:::: E-Commerce FAQ ::::
What is a merchant account? Why do I need one?
- Which Store software is the easiest to use?
- What is a merchant account? Why do I need one?
- How does it work?
- How do I get a merchant account?
- Would it be easier to go to my local bank to get a merchant account?
- Which credit cards should I accept?
- What kind of equipment do I need to process credit cards?
- How do I know that I'm getting a "good deal"?
- Can I use my merchant account to accept credit card payment in my online store? Is it safe to process credit cards over the Internet?
A merchant account gives a business the ability to accept credit cards as payment for the company's goods and services. This provides your customers with an extremely popular payment option, beyond cash and checks.
Studies have shown that merchants can typically increase their business by 30 - 70% or more - sometimes even hundreds of percent! Plus, customers are more willing to purchase higher cost goods using a payment method that offers them repayment flexibility. It is projected that by 2002, credit card transactions will account for 98% of Internet sales, equaling $55.6 billion!
How does it work?
The merchant account provider authorizes the credit card transfer from your customer and deposits the funds for their purchases right into your business checking account, typically within two business days.
How do I get a merchant account?
There are a myriad of companies offering merchant accounts. Our advice is to compare features and cost taking into consideration your present & future needs. In the past we have recommended several vendors, but have found that none offers a "one size fits all" plan. First to check with would be your own bank.
Would it be easier to go to my local bank to get a merchant account?
Many local banks do not set up merchant accounts, but have relationships with companies to provide merchant accounts. Look for a company that works with the kinds of businesses such as new businesses, Internet, phone and mail order.
Which credit cards should I accept?
The most popular credit cards - MasterCard, Visa and American Express - at the very least. Consider also supporting other major credit cards, including Discover and Diners Club.
What kind of equipment do I need to process credit cards?
A computer terminal/PC with Internet access is used for Internet, mail and telephone orders.
In the retail environment, a special terminal/printer designed to read the magnetic strip on the back of the customer's credit card is used. This can provide the customer with a paper receipt at the time of purchase.
An imprinter, which takes a physical copy of the customers credit card, may also be used.
How do I know that I'm getting a "good deal"?
It is important to consider all costs associated with the merchant account when comparing programs. For example, some programs offer low set-up costs, but have very high fees (discount rates and per transaction fees). Some processors even charge annual fees! These programs result in significantly higher costs to the merchant, particularly after the first year. View the comparison chart with one of our major competitors to see how we rank!
Can I use my merchant account to accept credit card payment in my online store? Is it safe to process credit cards over the Internet?
Yes. Using Secure Socket Layer Application Programming Interface (SSL API) offers Internet Service Providers an encrypted connection to Secure Payment Engines. Look for accounts that offer fraud screening on each transaction and real-time reporting via their Web browser.
Contact us today about developing a reliable & secure e-commerce web site.