Online Merchant Accounts for Retail E-Stores
It looks like online business is getting a tremendous popularity. Indeed, lots of people take advantages of making money from the comfort of their homes. Some e-businesses accept only PayPal or similar payment, and frankly, speaking, this is what holds them back from development and global expansion. Sure, some small businesses do not require complex payment processing systems. However, if your business does not accept credit card payments it will soon die. The reason behind this statement is that the majority of online customers (recent survey says it is almost 84%) prefer online credit card payments. This has much to do with psychology of a customer who usually needs several minutes to buy a product/service after making up his/her mind to spend money. That is why you need to offer customers an opportunity to use their credit cards to pay for your products and/or services. Thus, you need an Internet merchant account.
Whatâ€™s an online merchant account? You are likely to often use your credit card in offline stores. Online merchant account has the same principle although the card and the card holder are not present at the point of sale. In other words, this is a virtual payment gateway which enables customers paying for preferred products/services with their credit card, while online merchants and business owners get this money deposited directly to their real business checking account.
It should be noted that merchant accounts are a perfect solution for small businesses, for instance retail online stores that offer popular and inexpensive products such as cheap pharmaceutical and nutrition supplements or replica bags of watches. Such online businesses should not go to banks to open Internet merchant accounts since these financial institutions have extremely strict requirements. In other words, your business may not qualify for an Internet merchant account especially if it is referred to the high risk business type. Online frauds/scams and money laundering schemes are extremely popular online, and that is why banks demand proofs of business reliability. Besides, if for some reason (you are an e-marketing and SEO genius!) online sales rate of your business has sharply increased, you may simply find your online merchant account shut in the end of the day. This is a direct way to lose much money and many customers. Moreover, you will get your business reputation stained.
For this reason you should look for merchant account providers that directly address your business needs and goals. Sometimes, owners of online retail stores overpay for expensive merchant account services without using even half of the offered features. Shop for your online retail merchant account, as if you shop for quality and inexpensive hosting. This is your money after all.
Do your homework before making a final choice. This is to say that it is necessary to consider all pros and cons of the selected merchant account provider which should offer:
- Clear rates and transaction fees
- No hidden fees
- Clear daily, weekly and monthly transaction limits
- Multiple credit card and currencies acceptance (if necessary, for example if your business is globally targeted)
- Effective and friendly tech support team (just imagine how much money you can lose if customers are unable to pay with their credit card due to tech problems!)