemarketers, Internet/e-commerce businesses, merchants in the travel and cruise industries, businesses that conduct Internet auctions, and businesses offering membership clubs may face difficulty opening a merchant account.
Just because you have a high-risk business it does not necessitate the fact that you cannot open any merchant account, you would be required to open a high-risk account. The banks and independent organizations that provide merchant account services will evaluate your case on the basis of certain information such as how long you've been in business, your credit history, and any previous merchant accounts you've held.
The providers would also check on information such as default payments and charge backs on your previous merchant account. If there are too many of these then it could create a negative impact on opening a future account.
Credit Card Processing : Reviews and What to look for in a Merchant Account ?
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.
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