Introduction To Merchant Account And Credit Card Processing
More customers are switching to credit card payments for various reasons. As a merchant, you have to make it possible for your customers to use credit cards. Telling your customers that you cannot accept their form of payment is a sure way to kill your sale. Furthermore, if yours is an internet venture, accepting credit card payments is imperative.
The first step to accepting credit card payments is to open up a merchant account with a provider who will process the credit card transactions. Let us consider the reasons to open a merchant account:
Avoid turning down consumers who prefer cashless payments. Increase clientele by providing them with more payment options. Consumers tend to spend more when using credit cards. Start accepting payments via internet or telephone from consumers anytime from anywhere in the world. Increase your company’s image and credibility. Bookkeeping will be a breeze. Most credit card processing software come with features that allow merchants to keep track of all credit card transactions easily as they are provided with monthly statements with transaction records and reports.
You may be getting excited about opening up your own merchant account by now. However, you must consider the following first:
Compare the expected increase in revenue to the costs that would incur with credit card processing. Proceed with credit card processing if it’ll bring you good returns. Study your business needs. Do you need to accept payment on the move or in a retail location? Do you have a high sales volume? What is your average sales ticket size? Do you need a card-present merchant account or a card-not-present merchant account? Take note of all features of your business besides those mentioned here.
Once you have considered the above, you are ready to compare credit card processors. Here are some things to look out for:
Compare fixed and variable costs. There may be many hidden costs. Read the agreement conscientiously to avoid wasting your money on arbitrarily added costs. Understand the security features available to protect your customers as well as your business. Prompt and reliable customer service and technical support are absolutely crucial. Know the provider’s procedure in dealing with chargebacks. Find out how long it’ll take for funds to be transferred to your account. Inquire about the requirement of hardware or software to process the credit card transactions at point of sale. Be very familiar with the terms and conditions. For example, if you are displeased with the service provider and would like to switch to another, you may be charged termination fees. Compare incentives provided and select one which will benefit your business most.
These are the basic issues to consider before you can embark on accepting credit cards. Do an extensive research on the solutions that would suit your company and customers most. Discuss with the sales representative of merchant account providers who will be able to advise you on suitable credit card processing solutions.