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.
Opening a merchant account can prove to be a great turnaround for your business. This is so because you will be able to welcome more customers who would like to pay with their credit cards and this means that your business will definitely grow. So while this means that you will see a lot of new customers come in, there is also the issue of operating the merchant account properly. The merchant account is the gateway between the credit card transactions processed by you, and the credit card companies, which will transfer your money into this account. The first thing that you need to do is to open a merchant account, and you need to know that there are certain fees associated with this process.
First up is the account opening fee. Actually this fee has been scrapped by a number of providers, but there are a still a few of them out there who charge you a fee for opening a merchant account with them. It is not recommended that you choose such a provider, unless their other rates seem good to you.
Finally, there's the cancellation fee, if you ever want to close your merchant account. Look for processing providers who keep this fee to a minimum, or else you will have a bitter experience when you decide to close your merchant account.
This is a brief summary of the various kinds of fees involved in opening a merchant account. Do not get nervous about so many details, because the provider will explain everything in detail and will make it easy for you to handle the entire process.
Online Merchant Accounts : 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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