Accepting credit cards for payment is essential to the success of your business. More and more customers are turning to “plastic” to pay for their purchases. If your business cannot accept credit card payments, you run the risk of losing out on potential profits. Customers will take their business elsewhere if they are unable to use their preferred method of payment.
If you want to accept credit card payments, you will need a merchant account. The following six questions will help you find the perfect merchant account for your business.
1. What is a merchant account? A merchant account is an account that lets you accept credit card payments.
2. Who offers merchant accounts and services? Companies that specialize in merchant services offer merchant accounts and related services. These companies are called merchant service providers. Independent organizations can also offer these services, as well as banks and other financial institutions.
3. Which provider is the best choice for my business? Your choice of merchant service provider depends on your personal preferences, as well as your particular business. For instance, a new business may not be able to qualify for a merchant account from a bank – but an independent organization could be willing to help. Looking at websites such as https://merchantalternatives.com/reviews/paymentcloud/ that provide information and reviews of different service providers could help you make an informed decision. Weigh your options with care and pay attention to the fine print before signing any contracts.
4. Must I have a merchant account of my own to accept credit card payments? No. While having your own merchant account will give you speedier access to funds (usually within two or three days), you can opt to contract with a third-party payment processor to accept payments on your behalf. Keep in mind that the fees will be higher than if you have your own merchant account. In addition, you may not be able to access funds more than a few times a month with a third-party processor. Again, it depends on the needs of your business.
5. What do I need to start accepting online payments? You will need a merchant service account, a secure server, an order form, a gateway, and a shopping cart.
6. Are there other ways to accept credit cards for payment? Different businesses have different needs. If you run a retail location, you may need a terminal in place to handle your daily transactions. If you are a service business, you may need a remote terminal to take along with you on the road – mobile technology may be just what you need. And if you have online sales, gateways and shopping carts are in order.
Its important to remember that no two businesses are the same. Instead of trying to take the do-it-yourself road and choose something you assume you need, choose to talk with an expert that can help you choose the best solutions for your needs. He may be able to provide things you’ve never thought of before.