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Having A Merchant Account Is No Longer An Option!

Dec 8, 2007
Setting up a merchant account makes it easy and affordable for your business to accept credit cards. Setting up merchant account services offers you:

* Improved customer satisfaction

* Larger customer base with more payment options

* Increased credibility for your business

With a merchant account you can offer your customers several payment options:

* Point of sale processing--Using physical terminals to process your sales

* Virtual terminal processing--To process telephone, fax, or Internet sales made at a web site

* Software--to make sales using your computer to process orders

Your company cannot afford to ignore the need to accept credit cards. Setting up a merchant account solves this problem. Any good merchant account representative can give you the information you need on how you can either add credit card acceptance to, or improve credit card processing for, your business.

Even if your company is considered high risk, (adult sales, gambling sites and other similar high risk business categories) a merchant account can be set up for you! Most US banks will not set up high risk merchant accounts. However, if your credit is good, offshore merchant accounts provide the perfect solution for your business needs.

When a customer says: "I would like to buy your widget. Do you accept credit cards?" A yes answer results in a sale. A no answer results in a no sale. Which answer is best for your business health? Well, that is pretty obvious!

Your merchant account services should offer a comprehensive line of payment solutions for your business--credit card acceptance, debit cards, and check acceptance--for all types of businesses including retail storefronts, restaurants, hotels, service companies, wireless merchants and mail, telephone or Internet order businesses.

Additionally, your merchant account should provide customer service 24/7/365 to provide the following information:

* Transfers of money into your designated checking account, monthly statements, chargeback and retrieval requests, and other issues that face merchant account holders very day

* Provide answers about your point of sale credit card terminal, need to schedules telephone training for you or your employees, need to replace broken equipment, or need additional supplies

Some important definitions:

What is a merchant account?

A merchant account is a special account that allows your business to accept credit cards as payment in person, over the telephone, by mail order, or over the Internet. You must have a merchant account if you want to be able to accept credit cards from your customers.

What is an acquiring bank?

An acquiring bank is the bank that holds your credit card merchant account. It is also the bank that transfers funds from your merchant account into your local bank account.

How do I apply for a merchant account and a payment gateway?

It's easy to establish a merchant account. You can submit an application online, by fax, or by meeting with a sales representative at your business location. Your application will be approved almost immediately, your account will be activated, and, if you're buying or leasing new credit card processing software or terminal equipment, it will arrive in just days.

What credit cards will I be able to accept?

You'll be able to accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and Diners Club/Carte Blanche. In addition, you'll be able to accept debit cards that carry a Visa or MasterCard logo, purchase cards, and online checks.

What is the discount rate?

The discount rate is one of the processing fees charged to your merchant account. It is a percentage of your gross sales.

What is the "per transaction" fee?

The "per transaction fee" is a nominal charge for processing each transaction through your merchant account service.

What is a charge back?

Charge backs occur when a credit cardholder informs the credit card company that the charge was not authorized, or that goods or services were not delivered as promised.

What is a merchant account?

A merchant account is a special account that allows your business to accept credit cards as payment in person, over the telephone, by mail order, or over the Internet. You must have a merchant account if you want to be able to accept credit cards from your customers.

What is an acquiring bank?

An acquiring bank is the bank that holds your credit card merchant account. It is also the bank that transfers funds from your merchant account into your local bank account.

How do I apply for a merchant account and a payment gateway?

It's easy to establish a merchant account. You can submit an application online, by fax, or by meeting with a sales representative at your business location. Your application will be approved almost immediately, your account will be activated, and, if you're buying or leasing new credit card processing software or terminal equipment, it will arrive in just days.

What credit cards will I be able to accept?

You'll be able to accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and Diners Club/Carte Blanche. In addition, you'll be able to accept debit cards that carry a Visa or MasterCard logo, purchase cards, and online checks.

What is the discount rate?

The discount rate is one of the processing fees charged to your merchant account. It is a percentage of your gross sales.

What is the "per transaction" fee?

The "per transaction fee" is a nominal charge for processing each transaction through your merchant account service.

What is a charge back?

Charge backs occur when a credit cardholder informs the credit card company that the charge was not authorized, or that goods or services were not delivered as promised.

How often will I receive funds from Total Merchant Services?

Total Merchant Services will transfer funds from your merchant account to any checking account you designate on a daily basis.

What type of equipment do I need to accept credit cards?

If you have a retail storefront, restaurant, hotel, or service business you can use either a hard-wired or wireless point-of-sale (POS) credit card terminal or a personal computer equipped with credit card processing software. If you have an Internet business, or a telephone order or mail order business, you can use a virtual terminal. With a virtual terminal, you do not need to load any software onto your computer. Since this is Internet-Based software, you simply need access to the internet. Other options include using credit card processing software. This is software that you load onto your computer. Authorizations are obtained by dialing into the credit card processor with your computer modem. Or, you can hand enter (key in) data into a point of sales (POS) credit card terminal.

Why do I need a separate account for orders I accept over the phone, fax, mail or Internet?

Because you never take physical possession of a credit card so that you can swipe it through a magnetic strip reader, both Visa and MasterCard use different criteria for evaluating risk and have different fee structures for card-not-present transactions.

What is a payment gateway?

A payment gateway links your web site to the credit card processing companies and your merchant account. When your customer enters his or her credit card number on your web site, the payment gateway obtains authorization for the charge and later handles the transfer of funds into your merchant account. Total Merchant Services works with the industry's most widely used and reliable gateways including the Total Pay powered by Authorize.Net, Plug N Pay, and VeriSign Payment Systems.
About the Author
C. J. & Tuck Consulting, LLC owns and operates http://www.cashflownow.org. We specialize in Electronic Payment Processing Services and offer a complete package of electronic payment processing solutions. For more information, contact: Pat A. McDavitt, Author and Sole Manager of C. J. & Tuck Consulting, LLC Telephone: 512-837-1358 Fax: 512-837-0345
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