The Facts About Internet Merchant Accounts
If you own and operate an online business, then you realize that without giving your customers the ability to pay for your merchandise with their credit cards you are not likely to make much money. Online shopping practically depends on credit card transactions. Online shopping has never been more prevalent than it is right now, and the vast majority of online customers prefer to pay for their goods with their credit cards. That is why you need to consider opening an Internet merchant account. By doing so, you will be able to provide a quick and convenient payment method for your customers, as well as provide your business the opportunity to expand tremendously.
An Internet merchant account is set up an online merchant account provider for an online business in order to accept credit cards as payment from customers. The account provider works to authorize credit card purchases and makes sure that the funds are deposited into your business bank account. Traditionally, merchant accounts were not offered by banks to online business owners. But, with the increase in online shopping in recent years, there are a number of Internet merchant account providers turning up that offer services specifically to those business owners that market their products online. Banks still typically do not offer online merchant accounts, out of fear of credit card fraud. When you decide to search for an Internet merchant account, since there are so many providers out there, it is important that you research all of the factors involved with Internet merchant accounts, particularly the fees and services, so that your profits stay with you and your business continues to grow.
There are many potential costs associated with opening and keeping a merchant account. Not all Internet merchant account providers will charge these fees. These fees include the application fee, which is incurred by the provider to cover application processing costs, no matter if you open a merchant account or not. Some Internet merchant account providers will waive the fee if you do open an account with them. And some merchant account providers don’t even charge this fee. Often, an annual fee is charged on an Internet merchant account as well. Providers charge this fee for no other reason than for having an open account with them. There is the statement fee, a monthly charge that can be as much as per month, which is imposed to cover the account provider’s own costs. Another type of fee, the discount rate, is deducted from each and every one of your sales, usually between 2 and 4 percent. The fixed transaction fee, like the discount fee, is based on each sale, but is a static amount regardless of the cost of the merchandise bought, usually.20-.60. There are also various miscellaneous fees that are levied on your account, including a termination fee, which is charged if you cancel your account before the contract is up. Further, there are even charges that are withdrawn if a customer requests a refund, with the purchase amount credited back to their credit card.
Obviously, there are many potential hefty costs associated with an Internet merchant account, and it can take your profits away from you. It is important that you assess different the Internet merchant account providers and the fees that they will charge so that you don’t lose money unnecessarily. One way to do this is by using your current sales data to estimate the costs of your Internet merchant account.
With an Internet merchant account, payment processing usually comes in the form of real-time processing. Real-time processing is ideal for online merchants because the credit card is directly processed at the time an order is placed. The customer quickly receives an email notification that the order is accepted and the fund transfer is approved, once verification and approval of the credit card is received. There is usually a slight delay of a few days before the funds will be deposited into your bank account.
Ideally, you will want to have a sustaining business relationship with your Internet merchant account provider. There should be no doubt in the trust or confidence you have in your provider. In addition to speedy processing of your credit card sales, your Internet merchant account provider should offer other services that will allow all of your business transactions to run smoothly. They should accommodate several brands of credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, etc.), as well as providing additional payment alternatives, like PayPal. They should have a clean record of good service and consistency. And they should be superlative in providing you customer service. All issues or problems should be handled tactfully and quickly. Because of the apparent necessity of having an Internet merchant account, the provider you choose can make or break your business with fees and service. It is critical to know the facts about Internet merchant accounts and their providers so that your business continues to thrive.