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.
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.
Credit Card Processing : Reviews and What to look for in a Merchant Account ?
A High Risk Merchant Account is typically required for certain business types, that are deemed "Undesirable" by the card associations. These businesses include a whole host of different business types, including the adult industry, travel industry, and many others that we will cover below. There are various reasons why these businesses are "Undesirable", but for the most part the "Risk Of Chargeback" seems to be the underlying factor, as majority of these High Risk Business Types have a history of getting a high percentage of chargebacks vs other business types.
Chargeback is when a customer gets a particular charge "Reversed", by complaining about the transaction with their credit card issuing bank. Several complaints can get any merchant account shut down, sometimes shut down forever.
In closing, accepting credit cards in certain business types can seem impossible at times, but if you partner with an industry specialist, your odds of success are greatly increased. Keep in mind that your success is not guaranteed, as certain factors, such as lack of credit, lack of financial strength, or previous terminations of merchant accounts, can stop you from getting approved.
1st National Processing may be able to assist you in obtaining a High Risk Merchant Account for your business.
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