Merchant Services : 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 Merchant Services 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 Merchant Services, of course, has no control over what card a consumer uses.
So you've finally decided to explore the revenue channel offered by the Internet. Accepting credit cards via the Internet has paved the way for merchants to increase their income. With more consumers shopping online, it's a profitable decision for businesses to provide credit card payment processing on their websites. The question would then be, where do you begin?
Here are the 3 major components of credit card processing:
A payment gateway manages the secure transfer of credit card funds of your customers from your website to your merchant account. This is done with a software interface provided by the payment gateway company that collects vital credit card data from the customer, and also informs the customer in real time if their credit card was approved or not. Payment gateway companies normally charge a transaction fee and a discount rate for this kind of service. Fees will vary from one processor to another, as well as features.The three "ty's" of payment gateways:
Without a functional website, you won't be able to sell your products and services on the Internet. Merchant account providers sometimes offer site templates to choose from, and payment gateways offer shopping carts that are seamlessly incorporated on your site. The key words here are: easily integrated. If you can't integrate, you can't sell.
In general, these three are the main factors when accepting credit card payments over the Internet. Having these three won't guarantee a successful online business, but are imperative if you plan on engaging in ecommerce. Search the web for the best solution you feel can help your business succeed. Merchants have long tapped the revenue potential of the ecommerce market, its about time you do.
Merchant Services : 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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