Choosing a merchant account for a small business or personal online storefront is a delicate task. It can mean the difference between success and failure of a company. A merchant account is an account created for online retail business or physical storefronts that allows for the acceptance of credit cards online for business transactions. Before you decide on which merchant to handle your credit card processing, it’s best to research companies that can understand and comply with all your ecommerce needs. This is especially important if you are starting a small business and financing your company with personal funds or investment accounts. Find a company that will grow with your business and offer you the freedom to contribute to and assist you in increasing your sales by providing you with options.
You want a company that is experienced in handling both physical storefronts and online retail transactions. As a general rule of thumb, most banks only offer merchant credit card processing to physical storefronts. If you find a bank that is willing to provide you this service, they usually come with high percentage transaction fees. Research how different account merchant providers handle different situations and be familiar with their rules. This will allow you to make the best informed decision and compare companies based on a number of factors such as customer service, high-tech payment solutions and chargeback management.
There are a myriad of different options that merchant account holders need to decide. For example, real-time processing allows you to combine your merchant accounts and payment gateway directly into your website. You can also opt for a virtual terminal. This gives a business the option of manually processing a transaction with their merchant accounts from any PC that offers internet connections. All you need to do with virtual terminals is login into a secure website with a password and username and you’re off to the races! With a virtual terminal, companies can authorize or process any payment transaction at their leisure and in addition your business can keep a log of all merchant transactions and orders.
The final decision is whether your personal small business needs a point of sale software. Point of sale software will afford companies the addition of card readers that connect to phone lines or high speed internet connections and are definitely a popular choice among a lot of mail order businesses. Choosing wisely is critical in avoiding downgrade fees, high percentage yields, interchange rates and chargeback’s. It’s okay for your personal business to take risks, but don’t cut corners with major decisions such as picking a merchant account company.