Over PayPal? What to look for in an Online Merchant Account


online merchant account

In 2011, 256 billion U.S. dollars were spent online. As more businesses create a stronger online presence and offer their products for the virtual shoppers, the dynamic of consumerism is changing. More people are logging on to checkout. If you are a small business owner looking to get your products out to the masses, you know the importance of online shopping, ordering, and payment. Technology is not only changing the way we connect, but also shop. Therefore your business needs to choose an online merchant service provider that fits your business and your future. For many small businesses, the popular start is accepting payments via Paypal. But how can you choose an account if you are looking for a change?

Determining the Cost

As with any service, merchant services are a competitive business. Financial institutions are popping up all over the web to vie for your business. This creates a competition in terms of rates, fees, and overall cost. When choosing your online merchant account there are many fees and costs involved. Some of the costs to watch for may include:

  • Monthly service charges
  • Cost per transaction
  • Statement fees
  • Discount rate
  • Termination fees

While you shop around for a new way to process customer credit card purchases, take into consideration all of the hidden fees, monthly charges, and transaction fees associated with each service. Transaction fees can range anywhere from 3% up to 5% per transaction. Some services may offer less fees, lower transaction rates, or free maintenance as a way to compete. If you are operating a small business, cost can mean the difference between success and bankruptcy.

Customer Service and Support

A merchant account is only good if it works. Assuming you’re not a webmaster, there may be a time when you will need technical support to setup your new account. Perhaps you run into a problem in the middle of the night and need to reach someone within the merchant service to answer questions. Strong customer service and support is one quality your merchant service will need to have. If processing online credit card payments is the core of your revenue, you will need the peace of mind that 24/7 customer support can offer you. Do your homework and see what their current customers are saying as well as check for any open issues with the Better Business Bureau.

Scalability and Capabilities

You would hard pressed to hear a business owner say “I don’t want my company to grow”. The point of starting your business is to be successful and grow from small to large. You will need your merchant account to do the same. Scalability will allow your service to grow with your company rather than having to change services in the future. Choose a service that offers a variety of options that will grow with your company.

With scalability come the capabilities. You will need to choose a merchant service that will work with your current shopping cart software and any software you may change to in the future. The easier it is to integrate, the fewer issues you will face when you make changes.

Cross Platform Capabilities

As technology advances, more consumers are taking advantage of multiple devices to shop. When choosing your merchant service, take into consideration how your consumers will connect. You will want a service that allows your customers to use a variety of devices to place their orders. Whether they use a smartphone, laptop, or a tablet, you do not want to miss a sale due to incompatibility.

Creating an online business can open your consumer base that spans across borders. With the right merchant service provider you can find success in every transaction. When looking for your next service, consider these tips to make an informed decision based on what is right for your business, rather than choosing the cheapest service available.

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About the Author:

Author Tony Alvarez is an avid blogger. If you’re in the market for a payment processing company, such as PaySimple, be sure to read the reviews posted online.

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