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.
Merchant account is a contract between a business and a bank or a financial institution. This contract ensures that the bank accepts payments for the products or services on behalf of the business. These Merchant acquiring banks ensures that a merchant or company can accept payment from international customers for the products or services they deliver. Thus merchant accounts form a vital part of any E-commerce business.
There are two types of merchant accounts. First is the normal account, where the merchant can directly access the card and ensure that it is a legitimate customer, thereby the risk involved is minimal. The second type of merchant account involves the accounts where it is not possible to visually testify the customer. These types of accounts include adult entertainment merchants, online tobacco merchants, replica merchants, online gambling merchants, pre-paid calling merchants, VOIP merchants, multilevel marketing merchants, or any transaction that takes place with the customer physically not present. Thereby, the possibility of fraud activity is much greater with this type of business which results in classifying these types of accounts as "high risk" ones. Naturally, these high risk merchant accounts present the risk of the dreaded charge backs for the banks in question. It has been proved by various researches that these high risk processing transactions are more susceptible to fraudulent transactions.
As the saying goes, you cannot achieve anything in life without taking risks; companies are on the look-out for novel grounds that ensures a healthy business. These ventures might be a little unconventional, but what counts in the end is the turnover the company produces. So, banks or financial institutions should study them carefully and try to help them carry out the payment process, rather than classifying them as high risk and denying applications. The high risk merchant account acquiring banks are in fact eye-openers in this regard.
Credit Card Processing : Reviews and What to look for in a Merchant Account ?
Although many business owners use the terms, "return" and "chargeback" interchangeably, they do not have the same meaning. A merchant return is simply a means to repay a customer who decides not to keep a product or retain a service. Often, when a return is initiated, a merchant may credit the customer's account on the same credit card that was used initially at the time of the transaction. Store credit may also be an option when a customer requests a return.
The business practice of a return is between the merchant and the customer, and does involve any third party, such as the merchant account provider, it's acquiring back, or the cardholding associations.
In contrast, a chargeback typically involves third parties. Here, the customer does not announce dissatisfaction with the product / service (or bewilderment in even receiving the charge) to the merchant, but rather to the card-issuing bank. The merchant is eventually notified and can try to "win back" the funds that were taken away as a result of the chargeback.
Consequently, many merchants don't realize that if their chargeback ratio is 1-2%, their credit card processing account may be closed. Surprisingly, even refunds are calculated in this ratio, although their assigned "weight" is less than actual chargebacks. (I don't know the formula but I'm guessing that 5-10 refunds equal one chargeback.)
Ethical and fair-minded business owners, especially those who run businesses with solid past credit card processing records, need not worry too much about the possibility of a closed merchant account. As time elapses, the relationship between the merchant account provider and business owner develop and a great sense of trust between both entities develop.
Of course, the objective of any business owner must be to eliminate or reduce the frequency of refunds and chargebacks - both of which can hinder a business's growth. Indeed, refunds vs. chargebacks is a losing game for any merchant.
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