If you are planning to start making sales online, then one of the most important things you have to look into is how you can accept payment from your customers. You need to be able to take credit and debit card payments and this means you will have to open a merchant account. This is essentially an account that allows you to process payments from customers and have the funds transferred to you. There are several merchant account providers available for this purpose. But no two providers are the same. Here are some key tips to keep in mind to make the right choice.
It is recommended that you choose a merchant account provider that offers seamless integration with your shopping cart. Some platforms will require you to have developer-level skills to be able to set up and integrate your shopping cart with your merchant account. This should not be the case. You want a provider that offers a seamless solution that allows you to spend less time configuring your account. A hassle-free setup like this will save you a lot of time and stress.
Customers that buy from you are entrusting sensitive financial security details into your hand. It is your responsibility to them as a merchant to evaluate the security measures put in place by the merchant account provider you are choosing. Not all providers have the same security mechanisms in place so you should specifically ask about what data security protocols the providers you are considering employ.
Online transactions open your business to the risk of fraudulent transactions and chargebacks if not handled properly. Your merchant account provider is an essential partner that can help reduce the risk to your business from potentially fraudulent transactions. Go for providers with features like an Address Verification System, CVV verification, and ones that capture the signature of the customer remotely as this helps to protect you from fraudulent transactions.
Online sales are subject to interchange fees which are the amount charged by the provider for processing a transaction. How much you have to pay for this varies from one card provider to the other and the payment model depends on your merchant account providers. The three main models of interchange fee pricing including flat-rate pricing, tiered pricing, and interchange-plus pricing which is considered the most transparent of the three models.
There are many steps involved in processing an online transaction. One of the key components is a payment gateway. This is typically a separate service which acts as an essential middleman to help you receive online payment. But finding a merchant account providers that can also act as a payment gateway provider can reduce some of the charges you need to pay on transactions
Online payment processing is a complicated technology. Once in a while, things can go wrong. You may end up with mysterious charges on some days or payment terminals may not work. You need your service provider, to be as available as possible to attend to all possible issues that may arise. Ensure that your merchant account provider offers solid customer service before committing to the service.
One of the most complicated aspects of dealing with merchant account providers is what happens when you decide to discontinue the service. Merchant account contracts are typically drafted by the providers and by design, a lot of them make it challenging for you to quit the agreement even if you are not satisfied with their services. Usually, you will have to pay a high fee to cancel your service. You must watch out for this. The best way to avoid issues like this is to go for account providers that will not lock you into a long-term contract. Merchant account providers that allow you to pay month to month give you the flexibility of opting out when you are dissatisfied with their service.