BBBMerchant Account Providers - Accept Credit Cards Online

How To Choose An Internet Merchant Account
The chances are good that you will need an Internet merchant account if you have a website business. Many of your online customers will choose to pay for the services with a credit card; in fact, this is the primary means of payment. When you first access this subject through a search engine, thousands of entries appear. You will discover there are several things to consider, however, before setting up and applying for an Internet merchant account. A bank or other financial institution acts as a processing agent for credit card payments. You will become familiar with the term "payment gateway," which refers to the provider or transmitter of payment to and from the Internet merchant account.

Since there is no personal contact between the customer shopping at the website and the bank, an intermediary is required to validate all the customer's credit card information. It is essential that you choose an Internet merchant account provider who provides security for these transactions to prevent any fraudulent activity. Other important factors to consider too in choosing an Internet merchant account are the overall costs. There may be a number of costs associated with obtaining an Internet merchant account including upfront application fees, fixed maintenance and transaction fees, termination fees, miscellaneous fees, and discount rates, if offered.

By doing some careful comparisons, it's possible to choose a provider for your merchant account who doesn't charge an application fee. However, most if not all, assess monthly transaction fees, and you may expect to pay approximately $25.00 a month for their services. The discount rate usually ranges between two and four percent of each sale, the commission paid to the provider at the time of transaction. Then too, remember there will be a fixed fee that applies to every sale across the board. In choosing an Internet merchant account, don't forget to read the fine print that may be written into your contract. This can include an early termination fee that is applied if you cancel before the required commitment, which is usually around three years. Reversing charges and crediting the customer's credit card account can be costly, as well, since merchant account providers require anywhere from $10 - $20 for this service. An Internet merchant account is essential for any website business, and it can be set up in a short time; the general rule is around 72 hours. Always estimate your total sales volume and compare it to the costs that are involved. This careful planning in choosing an Internet merchant account will ensure successful sales figures and save you both time and money in the long run.


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