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.
Although many business owners use the terms, "return" and "chargeback" interchangeably, they do not have the same meaning. A merchant return is simply a means to repay a customer who decides not to keep a product or retain a service. Often, when a return is initiated, a merchant may credit the customer's account on the same credit card that was used initially at the time of the transaction. Store credit may also be an option when a customer requests a return.
The business practice of a return is between the merchant and the customer, and does involve any third party, such as the merchant account provider, it's acquiring back, or the cardholding associations.
In contrast, a chargeback typically involves third parties. Here, the customer does not announce dissatisfaction with the product / service (or bewilderment in even receiving the charge) to the merchant, but rather to the card-issuing bank. The merchant is eventually notified and can try to "win back" the funds that were taken away as a result of the chargeback.
Consequently, many merchants don't realize that if their chargeback ratio is 1-2%, their credit card processing account may be closed. Surprisingly, even refunds are calculated in this ratio, although their assigned "weight" is less than actual chargebacks. (I don't know the formula but I'm guessing that 5-10 refunds equal one chargeback.)
Ethical and fair-minded business owners, especially those who run businesses with solid past credit card processing records, need not worry too much about the possibility of a closed merchant account. As time elapses, the relationship between the merchant account provider and business owner develop and a great sense of trust between both entities develop.
Of course, the objective of any business owner must be to eliminate or reduce the frequency of refunds and chargebacks - both of which can hinder a business's growth. Indeed, refunds vs. chargebacks is a losing game for any merchant.
Merchant Services : Reviews and What to look for in a Merchant Account ?
In case you are thinking of setting your own website to sell goods or services online, probably you are even thinking of accepting credit cards on your website. Accepting credit cards is one of the best ways to attract the impulse buyers and international customers.
There are two ways by which you can accept credit cards on your site. They are: Using your own merchant account: To accept credit card payments on your website, you will first need a bank that will allow you to open a merchant account. Check with the local banks for more information on this.
Accepting credit card payments on your website accords your business with a certain amount of professionalism. And, as mentioned earlier, your transaction costs are usually much lower.
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