Small businesses have an easy way to extend credit to their customers: apply online for a merchant services account and accept major credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard. By acquiring a merchant services account, a retailer (online or offline) can eliminate the headache involved with offering direct credit to its customers. Some of the questions you will no doubt need answered: How much will it cost to setup an account? How much will it cost to get approved for an account? How difficult will it be to train my employees or install the coding on my website? I will try to answer these questions inside this article.
Applying for merchant services couldn’t be easier, especially how to sell payment processing online. Perform a search at any of the major search engines for: “merchant services application”. You’ll get more results than you can shake a stick at. While the majority of online applications are free, some actually do attempt to charge fees. Want to guarantee only free applications in your results? No problem! Add the word “free” to your search and you’ll most likely only get “free application” companies in the list. Online merchant processors are so eager for your business, they will throw in everything under the sun for free, including: setup, application, technical support, shopping carts, and some will even offer search engine submission. Once your account is setup, there will almost always be a monthly base-fee of around $20.
Online merchant services typically extend to offline purchases too. You can usually request a physical credit card processing machine to be delivered for use in your office, retail business, or from your own home. These devises are extremely easy to use and have step-by-step instructions printed on the bottom of the device. In fact, first time users of these types of machines will be able to follow the instructions and complete a transaction without assistance. These machines are extremely user-friendly.
When it comes to accepting payments on your website, you only need to know basic HTML in order to install the code. Merchant services companies have automated everything. Need code for a particular product on your site? Just log into your account, add a few details about the product such as name, price, and shipping costs, and click GET CODE and presto! Your merchant service will generate the necessary HTML code to be installed on your website. Highlight the code with your mouse, press CTRL-C or right-click and select “copy”, and then paste the code into your websites HTML page. Now upload the new copy of your page to your website. Any visitors to your website will now see a BUY NOW or PURCHASE button on your website.
When transactions are completed, the money can be transferred directly into your bank account at no additional cost. If your account is with a respectable merchant services provider, your transaction fees will range from 2-3% per transaction plus a monthly base fee of around $20. Beware of merchant services that do not charge a monthly fee! I once applied and used a company that only charged per transaction but did not charge a monthly fee. My first transaction using their services was $350. My net return was only $280! That’s over 20% in fees. I closed my account after that one transaction and switched to a company that had a monthly fee for services.
Merchant services are the easiest way to extend credit to your customers. Accounts are easy to obtain and can usually be acquired without any fees whatsoever. If you do not already have a merchant services account for your online or offline business, you should consider getting one – your customers will greatly appreciate the choice for optional methods of payment.