7 Tips on How to Select a Reliable Merchant Account Provider to Accept Credit Cards Online
When you decide and start accepting credit cards at your business websites online, you must perform a thorough research to choose among the best online credit card processors or the merchant account providers. There are few factors to be considered while deciding on the merchant account provider.
A merchant account provider charges a discount rate for each transaction, which is calculated as a percentage of each sale. The discount rate is normally between 2% and 9%, and depends on the merchant account provider, the credit score and the type of business as well. For i.e. if you sell a high risk product, such as a digital product – software or ebook, usually the offered merchant account rate will be higher than if you would sell a physical good.
Check for payment methods you can accept with your merchant account. Mostly all merchant account providers allows you to accept VISA and Mastercard credit card payments, however, not all of them allows Amex, Dinners and other less popular cards. By not accepting such cards you can easily lose buyers.
The reviews both favorable and unfavorable are to be checked before choosing the best merchant account provider. Search online e-commerce forums and discussion boards where small business owners speak about each others experience with merchant account providers. Once you find a suitable merchant account provider, make sure to always search online for some feedback from the current clients.
Apart from the discount rate, there are other miscellaneous fees that the merchant account provider can charge which may include an application fee, service fees, an early termination fee and others. Many payment processors simply hide these fees and you only find out about them once you start processing. Make sure to know at least these fees: refund, chargeback, transaction authorization fee, transaction decline fee, funds transfer fee. These are the most important ones for you.
The contract tenure is a very important factor to be considered while choosing the suitable merchant account provider. While signing up it is very crucial to check whether you are entering into any contract of one year. Make sure there are no special commitments or fees for cancelling a contract.
Do not select a merchant account provider that requires a payment upfront. Sometimes it might be from a couple hundred to thousands of USD only for ‘reviewing documents’. Beware of these scams! There are some scammers online who convince you to pay the funds for their ‘work’ on getting you a merchant account, while actually they do not get you anything… and you end up with loses. A reputable payment processor will never take funds upfront.
The merchant account company’s technical support options being offered is also one of the crucial factors to be considered. Make sure to contact their technical support to find out how responsive they are. A good company will always come back to you and be able to help you set up an account and you will be able to start processing payments almost immediately.
There are some even more great tips on how to select the best merchant account provider, however, these are the most important ones. Select the best payment processor for your online business.