In order to operate a successful business, especially online, it is imperative that you offer your customers a number of payment options. This includes accepting credit and debit cards. Being able to process credit and debit card transactions involves setting up a merchant account with a processing company. Not only will you be able to accept cards for payment, you can accept mobile payments as well. Keep in mind that the primary reason for setting up a merchant account is so your business can accept credit and debit cards.
It’s safe to say that the smaller business that accepts credit and debit cards is going to benefit much more than those businesses who only accept cash or checks, especially if it is an online business. Here are a few ways that you can set up credit card processing companies and a merchant account:
PayPal – This is probably the most popular processing service out there, especially where online businesses are concerned. Not only is it simple to set up an account and start using it, they do not charge any up-front costs. PayPal can be integrated with your online catalog and can support electronic invoicing. The downside to using this processor is that their transaction costs are higher than other processors.
Traditional Merchant Accounts – In many ways, applying for a traditional merchant account is like filling out a credit card application. Whether or not the processing company decides to issue you a merchant account will depend on similar factors such as the type of business you operate and your credit rating. In most cases, you will encounter lower fees with this type of account. However, you may have to lease their credit card processing equipment and software. This type of account makes the most sense for those businesses rated as high-value/high-volume companies.
3rd Party Card Processing Accounts – This type of account is usually the best option for those smaller businesses that have lower credit ratings and credit scores. They will charge you higher fees and per-transaction costs than the traditional accounts, but they do offer online processing and transaction capabilities. In the long run, this could save you a lot of money because you won’t have to lease or rent a card reader or processing software. Despite their higher costs and fees, 3rd party processors can easily be integrated with your business website so you can sell your products or services online.