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 ?
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.
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