Steps to Set Up an Online Merchant Account for Your Business
No one will ever doubt that it is impossible to succeed in the modern e-commerce business without being able to accept credit card payments. On the one hand, customers are willing to pay with their credits cards. On the other hands, checks and sending cash are not the fastest payments ways. With a merchant account, an online business owner will be able to accept credit card payments and get money within a few seconds while a customer will get his/her product or service released immediately after a successful payment. The process of choosing and setting up Internet merchant account is complex, and thus consists of several stages. Letâ€™s review these major steps.
Initially, you have to select the right merchant account provider. There are lots of merchant account providers to choose from, and each company offers different plans which are designed for various business types, for example online retail business, affiliate businesses etc. You will need to go through registration procedure, share information on your business with a potential merchant account provider etc. Thus, since you are going to disclose personal and financial information it is very important that you deal with a respectable company. What are the proofs that the company you are dealing with is well reputed? It should have a user friendly web site. The company should have excellent customer reviews. All fees and charges have to be 100% and no hidden costs should ever show up.
Having cleared up the fees and costs it is time to start the process of setting up the merchant account. As already said above, you will need to share some information on your business. Make sure you provide accurate information since you may face problems in this regard later. Keep in mind that banks and some other processors will require additional proofs of your business reliability (for example, your business should have been working for 2 years). If this is not the case with you, it is better to look for offshore merchant accounts that have less strict requirements.
The next stage is to select your username and password. Security is all important since this username and password are entered at the gateway where customersâ€™ credit card payments are transferred to your real banking account. There are lots of scammers and hackers online, so, make sure you choose a secure password.
Having selected a secure password it is time to provide your merchant account provider with more info on your business â€“ Federal Tax ID number, social security number, account and routing number for checking account. As a rule you will be required to deposit a small amount of money for security purposes. Make sure this amount isnâ€™t huge since some processors require a huge initial deposit. If you are a small business that is only making its first steps in the e-commerce markets this can be a serious problem since you will also need star up costs and make at least minor investments in business development.
Ask your merchant account provider if it offers a shopping cart feature which is very convenient for customers who can add or remove products from their carts and pay for several products with one transaction.