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.
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.
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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