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The Top 10 Merchant Account Providers

When e-Commerce merchants are looking for a good merchant account to invest in they usually find that there are too many of them around. Googling 'merchant account' will give you a great number of pages with hundreds of results. All the links will direct you to merchant account providers. How would you know which merchant account provider is good and which isn't really. Some Ecommerce merchants would want to visit a TOP-10 merchant account company website, with a complete review on some account providers. This article isn't really a Top-10 of among the providers, as it is very difficult to position them according to something; all accounts are different and specialize in varied types of accounts for certain businesses. This article will overview ten popular merchant account providers and guide you to correlate the significance of each account to you and your e-Commerce business. For additional and up-to-date information, please visit the providers' websites.

instabill.com ' Instabill is a high risk merchant account provider with many offshore (international) banks. The company also offers third-party (also known as 'no merchant account processing') services. Offering flexibility, customization and optimization, an MCP (merchant control panel) and much more, it has a low monthly fee of $49 for both their direct and third party merchant accounts. The transaction fee is a low $0.50 and a reserve fee of 10% is applied. The minimum transaction amount is $5.00, so merchants selling some type of cheap products (like screws, posters, etc.) will have to induce their customers to spend not less than 5 USD. It is clear that there is a sign up fee but it is not clear how large it is, so you may be surprised. On the whole Instabill is one of the best merchant accounts.

2Checkout.com / 2CO ' 2Checkout is not really a merchant account provider. It's more like a huge network of e-Commerce merchants with own web resources, similar to what you would get joining a third-party merchant account affiliation. The sign up fee is $49, and no other fees, apart from processing rates, are involved. The 2CO processing policy includes a fee of $0.45 per sale and an additional 5.5% of sale amount. Free shopping cart systems, support and integration are also provided. The whole 2CO service system is good for those who don't want to wait to get approved. The main disadvantage would be the fact that e-Commerce merchants, being affiliated with 2CO actually depend on it.

Authorize.net ' Authorize.net offers a full range of direct merchant accounts, to be more precise, Authorize.net has a large database of merchant account resellers. These resellers offer different types of merchant account solutions at different rates and on different terms. Authorize.net also offers, like 2CO (see above), affiliate e-Commerce websites with their credit card processing services incorporated. Unfortunately, you will not be able to overview their terms, transaction rates and membership fees on their website; you will have to call them directly, or contact a reseller from their database.

Charge.com ' Charge.com is a hardware and software credit card processing provider, offering among its other services merchant accounts. The communication method chosen for their accounts is a special piece of software which functions between the gateway and the e-Commerce merchant. The first thing that one notices on their website is the word 'FREE' ' free application, free setup, free software, etc. And indeed, these are free. On the other hand you will have to pay a service and a gateway fee of $10.00 and $16.45 respectively. Processing charges also apply: 25 cents per transaction, and a 2.25% discount rate.

Chase Paymentech ' A 'fast, reliable, easy', as their motto states, merchant account provider. Similar to Authorize.net, Paymentech offers a database of resellers, or online store building partners providing a variety of merchant accounts. After application Paymentech will provide e-Commerce merchants with an 'Orbital Gateway' and an 'Orbital Virtual Terminal' for your website. Paymentech's transaction rates are as low as 2.25% and additional costs are applied by the online store building partner you choose. The combination of Paymentech's virtual terminal and gateway with one of their partners may turn out to be a real bargain compared to other providers. Paymentech supports the most popular credit card brands. Application for their gateway and VT takes only a day.

Merchant Accounts Express ' Merchant Express is a US based merchant account provider working since 1998. Their merchant account rates stand out and are lower than most merchant account providers'. The application, setup and other initial payments are absent. The discount rate is 2.33% with a transaction fee of $0.24. There is a monthly fee of $9.95 for the support, service and statement. Merchant Express offers same day approvals and a 30-day Risk-Free Trial. Merchant Express works with Authorize.net and signs up its members for an Authorize.net account free of charge. Merchant Express also provides high risk merchant accounts, but does not accept adult content selling web resources.

moneybookers.com ' Being another top merchant account provider, moneybookers.com offers a simple solution to all those who wish to start processing credit cards online (except adult, firearm, pharmaceutical and some other types of e-Commerce businesses). The moneybookers.com merchant payment gateway fees are quite simple too: no registration or monthly fees and a single 8% transaction fee (including chargeback guarantee). Moneybookers.com will also include your website, powered by their service, into their global shopping directory to 'boost you sales'. On the whole, moneybookers.com is a simple and easy way to process credit cards, though not the cheapest one.

SCS ' International and US merchant accounts are provided by SCS Merchant Payment Consultants. With different solutions and service packages it proves to handle any type of e-Commerce business and provide you with an account that suits you. SCS has many affiliate bank partners and cannot provide a full price list for the services provided. SCS guarantees volume dependant discount rates as low as 4% and low transaction fees (typically under $0.50), depending on the merchant account bank. A reserve fee of 10% is also applied.

United Bank Card ' Is a US merchant account provider and offers a highly competitive service at competitive rates and fees. As part of the United Bank Card Network it offers POS as well as CNP transaction services. The rates involved do not include setup fees, and monthly membership fees, BUT, a gateway fee of $9.95 and an annual fee of $15.00 are required. The gateway transaction fee is 2.18% + 17 cents. Their fee scheme is quite complicated, and any additional information may be acquired directly from their website. A good solution for many e-Commerce merchants.

And last, but not least:

CyberBit ' An all-in-one solution for practically any e-Commerce merchant (with some limitations to industry), offering gateways, processors, and e-Commerce merchant accounts. It is based in Europe covering European e-Commerce merchants only. The prices are rather high, due to their good service, with a Gateway & Account Fee of 99,- Euro, a processing fee of roughly 2%-5% + 0,40-0,65 Euro. All European (including GBP) and USD currencies are supported, which makes it less problematic to convert currencies. Major credit card brands in Europe supported (Visa (including Electron) and MasterCard).

In no way does this article discourage e-Commerce merchants, on the contrary, it encourages e-Commerce merchants to look through their websites and explore their advantages and disadvantages. Prices, terms, rates and fees may change without notice and this article is not responsible to provide up-to-date fees and rates after publication due to the hassle involved. Please, visit their websites for more information.

Express Application

Industry typeRatesIndustry typeRates
E-commercefrom 4%Nutra/Herbalsfrom 6.5%
Adultfrom 6%Forexfrom 4%
File sharing systemsfrom 10%Datingfrom 6%
Gambling from 4.5%Pharmacyfrom 8%
IT Supportfrom 10%Debt collectionfrom 7%
Travel MOTOfrom 6.5%E-cigaretesfrom 6.5%
Replica clothesfrom 8%Debt repairfrom 8%

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