BBBMerchant Account Providers - Accept Credit Cards Online

Understanding Ecommerce Merchant Account Fees
The first thing you need to do in order to set up an ecommerce merchant account for your online business is find an ecommerce merchant account provider. This provider will deposit the money that your business earns through credit cards and your bank account. The provider will take on the responsibility to obtain authorization for the credit card transactions. All the fees involved with being the go between for the credit card company and the merchant's bank will be deducted before the money is deposited into the merchant's account.

When shopping for an ecommerce merchant account provider, it is important for you to understand the costs involved. Depending on what you are selling and how much business you can expect from your site, these fees can make or break your ecommerce business. One common ecommerce merchant account fee is a discount rate. This is a percentage of each sale that the financial institution that handles the transactions charges. The bank will choose the percent based on the size of the average order you expect to make. If your orders are small on average, this can really eat your profits.

Another fee that many ecommerce merchant accounts charge is an equipment and installation fee. This is the price of the setup and programming of any hardware or software you need to access your ecommerce merchant account. Sometimes, these fees are included in the hosting fees for the account.

Most ecommerce merchant accounts charge an interchange fee. This is a per transaction fee charged to the merchant for every credit card transaction, which is paid to the credit card's issuing bank. This fee is difficult for those who sell low cost services or products, because it is a flat fee, ranging from twenty-five to seventy cents, which can really eat profits on smaller transactions.

Almost all ecommerce merchant account providers charge monthly fees for handling the account. There are also sometimes minimum fees charged when the minimum transaction amounts are not met, as well as excess usage fees, which are charged when too many transactions are handled. Sometimes the monthly fees will incorporate some of the other fees into a flat charge.

Finally, many ecommerce merchant account providers will charge reserve costs. These costs are held by the financial institution to cover any charges they receive due to fraudulent credit card use. These usually come with chargeback fees, which the bank pays through the reserve costs.

When you understand the fees associated with ecommerce merchant accounts, you can find the best provider for your business. Your needs will determine which provider is best for you, but choose one with a proven track record and good customer support, so you know your provider is always going to be there with the support you need!


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