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How To Accept Credit Cards
If you plan to do business online, then your website will need to accept credit cards. For many, the idea of applying for a merchant account sounds like a daunting task, but the truth is that building an online store is incredibly easy these days. The major credit card processing companies have improved and streamlined the process of setting up accounts, and software companies have had several years to improve their software to the point that it is easy for non-technical business owners to create and operate an online store effectively.
3rd Party Processors - The inexpensive way to start For the beginning web entrepreneur, the most important issue in credit card processing is how much product you think you can realistically sell in a month. If you are selling less than $1000 per month, then you will want to go with a "third-party processor". PayPal is the most widely known and reputable third party processor, and you can easily set up an account with them.
Unlike traditional merchant accounts, PayPal accounts are free to set up and cost nothing on a monthly basis. You will pay more per transaction with PayPal than you would with a traditional merchant account, but for low-volume start-up businesses making less than $1000 per month, you will gladly choose higher transaction costs over account set-up fees, monthly account fees, minimum charges, interchange fees, gateway fees, and perhaps worst of all, account cancellation fees (just to name a few).
Steps You Need To Take To Set Up A PayPal Account
Traditional Merchant Accounts If your processing volume will be higher than $1000 per month, then you will probably want to go with a traditional merchant account. Credit card processing companies generally charge a minimum monthly fee that is approximately equal to the amount of money you would pay to process $1000 per month. Generally speaking you can expect to pay around $50 per month in minimum charges for a merchant account. As you process more, your costs will go up, but the percentage of your gross sales that you pay for processing should go down.
Steps You Need To Take To Set Up A Traditional Merchant Account It is not difficult to set up a traditional merchant account, but you will need to follow several steps in order to pull it off.
Following are several merchant account providers you may be interested in contacting:
Some Issues You Want To Consider
In conclusion, you should start off your search for credit card processing by making a realistic estimate of your processing needs. If you believe you will be processing less than $1000 per month, then you will probably want to work with a third-party processor like PayPal. If you will be processing more than $1000 per month then you will want to work with a traditional credit card processing company (see list of processors above). You should be more concerned with upfront and recurring fees than with the discount rate. Once you have selected a processing company, you will want to make sure you have your business license and business bank account. Finally, you will need to make sure that your shopping cart system supports your processing company.
Mr. Coers specializes in helping entrepreneurs build effective web businesses. His website, http://www.profitchoice.com contains useful articles and "how-to" guides to help organizations build their brands and sell more effectively.
If you still have questions about Merchant Credit Card Accounts, you can access a free in-depth article on the subject here.
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