A merchant accountis set up an merchant accountprovider for an internet 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 internet business owners. But, with the increase in internet shopping in recent years, there are a number of merchant accountproviders turning up that offer services specifically to those business owners that market their products internet. Banks still typically do not offer internet 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 merchant accountproviders 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 merchant accountproviders 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 merchant accountas 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 $25 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-.30. 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 Further, there are even charges that are withdrawn if a customer requests a refund, with the purchase amount credited back to their credit card.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 merchant accountproviders 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.
Ideally, you will want to have a sustaining business relationship with your merchant accountprovider. 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 merchant accountprovider 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.
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Electronic Transfer, Inc. is a Registered ISO/MSP of Westamerica Bank, Santa Rosa, CA.
Electronic Transfer, Inc. offers merchant accounts and credit card processing to accept Credit Cards. ETI has helped merchants with their Credit Card Processing since 1989 - This web page is about Merchant Accounts, Hypercom, Credit Card Processing, Virtual Terminals, Card-Swipe Terminals, VeriFone, Website Payment Processing, Secure Gateway, Wireless Credit Card Terminals and iPhone Credit Card Systems.