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 ?
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
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