Merchant Account Credit Card Processing

Traditional merchant account credit card processing with a physical terminal is gradually being replaced by virtual processing via the Internet. In a cashless society where credit is king, retail merchants are turning to methods of processing payments online without a physical card. Instead of using a stationary terminal and going through the procedure of verifying credit card transactions over a land line phone, savvy retailers are opting to establish accounts through an Internet merchant account provider. The advantages to the customer and retailers are obvious: charged purchases can be transacted from any PC with Internet access; customers need not present a physical card; payment can be accepted online, over the telephone or via mail order; and merchants don't have to buy or lease expensive terminals, which increase overhead and cut into profits.

As Internet marketing has increased, shopping in cyberspace is quickly becoming the norm rather than the exception. Conscientious consumers are choosing to point and click their way through virtual malls instead of spending gas and time scouring department stores and retail outlets. In the time it takes to gas up the car and drive to a local shopping center, Internet shoppers can leisurely browse and buy almost any product from the comfort of a home or office PC. Senior or physically impaired adults don't have to worry about maneuvering through the crowds, and women can shop safely without fear of fending off purse snatchers or vagrants in isolated parking lots. And really, it is not God's will that anyone should have to live in fear, especially those who have worked a lifetime to enjoy the fruit of their labors. "The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe." (Proverbs 29:25) Online merchant account credit card processing, mail order, telephone transactions, and electronic checks all make paying for purchases safe, fast, and worry-free.

Merchant account credit card processing can be handled from any PC with Internet access from anywhere in the world. That frees business owners, flea market vendors, door-to-door salespersons, and mobile IT techs to process payments in the field via a laptop or Internet-access cell phones. Imagine taking phone, mail or catalog orders from a remote location and processing payments without lugging around a handheld terminal or waiting to return to the office in order to complete transactions! E-commerce operators can save thousands annually by eliminating a physical office. Home-based businesses will gain greater credibility and boost sales by accepting credit card payments online. Internet entrepreneurs, heating and air technicians, carpet cleaners, contractors, insurance salespersons, artists, and janitorial personnel can all collect payment in the field, at the customer's home or office, or in the car and it's simple. Charges are verified through a touch-tone phone and charged against an existing bank card. The Internet merchant account provider processes payments; manages business owners' accounts; issues monthly statements and net payments; and computes discount rates and fees.

Online store owners, independent contractors, and small home-based companies can compete with the big boys for consumer dollars and benefit tremendously from services provided by an Internet merchant account provider. All that is required is proof of a registered business name and a corporate checking account. Entrepreneurs can apply for an online account which will allow processing of most major credit cards and electronic checks. Approval can take two to three business days; however once approved, entrepreneurs can begin accepting electronic payments online, over the phone, or through mail order. Thanks to the miracle of e-commerce and virtual banking, business owners have a choice of three operating options: from a remote location, physical storefront, or online. Merchant account providers can also help cyberspace companies set up a website catalog with shopping cart access to make purchasing and paying for products secure, lightning fast and profitable!

Similar to traditional terminal transactions, merchant account credit card processing charges business owner's a percentage of each transaction and deposits monies into the owner's business checking account. To protect the cardholder and the store owner, online payments are safeguarded through encryption technology and address verification. Merchant account providers issue a monthly statement to business owners, including detailed transactions, discount rates, chargebacks and retrievals for cancelled purchases. Providers deduct maintenance fees and other charges, giving owners an accurate accounting of monthly transactions.

When it comes to service after the sale, a reputable Internet merchant account provider won't leave business owners to fend for themselves, but will offer point of sale and technical support on a 24-hour basis. As in traditional processing, there are bound to be questions which arise regarding customer balances and verification of information. But trustworthy providers actually partner with online entrepreneurs and store owners to help ensure that payments are properly authorized, processed and managed at little risk to the owner or customer. The security of virtual card processing via the Internet is paramount to the success of any online business; and everyone wins when providers implement safeguards to prevent credit card fraud.

For an independent contractor or E-commerce entrepreneur, merchant account credit card processing via the Internet is the wave of the future. Gone are the days when retailers had to rely on traditional processing to accommodate consumers. Virtual merchandising has freed both consumer and merchant to explore new avenues via e-commerce. But before investing in expensive onsite card processing terminals, business owners should explore options offered through an online merchant account provider. Affordable rates, 24-hour customer support, protection against fraud, and the ability to compete with larger businesses for consumers who prefer cashless credit purchases are all attractive options for entrepreneurs who want to take their online business to the next level of excellence.

Merchant Account Service Provider

Businesses large and small need merchant account credit card services to succeed and remain competitive in the world of retail commerce. Whether transacting business over the Internet, through a physical retail store or by wireless means, the ability to offer customers a wide variety of options in the area of credit purchases can mean the difference between life and death for a new business. Finding a reputable merchant account service provider can be a challenge, but a little research and comparison of services and fees can ensure retailers that they will be able to provide flexible options to customers while not sacrificing valuable profits. Many of these services charge the retailer a flat monthly fee along with a per customer charge fee. Other fees may be accessed as well. Complicated issues such as maintaining online shopping carts, charge card verification, and wireless business transactions are all handled for the retailer. Another feature that is offered by these companies is the ability to offer their clients customized charge cards that include the name and logo of the retailer's store or web site.

Currently, the majority of consumers make business transactions using the family charge card. This reality means that any retail store that does not accept credit purchases is virtually doomed. Customers are quick to move on when a store operates on cash or check only terms. Finding a merchant account service provider who offers a fair per transaction fee can save the retailer thousands of dollars over time. A retail merchant account is defined as a business that has a physical store and deals with customers face to face the largest majority of the time. The credit sale is transacted through a charge card terminal at the time of the sale. Generally, the fees that are charged a retailer are lower than those charged operators of Internet or mail order businesses. The reason for this is that retail accounts represent a lower risk of fraud than Internet or mail order companies.

Other types of merchant account credit card services are those that are geared toward Internet businesses. These allow web retailers to accept charge cards either over the phone or through online orders. Because the features that are offered for this type of account vary greatly from the physical business where the customer is on site, the fees that are charged vary as well. Online transactions are scanned for security purposes. This protects the retailer's web site from malicious attack in the form viruses or worms and helps to keep hackers at bay. Security for the customer's private information, including credit card numbers is also important. A merchant account service provider can also help with issues of customer Internet security. By allowing customers the convenience of placing orders seven days a week, twenty four hours a day, businesses can grow to full potential. Generally an Internet retailer can see the cash proceeds from the sale in their business bank account within two to three days.

Physical brick and mortar stores and web site sales are not the only ways to transact sales today. Wireless communication has made it possible to set up credit terminals at remote locations. Many merchant account credit card services can allow a business owner to safely process credit sales from trade shows or from any of a variety of remote locations. These charge payments can be processed in real time as long as the location is one that allows cell phone access. Special wireless terminals available from a merchant account service provider make this possible. A benefit of this approach is that it removes the risk of customers who might try to use a fraudulent charge account, assuming that they will not be detected. The Bible talks about the wisdom and correct priorities that should be employed in financial dealings. "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." (1 Timothy 6:10)

Most merchant account credit card services offer special processing software, Internet gateways, and swipe terminals for a reasonable price. Many also offer twenty four hour customer support. Some of these providers specify that a business owner commit to a minimum amount of time with their service and require a signed contract to that effect. There are other companies that do not require this minimum time and allow a retailer to part ways with their service anytime that the retailer desires without a cancellation fee. A wise business owner will check out the reputation of the service provider that they are considering hiring. A company that has been in business for a long time and has clients on a national scale is not likely to fold, leaving the retailer holding the bag and loosing valuable sales.

There are many questions that a retailer should ask a potential merchant account service provider. One point of inquiry is the amount of time that a potential provider will take to deposit funds into a retailer's account after a credit sale. A retail sale usually takes less time to process and clear than a mail order/telephone order, or MOTO sale. A wise retailer will ask a provider how sales are processed before signing any contract. Obviously, the sooner the money is in the retailer's account, the better. Checking for hidden or variable fees such as set-up fees, monthly minimum fees, or cancellation fees is also a good idea. Once all fees and costs have been discussed, a retailer should calculate the cost of this service using recent information from both the best and worst sales months that the business has seen. It goes without saying that after calculating the costs and comparing services, a retailer should carefully read any contracts before signing.

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