Accepting Credit Cards – Is It Necessary For Your Small Business?

This almost seems as if it is a rhetorical question nowadays. Customers all seem to use their credit card. But for the business owner, accepting credit cards is often expensive – this is especially true if you use a merchant account that is ill suited to your business. So why don’t we get the “skinny” on setting up a merchant account to automate and simplify your company…

The Benefits, in Plain English

In almost all cases, it will only benefit you – profit wise – to have a merchant account. As long as you conduct a reasonable amount of research before choosing a credit card processor that fits your particular business, here is a list of perks that you’ll have access to the instant you sign up for a merchant account:

1. Once you are able to take credit cards you can accept any kind of payment – never forfeit a sale again if someone didn’t bring cash (or have enough money in their checking account to write a check). You’ll discover that your profits will go up when you make paying more convenient for your clients.

2. One of the superior advantages of getting a merchant account (credit card processing service) is that clients are able to purchase your merchandise easily in almost any location. This is able put your business on an international level – particularly with the arrival of the internet.

3. For those who are selling products via the web, processing payments automatically will become a possibility – this means that you are able to be “open” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

4. The credit card processing service has a built-in fraud and security protection system that offers you protection via the use of VeriSign SSL Certificate and AVS (Address Verification Service) which makes the transactions on your site nearly invincible.

Choosing the Best Merchant Service for Your Business…

Now, considering all of the benefits stated above, you should know what to expect in a merchant service in order to maximize your earnings – and the superior, dependable service that your company deserves. Here are some aspects you should think about:

1. Don’t worry if the application fee is pricey. Many services that charge a high approval rate supply faultless services, and certainly will be worthy of the fee paid. The high-end services will also set up your account and be ready to use in mere hours.

2. Often, companies who offer realistic fees instead of ridiculously low rates will be lacking hidden fees – such as penalties to cancel or “junk” fees. So don’t rest your decision only on the price of any given service.

3. Be vigilant when you are first asking about setting up a merchant account with any company. If their answers are punctual and they really seem to be concerned about you – their potential client – then there is a good chance, that this type of service will be given to you throughout your relationship with them.

By this time, you are surely realizing the benefits of being able to accept credit cards – instead of attempting to “save” cash by not setting up a merchant account. In fact, if you choose not to invest in a quality, pertinent merchant account it has the potential to be one of the most costly expenses you’ll ever receive.

Increase your profits right now, just by making it simpler for you – and your clients. It is time to take the plunge and begin accepting credit cards at your place of business. Your wallet will thank you for it…

The Basics of Small Business Credit Card Processing

The internet has opened up a world of possibilities. The power of this virtual world has been discovered by innovative entrepreneurs, and now anyone with initiative can start a business with the least capital possible-time, computer, internet connection and a great product idea. These are categorized as small businesses online and as with all e-commerce systems, they require credit card processing for the payments of online buyers. This is where the merchant service providers come in.

What are Merchant Services?

Merchant services allow the business owners to process credit card payments for their online buyers. The core of the service is the merchant account, a commercial bank account with which you can route payment from the customer’s bank to your bank account, through a credit card processor. Merchant accounts are also offered by financial institutions such as banks but these accounts are too costly, with expensive monthly fees.

The best services for small businesses are third-party payment processors and the Independent Service Organizations (ISO). The former are companies that already have merchant accounts. They send your credit card processing through it, taking care of the whole purchasing process from choosing the right shopping cart (with which the buyers can put the items they want to purchase) for the merchant payment gateway (a complex “passageway” wherein the credit card transaction is verified through the buyer’s bank and card association authentication before the final approval of the purchase). Third-party processors also provide customer and billing inquiry services, all at a relatively small fee.

ISOs, meanwhile, are representatives of one or several of these third-party payment processors, offering credit card processing services through their established bank card relationship with card association members such as Visa and MasterCard, among others.

What Makes a Good Merchant Service Provider?

If you want to start your own online business, you have to shop for the right service provider that addresses every need of your business. The following are just some of the factors that you have to consider:

• How long has the company been in the field? Longer experience is always the best gauge of quality service.

• Does the merchant service provider dedicate itself to ensuring the privacy and security of the transactions and information? It is best to ask what measures the company goes through, to protect the delicate information they handle. Most of qualified and better-known companies, for example, use iSpyFraud, a fraud-detection software.

• How much is the monthly rate? Do not just take the rates and fees listed on company websites at face value. Research deeper, and you might unearth hidden fees. A good credit card processing company charges a low monthly fee and is transparent with its fees and costs as the service progresses. This is especially vital for small businesses that already have small capital to start with.

Currently, there is a myriad of merchant service providers eager to help online entrepreneurs. Hidden among them are scammers and frauds, eager to pilfer money from the not-too-well-informed such as newcomers in the small business arena. The best way to ward them off is to research and continuously educate oneself on the ever-changing dynamic geography of e-commerce.

Business Credit Card Processing – How to Choose

If you begin any kind of business today, you are expected to be able to perform business credit card processing, even if you have a bricks and mortar business, but it is even more important if you do business on the Internet. As a business owner, taking in money easily, quickly and safely is an important priority, and to the customer, in today’s “now” market, they do not wish to send a check through the mails, wait for you to see if the check is good, and then finally ship the product to them!

Of course there are costs associated with being able to take payment online. The providers or banks need to make money just as you do. You will find, however, that different processors offer dissimilar things. Price of course matters to you, but be sure and also account for the amount of customer care services they offer. Not only does offering merchant account service make you more attractive to the customer, and this will help you to narrow down the business entity you wish to deal with, but you will also need to be extremely careful that the gateway system you choose will be capable of interfacing with the shopping cart software you wish to use.

Service fees vary from one company to the next and even though your business budget may not entail cleaning your parking lot because you are not a brick and mortar business, you will have to be thoroughly assessed. The service fees for business credit card processing are based on items such as how long you’ve been in business, the nature of the business, and the average amount of your sales. All of those factors will be easy for them to judge if you are an established company, but if you are a new business, you will be expected to pay substantially higher processing fees.

Verify all agreements with your bank or your attorney. Make sure you thoroughly understand the agreement, for often the associated small costs that are tacked on can raise the percentage you will pay for the service to an astronomical rate. For example ask about application fees, transaction fees, monthly minimums, verification charges, and even monthly statement charges.