Internet Merchant Accounts
For online businesses, Internet merchant accounts offer several advantages for credit card processing. From a practical standpoint, if you do not accept credit cards, you are losing potential business. Instead of waiting for checks to clear or losing money when they bounce, you can receive the payment in a matter of 7-to-10 days if you accept checks online with an Internet merchant account. This can increase your cash flow and your revenue.
Credit cards do not bounce the same way checks do, so you are likely to get your money. If the card is not valid for some reason, you will know right away when you enter the transaction. However, this does not guarantee that merchants will be paid on all approved transactions. Merchants can lose money on credit card purchases if they don't take steps to limit chargebacks. There are many reasons for chargebacks but a common one is fraud on behalf of the customer. Businesses with an online merchant account are particularly susceptible to chargebacks because the card is not present and swiped when the transaction takes place.
Research has shown that credit cards are more likely to be used for impulse purchases and people spend more when using cards than checks. It has also shown that card user may spend as much as 40% more on their purchases than when they use cash or checks.
For point-of-sale merchants in brick and mortar locations, you usually need a credit card machine to complete the transaction in real-time. For online merchants a payment gateway company is needed to verify that the card is valid and to process the payments securely. In addition, a merchant account is needed so the payment gateway company can deposit payments to you, and a bank account where the settled funds will be deposited.
Online Credit Card Transactions
Accepting credit cards online is a little different than accepting them in person. For example, you won't see the actual credit card or be able to verify the cardholder's signature. As a precaution, we take extra measures when processing payments to protect you from fraud by running each transaction through well over 100 fraud screens prior to approving a transaction. Even with all of those checks it does not guarantee the merchant against fraud or chargebacks.
With most Internet merchant accounts, you will receive sample HTML coding to use on your website order form as well as access to an online payment gateway. Over the years the process has been simplified so that even non-techies can easily set up online stores as long as they know a little basic HTML. Your customers will place their orders on your website and enter their credit card information, which is processed through the payment gateway in a matter of seconds. In a few days, the funds are deposited to your merchant account and then into your business bank account.
To learn more about merchant accounts, please call 888-760-1700.